Skip to main content

Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 06-20-2024


June 20, 2024

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

John Smith recently landed this nice brown trout up the White River from Rim Shoals. Higher water on the tailwater from Bull Shoals Lake dam has offered a lot of drift fishing opportunities in recent weeks. Bull Shoals is dropping closer to normal pool with the releases, though, so enjoy these conditions while they last. Read more about the trout fishing around Cotter, Calico Rock and other points in the North Arkansas section of the report.

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 6-20-2024) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said that anglers are doing well on all species. Bream are biting on redworms (full moon is June 22, and they should be back on the beds). Crappie can be caught with minnows. Black bass will hit topwater lures and soft plastics. Catfish are being caught on about anything being thrown at them now. White bass were biting last week on Rooster Tails and white jigs.

Lake Conway has no creel or length limits while the lake is in its drawdown phase as part of the AGFC’s renovation project. All fish may be kept; in fact, it’s encouraged, hence the no limit regulation. Still chances to stock up on crappie and others for the freezer.
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.


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 6-13-2024) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said that this week the Little Red River has been experiencing low water levels. Typically at this time of year higher water flows are maintained to regulate Greers Ferry Lake. However, recent days have seen inconsistent generation schedules, resulting in extended periods of low flow. The low water conditions have opened up excellent opportunities for wade fishing. Anglers are encouraged to take advantage of these conditions and explore the river on foot. The deeper holes below plunge pools have been particularly productive for wading.

For those fishing from boats during low flows, launching from Lobo Landing access has been effective. Targeting deeper waters around moss beds and areas with current has yielded good results.

Successful flies recently have included pink San Juan Worms, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Hare’s Ear and Rootbeer Midges. These patterns have been attracting bites and proving effective under current conditions.

Overall, despite lower water levels than usual, fishing on the Little Red River remains productive, especially for wade anglers targeting deeper holes. For the most current updates and to plan your trip, contact Mike Winkler at the number above or visit his website linked above.

“Enjoy your time on the water and tight lines!”

(updated 6-13-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said Thursday that water temperature has been creeping up into the 60s with little water running at the dam. Fishing for trout has been good of late with more wading opportunities now. No. 5 and No. 7 Rapala Countdowns in rainbow or brown trout colors are a good bet for these conditions. Also, a Trout Magnet in a variety of colors is a good go-to, along with a Marabou Jig.


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 6-20-2024) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 461.75 feet msl — that’s 0.29 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. Not much else has changed other than more and more fish are coming up on top schooling in different parts of the lake and rivers. Power generation has been slim at best, just a couple hours a day or none at all. All species of game fish are biting on and off all day. Now, most species are getting and staying out where they will summer and they’re staying on structure where you can really work on them. 

For crappie, try super shallow and out to 30 feet and use jigs, minnows or crankbaits. Most walleye are eating in the main lake; for the few that are left up rivers, drag a crawler or crankbaits 10-22 feet. Some are following under big schools of white bass and hybrids — use a spoon for those. 

Hybrid and white bass are trying to get set up in the main lake for the summer, and a lot are still traveling, but for the ones that are set up, use spoons, inline spinners, grubs and swimbaits 25-60 feet. Shad spawn still going on in various places around the lake and rivers, and when you find them, stay with them for good catches of all species. Catfish are starting to show up more regularly and the usual stuff is working in the 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 solo black bass are shallow, but most are out or roaming shallow and schooling. Use Carolina rigs, topwater lures, wake baits, drop-shots, crankbaits and spinnerbaits for the best action — though many other baits now will work — super, super shallow out to 60 feet.
Be safe and wear your life jacket.

(updated 6-13-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the bass fishing has been doing really well. Anglers are catching lots of black bass, though there is not much size to them right now. The bass are concentrated around schools of baitfish, and anglers are catching them in 12-15 feet of water, mostly on the main lake close to some type of a drop-off. Bass are being caught on topwater when they’re chasing bait, best on a bone-colored Zara Spook or a clear topwater lure. When the bass are not chasing on top, mostly they are biting a crankbait, a Carolina rig or a Flutter Spoon.

Walleye are hitting really well now around standing timber in 16-25 feet of water. Try a nightcrawler on a chartreuse jighead.
The water is clear with a little stain in the rivers. Lake level is normal.


Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-13-2024) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said a man passed the big island on the lake and caught some big largemouth bass around 4-5 pounds. Also, he caught some nice crappie, including one that was 15.5 inches in length.

