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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 04-25-2024

30-inchbrowntrout on LittleRedfromFeb(2)

April 25, 2024

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

Before we let the action from a few weeks back fall by the wayside, we wanted to highlight this impressive 30-inch brown trout that was caught in late February on the Little Red River by Larry Solley, who was being guided by David Taylor. The good news about Arkansas’s trout tailwaters is, you won’t have to bundle up as much now or into summer, but the water will be cold enough to enjoy and catch big trout, too!

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 4-25-2024) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is filling back up with the deluge from Thursday morning and more is predicted. The water had slowed down to where it wasn’t coming out of the dam, they say.

Bass have been really good around the Highway 89 bridge and up at Adams Lake. Lot of them have been caught on shallow-running cranks. Some bass still have eggs, some don’t.

Crappie have been so-so in numbers, but what has been caught have been big ones, they say. Catfish remain as good as ever, and the bream are trying to do something too now.
The bream were really beginning to take off before the cold spell, but then disappeared. But when it warms up, they should be really ready to bite. Redworms and crickets are the usual. You can see a lot of beds that you couldn’t see before and they are fairly easy to find. The beds are often deeper than you would expect, and you can see them still later in the day.

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, and there were some rainbow trout stocked during the winter.


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 4-25-2024) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips/Little Red River Fly Guides (501-507-3688) said that with Greers Ferry Lake holding steady at power pool level and Southwestern Power Administration taking a break from water releases, the river’s running low these days. “It’s a bit unusual for April, but hey, that’s fishing for you!”

“Now, here’s the scoop: We’ve got rain on the forecast this weekend, which should bump up the lake levels a bit. But for now, take advantage of the low river levels for some prime wading opportunities. It’s not every day you get these conditions in April!
“As for the fishing itself, it’s been solid lately. Caddis flies are out and about, especially in the warmer parts of the day. Try hitting the river with a nymph rig, using a Pheasant Tail soft hackle or a Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear under an indicator. And keep an eye out for those rising fish later in the day — an Elk Hair Caddis might just do the trick when they start sipping bugs off the surface.
“So, grab your gear and hit the water while the conditions are right. And if you need any more info or want to book a trip, you know where to find me!”

(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 4-25-2024) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 461.92 feet msl, or 0.12 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet — “and that could change pretty quick if we get the 7.56 inches of rain that is forecast.
“Lots of crazy stuff with the fish going on since the total eclipse happened. Crappie seem somewhat confused, as with the other species as well. Try super shallow and out to 30 feet. Use jigs, minnows or crankbaits. Walleye are eating in the main lake, and the few that are left up rivers. Drag a crawler or crankbait 10-22 feet; some walleye are following under big schools of white bass and hybrid bass, so use a spoon for those. Hybrid bass and white bass are trying to get set up in the main lake and set up for the summer. A lot are still traveling, but ones that are set, use spoons, inline spinners, grubs and swimbaits in 15-35 feet. The shad spawn is going on in various places around the lake and rivers; when you find them stay with them for good catches of all species. 

Catfish are starting to show up more regularly; the usual stuff is working for them in the main lake and rivers. 

Some bream are shallow but most are still around 8-15 feet. Crickets and crawlers are working fine as well as inline spinners. Some black bass are spawning, more are on their way to spawn and some have finished. Use Carolina rigs, topwater, wake baits, drop-shots, crankbaits and spinnerbaits for the best action — there are too many baits that will work right now to mention — fishing super super shallow out to 30 feet.
Be safe and wear your life jacket. 

(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 temperature 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. 


Lake Maumelle
(updated 4-25-2024) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported that water temperature is ranging 66-68 degrees. The largemouth bass bite is fair. Males can be found shallow in 2-8 feet of water, while females are being found in deeper areas at 10-15 feet of water. Use jigs, Alabama rigs, crankbaits, swimbaits, and try jerkbaits shallow in the afternoon. Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are good. Reports have them being found around brush in 8-12 feet of water, as well as shallow in 2-6 feet. Try using jigs and shaky heads. Tuesday night’s bass results showed some pretty good weights, as Brandon Crain and Matt Hedrick caught 13.03 pounds with their 5-bass stringer to win. Brent and Riley Scott caught the 4.25-pound Big Bass. Steve Blaylock and Sam Lowery hauled in a 5-bass stringer of 11.87 pounds for second place.