Catfish and bream are being caught around the shoreline. Bream are doing really well on crickets and redworms.

A trotline user on the lake caught a 43-pound blue catfish using bream as bait. Catfish are doing well for bank anglers and boat users alike, they report.

Crappie are biting for boat anglers but nothing is being reported from the shoreline.

The water is clear enough to see minnows (and turtles) in shallow water. Water temperature Thursday at midday was 88.5 degrees. The water level is good.


Lake Overcup
(updated 6-20-2024) John “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9 had nothing new to report, but crappie recently were being caught in 5-10 feet of water using jigs and minnows. Also, bass were doing well on buzzbaits and plastic frogs since their spawn. Bream were starting to get on their beds and doing well before the recent full moon. Catfish were being caught on jugs using nightcrawlers and bass minnows, and John said he was starting to run his trotlines.


Lake Maumelle
(updated 6-20-2024) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported that water temperature is consistent, still in the 80- to 82-degree range. The largemouth bass bite has been fair this week. Reports have the bass biting shallow in the mornings and evenings and with other reports of finding them deeper in 8-20 feet of water. They are also schooling in some areas in the mornings and evenings. Try points and drop-offs, and use drop-shots, Texas-rigged worms and crankbaits. Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are being found on points in that 8- to 20-foot range as well as drop-offs. Try using drop-shots and crankbaits. Tuesday night bass tournament results out of the marina were in line with that fair bite. Matt Hedrick and Brandon Crain led the way with a 5-bass stringer of 13.85 pounds and the Big Bass of 4.77 pounds. Vaughn Greenway and Daniel Romine were second with 12.98 pounds.

Still no reports on white bass, but a twister tail is always good for picking up one here and there. Crappie were fair this week. Some reports have crappie being found suspended on brush anywhere from 12-14 feet and also at 16-21s feet. Use jigs or minnows. Bream are good (Saturday will be the peak of June’s full moon, by the way). They can be found around 6-10 feet as well as shallow at 3-5 feet. Try using crickets, worms and drop-shots. Catfish are slow and no reports have reached the shop. Try bream, liver or worms now.


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


Little Maumelle River
(update 6-20-2024) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the fishing and conditions are about the same this week as last. The water is “clear as normal, and a lot of people are fishing.” Several trucks of anglers reported catching lots of bass, and others said the bream were biting well.

Black bass are biting crankbaits and soft plastic worms with some topwater also working. Some crappie returned to biting last week with minnows being all they were biting and at a 5-feet depth.

Bream are on the banks and bedding, and anglers are catching them on worms and crickets. Not much has been heard on the catfish but try liver and hot dogs fished in deeper water.


Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
For the real-time water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website

(update 6-13-2024) An AGFC staffer/local angler fishing the Maumelle Pool last weekend reported the Arkansas River is rolling in the 50,000-60,000 cfs range below Toad Suck Dam, which is ideal flow to draw fish out to the jetties and main channel obstructions during post-spawn. The water temperature ranged from 78 degrees on the main river channel to 81 degrees in the backwaters before Sunday night’s front-cooled temperatures (slightly). Bass were biting well on black/blue swim jigs and black/blue or green pumpkin weightless YUM Dingers and Senkos fished on the edges of grass patches at the edge of current breaks in the main channel and in the backwater areas. Look for small patches of grass instead of the large mats and swim a jig through the sparse stems in the morning, then switch to pitching at matted clumps as the sun gets high. Shad-colored crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Fingerling worked well on main river jetties, catching a mixed bag of everything from largemouth bass and spotted bass to drum and the occasional striped bass. Fish the crankbaits just beneath the swell of water found behind jetties and wingdams along outside river bends for the best luck. 

No report on crappie. If the flow slows a little, it will be a great time to set out some jugs for catfish, but the higher flow we’re seeing, jug fishermen will spend more time chasing jugs and untangling lines from snags than hauling in fish.


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 6-20-2024) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reports that largemouth bass and Kentucky bass (spots) are biting in 10-12 feet around jetties. Anglers are having best success throwing a shaky head with a Zoom Trick Worm, along with deep-diving crankbaits in a shad pattern.

Bluegill are biting on the shallow flats in 5-6 feet water. Crickets and redworms rigged on a bobber rig have them biting about a foot deep.

Water clarity of the pool is stained to muddy with about a half-foot to a foot of visibility.