No reports on white bass this week, but try Twister Tails if you’re looking. Crappie are fair, with some reports having them being found on brush anywhere form 16-21 feet. Use jigs and minnows. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. Catfish weren’t reported this week, but they should bite 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 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 4-18-2024) 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 4-25-2024) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said water releases from Bull Shoals Dam into the tailwater have been moderate over the past week. While not providing for substantial wade fishing, the current is less swift, offering more access for angling from the shore and gravel bars. Bull Shoals Lake is 2 feet below power pool level, at 656.98 feet msl. The average generation has been about 2,000 cfs with an occasional burst of higher discharges for several hours.

The rainbow-hued spinners and spoons continue to attract a good share of trout, and the overcast days called for shiny silver blades and spoons. The silver Cleo played a part in successful creel counts. When the sun peeks out, change tactics — look for chartreuse or lemon-lime-colored baits, either in an egg pattern or as part of a Rooster Tail or spinner (the body or skirt) with a gold blade. It’ll be easy to keep your bait near the streambed because the White River water level near Cotter has remained fairly low during the past month.

No surprises for the brown bite: They’re nibbling on sculpins and shad, and continue to remain near the bottom and center of the stream.
“The weathermen promise warmer temperatures beginning Saturday, so pack some sunscreen when you’re headed to the river. A rain poncho might come in handy, too.  Visit the Natural State for some terrific catches and lots of Ozark hospitality.”

(updated 4-25-2024) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said this week they’ve seen clear water with depths as much as 6.5 feet and depths as little as under 3.5 feet. With the lower and clearer water, our go-to lure remains the Thompson Colorado quarter-ounce spoon in nickel/gold. In addition, catching and using sculpins has worked well. Other fishermen are reporting success using lures similar to Rapala CD5 Countdowns in rainbow trout and silver color. Other fishermen are reporting using dark color (black, olive or brown) jigs with a splash of color, such as orange or red, have resulted in some nice-sized rainbows and brown trout. If nothing else works, drift-fishing with Uncommon Bait UV eggs in Neo Pink or Bright Orange with corn, worms or shrimp will always catch rainbow trout. 


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

(updated 4-18-2024) Fishing guide Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake said Wednesday that the lake level is 657 feet msl. Water temperature is ranging 56 degrees to mid-60s, give or take depending on your location. Black bass are in prespawn, and overall bass fishing has been good; everyone is starting to catch them but it will definitely slow down after a cold front like we’ve had this week. 

Be sure to fish the conditions — if it is cloudy and windy you can still powerfish. Guys are putting away deeper crankbaits for square bills, spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits. It’s been a very windy spring, putting some color in the water. We’re covering water on windblown transitions, banks and swings. If it’s flat and sunny, target swing, points and secondary points with a Jewel Peewee Jig in green pumpkin. Also if it gets tough, try a green pumpkin or Puke Tube, and a C-rig or a shaky head and a Ned rig are all working. Green pumpkin orange/red variants are the best colors. Target swings or points or secondary points close to spawning areas in the creeks or bays. On tough days or with clear water you’re going to want to keep the boat out deep, 25-30 feet,and slow down. In the dirty water you can get real skinny if it’s warm. The shad balls are definitely broken up, so if you’re fishing open water you’re going to have to pay attention — a lot of fish are moving into pockets. If shad are present, try a 2.8 swimbait, a fluke or Tater Shad 2.8 all in white or natural shad colors.
“Everyone is starting to catch ’em, 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 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 that 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 4-25-2024) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort and Boat Rental said the lake level was 553.62 feet msl and has been stable for several days as of 5 p.m. Wednesday. They have not generated for 24 hours. The White River at Newport is 6.23 feet and dropping, indicating not much water is being released into it anywhere. They just started up the one operating generator at 5 p.m. The surface water temperature is 64 degrees and has been slowly warming up with a cold front coming through once a week followed by clear cold nights. We need some ambient temperatures in the 60s for lows to warm things up and get the topwater bite going strong. It has been slow coming. 

“The gizzard shad have spawned but I have not seen any threadfin shad spawning yet. They like 70 degrees or a little warmer for their first one. There have been reports of the shad spawn but I have not personally seen it. Some black bass and white bass are coming up sporadically early and late. Some big bass have spawned, some are on beds and some are in 30 feet of water on the bottom for some reason. 

“The walleye bite has been pretty good on pea gravel banks casting a soft plastic. The crappie that I have been catching are mostly males staging for spawn in about 10 feet of water back in the creeks and have been singles. There are several large females wanting to spawn under Blackburn’s dock. Some stripers are deep in open water on shad but will come up at just before sunrise back in windblown creeks very soon. They are late. I have seen nothing on fire or in a feeding frenzy, but some nice fish of several species are being caught every day and will get nothing but better.
“The lake overall is in excellent condition and at a good level for fishing but the water is too clear for best results. The fish are line, boat and trolling motor shy, so stay as far from them as you can cast and let it sink in behind them. A good place to start looking for topwater fish is in Panther Creek before sunrise.”

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


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 4-25-2024) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake level remains at 1,119.58 feet msl and water temperature is in the upper 50s to mid-60s depending where you are on the lake. Fishing is good. Crappie are up on the shoreline doing their thing. Black bass are also in backs of coves. This is a good time to pound the banks. Stripers are scattered from Prairie Creek to Camp War Eagle. White bass are in the rivers but it’s been slower than usual. Walleye have spawned and on their way back to the main lake.
“Looks like lots of rain maybe? The lake was just getting good, so I hope we do not get the 4-6 inches as that will blow out the south end. Spring is here so get out and hit the lake! Good luck!”
Visit Jon’s Facebook page for the latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.


Beaver Tailwater
(updated 4-25-2024) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “Well, our water levels are starting to come up and the bite has been improving on all fronts. I wish I could say I have been the one out there, but due to home construction, my other guides are getting the reports to me. I am being told quality white bass and some decent male walleye are being caught between Houseman Access and Beaver town. Most white bass and walleye are being caught with jigs tipped with a Pautzke Fire Worm, along with casting mid-diving cranks. As for the trout, they are pretty spread out; however, most are being caught with Fire Bait fished with light terminal tackle. Look for the deeper holes for the trout. The generation schedule has been a little bipolar, but drifting Fire Minnow and tubes will definitely put fish into the boat. Hope you all have been enjoying the weather, let’s get out there and fish! 

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.


Northeast Arkansas

Lake Charles
(updated 4-25-2024) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the bream and crappie are providing a lot of good action for anglers, while she heard no reports from black bass, white bass or catfish this past week. Even with cool mornings, the crappie were still biting. Jigs and worms were workin best for crappie Reports were coming in for bream starting to hit redworms and jigs, and crickets were also popular.

The water temperature Sunday morning was 64.5 degrees. Water level is normal and the clarity is the usual murky.

Good “moon times” for fishing are expected this week through April 26, she said.


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. 

Remember that by state regulation, and while Lake Poinsett continues to grown its forage and predate populations from its 3-year renovation in recent years, bass and crappie are catch-and-release only. Bream and catfish may be kept at daily state limits.


Crown Lake
(updated 4-25-2024) 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, 350 avg and water clarity is clear. The area is in bad need of some rain. Lack of rain has the river very low, creating some great Hopper dropper action, and possible dry fly action in the evening. With the clearer conditions, might have to use lighter tippet and smaller nymphs on tough days. 

The stocking for the summer season has ramped up with really nice sized bows 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. 

Great time to chase smallies before the spawn but they will start spawning soon to create more wonderfull smallies for us to catch. Gonna be a good season for smallies and rock bass. 

The river is looking great just getting really low and warm to 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.


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 4-25-2024) Keyunna Austin at Cane Creek State Park (870-628-4714) said crappie, redear sunfish and other bream have been biting at various times, as well as catfish on trotlines. Red wiggers, redworms, nightcrawlers, minnows and crickets have been fished for the bream and redear, as well as minnows and crickets for crappie in the past week. Bream bait on the trotlines have brought home some catfish, while pole anglers have used nightcrawlers. Some of the fishing is taking place on the exterior pier; anglers last Friday mentioned having success with redear and bream there. 


Lake Monticello
(updated 4-25-2024) Anglers are reminded that if they venture out for some fishing on Lake Monticello now while the lake refills after being renovated, that all fish caught must be released immediately. 


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 4-25-2024) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood is back on a rise. Lake elevation is near 6 inches above normal pool, at 259.73 feet msl, and rising; Millwood Lake Dam is currently releasing about 870 cfs and tailwater is holding at 225 feet msl and steady.
Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or the Army Corps of Engineers website linked above under “Millwood Lake,” for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Watch for random floaters and broken timber during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake with discharge rates and fluctuations in high flow conditions in Little River, and anytime high gate discharge conditions exist. 

Surface temperature is stable, ranging 67 degrees early to 73 degrees later in the day along Little River, depending on location and the time of day. Clarity along Little River improved drastically this week with near normal pool elevation. Normal stain in most locations; some areas further up Little River being heaviest, with river clarity ranging 5-8 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows will vary widely from heavy stained to fair visibility from 10-20 inches, and we observed around 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. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, gate discharge, rain,or thunderstorms. Up Little River from White Cliffs to Cossatot inflow at Wilton Landing remains more stained, with more current. 

Note that the Yarborough Landing Project’s additional lighting is complete. The AGFC Tournament Courtesy Dock, handrails and walkway are in construction at Yarborough Landing. 
Mike had these fishing specifics from this week:
* Largemouth bass have been consistent with last week; little has changed this week.  Several large female bass between 6-9 pounds each recently were caught and released, including in local tournaments on Millwood Lake. The males and females continue moving in and around bedding areas and guarding beds with fry, near 1-5 feet on flats near grass, cypress trees and buckbrush. 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 continue to draw reactions from 12- to 16-inch bass from 2- to 6-feet depths.
Bill Lewis Crankbaits like the MR-6, Echo 1.75 and SB-57 MDJ Crankbaits were all getting random reaction bites over the past few weeks from these active roaming bass (and white bass, too) in the deeper sections of creek channels or drops from the flats into 8-12 feet of structure, and on primary points with stumps present. Targeting these areas, the best responses are during the heat of the day, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. We caught good numbers of males and females from 3-6 pounds each over the past two weeks on Bass Assassin 5-inch 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 McGuire, Horseshoe, Mud and Clear lakes where the water clarity is drastically better, water temps are warmer, and away from river current. Beavers, creature baits and baby Brush Hogs have been taking some decent 14- to 17-inch males roaming flats in the clearer water sections of the oxbows, away from river current. With the water temp continuing to warm into the upper 60s the males are being seen guarding fry on beds.  Where you find shallow 5-8 foot depth flats with stumps and vegetation like fresh lily pad blooms, you can find a few decent 2- to 3-pound male bass roaming on warm afternoons, if near to a quick creek bend drop into 8-12 feet structure. South Hickory Golf Course area pockets are warming up as well and gave up some nice 16- to 19-inch, 3- and 4-pounders over the past couple of weeks.  We got several good reactions from 3- to 5-pound bass over the past week or so,= with chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and lizards around cypress tree knees.
Best reaction colors of Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits toward cruising bass have been the Millwood Mayhem Bream, Firetiger and black/blue. Best depth zones to target are cypress tree knees from 6-10 feet, with 12-15 feet of depth nearby. Lizards (6-8 inches) in black neon, blackberry, pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail and Junebug have been picking up some cruising bass near stumps on 5- to 7-feet drops near 10 feet deep structure.
* The whites continue breaking into various schools moving back down Little River and staging at the mouths of oxbows and creek dumps. Over the past couple of weeks the white bass have begun to scatter and move back down Little River from the spawning pockets and rocks near Patterson Shoals above U.S. Highway 71. Good numbers of 2- to 3-pound whites can still be caught as they break into various schools migrating back down the river near Brown’s Slough and Black’s Branch and 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 slowly and deliberately behind points along Little River, caught some decent whites over the past rew weeks from 7-12 feet deep.  A chrome three-quarter-ounce Cordell Hammered Spoon with a red/white hair bucktail vertical-jigged behind primary points near the bottom, where stumps were located on the backside of points, were connecting with a few nice-sized whites over the past several weeks. Swimming a hair jig with a heavy thumping tail swimbait trailer picked up a few in 10-14 feet swimming and dropping the bait.
* The crappie bite has improved over the past few weeks with water clarity improving in many locations. One day it’s on fire, and the next day they run from a minnow on Livescope! Our planted brush piles in Pugh Slough, Horseshoe, Bee Lake and Millwood State Park continue to hold nice 12- to 15-inch crappie, and gave up some nice 2-pound slabs over the past couple of weeks. The xrappie are best using minnows one day and jigs the next, or jigs tipped with a minnow, in planted brush piles in 10-16 feet of water. Best color jig over the past week has been Monkey Milk one day and Electric Chicken the next, while smoke-colored grubs with a chartreuse tip tail on a light wire jig head would pick up a few extra bites.

* Catfish improved over the past week on trotlines and limblines. Best reactions, when we spoke with a couple of catfishermen along Little River, came on King’s Punch Bait and giant redworms. One guy said he always uses chicken livers or gizzards, and had a few blues and channel cats in the 5- to 7-pound category to prove his method. They were running trotlines along Little River in the 14-16 foot depth zones.
* No reports on bream.


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 4-25-2024) John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service at Iron Mountain Marina says, “Hello, fisher people. It’s time to fish. Surface water temperature is still in the 60s. The lake looks good as far as trash in the water. Water color begins to change around Lennox Marcus going upriver. Lake level is at 494.56 feet msl with a slight drawdown. The lake level has been the issue for those people fishing for the spawn. The continued water drops and rises are hurting the shallow-water fishing.

Full moon means it’s time to hit the bream beds. Use side imaging to locate the beds (look like waffles). Then back off and cast to them. A drop-shot is a very useful technique for fishing beds. You can also fish the bottom with a worm sinker, swivel and hook. Slip bobbers work well, also. Look for the beds in water from 2-8 feet mostly. Bream beds can also be found from Iron Mountain to Point Cedar. Shallow  coves, sloping banks and sandy gravel areas.

The crappie fishing I have been doing is hit and miss as far as shallow-water spawn fishing. Water level issues again. There are f ish in some of the brush piles but not the bigger ones. Cast to the suspended ones on top and work a one-eighth-ounce jig close to the cover. Bluegrass is a good color. Then pull up with minnows. Seeing lots on the shallower tops. If you can locate a bedding area, back off and work jigs close to the bottom.
The only thing I have on bass is the spawn is closing.

“Enjoy the trip! It’s about the trip.”

(updated 4-11-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) has been fishing both DeGray Lake and Lake Ouachita lately, and said, “It’s that time of year again. Crappie are scattered and can be caught as shallow as 3 feet deep and as deep as 12 feet. Live bait and jigs both produce ample numbers of crappie. White bass, hybrids and striper are on the move schooling. I have harvested limits trolling crankbaits and Alabama rigs. Spoons vertically jigged just off the bottom work well, too.”


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 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 4-25-2024) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 61 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Lakes Hamilton and Catherine are at normal pool, and current flows have been scheduled in the late afternoon, which has given boating and bank anglers the opportunity to fish. Before fishing below a hydroelectric 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 waxworms or mealworms casting 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. 

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 has been underway since late February on Lake Catherine as male walleye migrated into the tailrace to prepare the beds for the much larger females. These fish can be caught by trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current on both sides of the river below the dam. Shad or crayfish imitations work best as both of these are present in large numbers in the lake and offer game fish a solid food source all throughout the year. Trout will be scarce where spawning walleye are established as rainbow trout are known egg eaters and are attacked by walleye when crossing over into bedding areas. 

Now that the month of April is coming to a close, walleye are still present and can be caught from the bridge to the dam. April is also the beginning of the crappie spawn, which has added another quality game fish for the public to target. As temperature warms and threadfin shad aren’t stunned by freezing temperatures, there will be a dramatic decrease in the amount of prey for fish to feed on. Several days of this reduction in food will force fish to actively search for prey, which will create a good situation for anglers to be successful. 

Despite the safer conditions and warmer weather, it is extremely important to remember that fish in the tailrace have been difficult to catch the entire year. Trout have been caught but not in the numbers that are expected this time of year. Normal pool levels will bring a more consistent bite from the rainbow trout population, but patience and proper lure selection is paramount for success.
Always wear a life jacket when on the water and remember to follow all park and boating regulations. Pick-up after yourself as the number of trash cans are limited in this area. Always cooperate with all wildlife officials and law enforcement.   


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

(updated 4-11-2024) 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 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), 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 4-25-2024) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are still good. Try a topwater bait near main lake and secondary points. A Carolina-rigged craw or lizard is still producing, and the floating worm bite is good. Just get out and throw your favorite lure!
Walleye are fair and being caught on shad-style baits. Stripers are 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 good and being caught on crickets and worms in the 15- to 25-foot range; these fish are starting to move shallow. 

Crappie are biting better. These fish can still be targeted on shallow structure with minnows or small jigs. Jugs and trotlines are producing quality catches of catfish over main lake points with live or cut bait.
Water temperature is ranging 64-67 degrees. The water clarity is clearing. The lake level Wednesday was 576.83, still a little over a foot below normal pool. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 4-11-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said, “It’s that time of year again. Crappie are scattered and can be caught as shallow as 3 feet deep and as deep as 12 feet. Live bait and jigs both produce ample numbers of crappie. White bass, hybrids and striper are on the move schooling. I have harvested limits trolling crankbaits and Alabama rigs. Spoons vertically jigged just off the bottom work well, too.”

(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 4-25-2024) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) said he had nothing new to report. The lake is low and disconnected from the river, allowing it to hold steady for the last week or so. There is still not much fishing activity, “but I don’t know why it shouldn’t be getting good soon!”

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 he 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 bassCatfishing has been good for people setting limb lines and yo-yos at night baited with nightcrawlers. No report on bream


White River/Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 4-25-2024) Webb’s Sporting Goods (870-946-0347) in DeWitt said bait fishing and snagging for catfish has been excellent on the Arkansas River below the hydroelectric dam. In the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge, anglers are catching crappie and bass. Crappie have moved to deeper waters while the bass are moving up around the cypress. Overall the fishing is excellent on the Mississippi, Arkansas, and White rivers.


Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
No reports.


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

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