Peckerwood Lake
(updated 6-13-2024) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (501-626-6899) said anglers “are wearing the catfish and bass out.” As for crappie, some are trolling and some are spider-rigging for catches.

Catfish are biting hot dogs and liver. 

Topwater is working now for the black bass. Donna noticed some anglers with some nice bass stringers. A few bream are still being caught, mainly on crickets.

“We’re level full and a little dingy, but not that bad. About normal for Peckerwood,” she said of the water conditions.


North Arkansas

White River
(updated 6-20-2024) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said Bull Shoals Lake, at 666.98 feet msl, is less than 5 feet from the seasonal power pool goal of 661 feet msl, so if you’re wanting to catch some fat, sassy rainbows, now’s the time to fish the White River in the Arkansas Ozarks.
“We are still experiencing round-the-clock generation from Bull Shoals Dam and the catch has been plentiful and healthy — quick bites drifting Berkley pink worms, sometimes tipped with a white Power Egg. The shrimp/PowerBait combo is always a great fallback bait. Add a little salt your shrimp supply to keep your bait on the hook between bites. I watched an angler this morning, just checking his line and reel, testing the cast; he had a gold Cleo tied one. Bam, a beauty of a rainbow responded. … Try the Cleos this week.
“The brown trout bite has been exceptional for June, with catches in the double-digits some days. Sculpin have been the ticket this week with several good keeper browns reeled in and released.
“Visit Cotter and find out why we’re called ‘Trout Capital USA.’ Hope to see you at the river.”

(updated 6-20-2024) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said, “Late last week we continued to receive dramatic water level changes with high water in the morning and then dropping 3-4 feet throughout the day. By the weekend we began seeing more consistent water levels with the last couple of days average around 8 feet. Both Bull Shoals and Norfork continue to be 4-5 feet above the top power pool levels. More than likely we will continue to see increased water levels on the river until the lakes reach the power pool levels. 

“With the higher water, we are seeing success using Uncommon Bait UV Eggs in Neo Pink or Orange with corn. With the higher water the trout have moved onto the gravel bars looking for food. As we are cleaning fish we are seeing a lot of fish with freshwater shrimp, snails and bug larvae in their stomach, with the occasional crawdad or sculpin in the bigger fish.
“Because of the higher water levels we are seeing limited success with artificial lures. We are starting to see more 90-degree-plus days. Remember to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and a hat. A cooling towel dipped in the river and draped on your head or neck works wonders to help cool off.

“This week there is one trout stocking scheduled with the AGFC using the pontoon raft to stock from Calico Rock down to Sylamore Creek. With the raft stocking fish, there is a chance for the areas not close to a stocking point to get and hold fish.”


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 6-20-2024) Fishing guide Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake (815-592-4302) said Wednesday the lake level is around 666 feet msl. The Army Corps of Engineers has been running some big water. Parking and boat ramp access can be limited; check ahead before you go. The water temperature is around 82 degrees, give or take, with stained water being warmer. Bass are set up on summer areas and patterns. Shad are spread out off deeper water around points, ledges, drop-offs and channel swings. 
”Get up early or if it’s cloudy, rainy or windy and hit the surface with topwater! A Zara Spook, Pop-R or Lucky Craft Gunfish and wake baits in shad patterns are working for me. As the sun gets up, try a 2.8 swimbait, especially if there’s wind, or a Flutter Spoon. That will keep the bite going. Once the sun gets up, a lot of fish will move out over deep water. You can follow them out there and try a drop-shot Robo Worm or shad shape worm or Tater Shad. Or just go home and let the ‘look at me’s’ have it.
“If we get rain, I’ll powerfish covering water. Try a buzzbait if it’s windy and cloudy, or a frog/toad if it’s sunny, over submerged flooded bushes. You can still catch ’em on points with a small Jewel Peewee Jig in green pumpkin orange or a tube or a shaky head at 10-20 feet. Keep the boat out deep, especially in the clear water, and you can hit the old shoreline. There is a lot of activity in the 15 feet range. You can also go up there with a Beaver or Salt Craw early or late. Some shallower brush piles closer to deep water in less than 25 feet are holding some fish.
“Overall, summer patterns are here. Suspended fish in large groups are roaming if you can find them with the front looker.”
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 6-20-2024) Southernwalleye Guide Service (501-365-1606) says that pulling crawler harnesses 25-30 feet with 2-ounce bottom bouncers on primary and secondary points with gold or fluorescent orange blades and orange bead patterns seems to be good right now.
If contour trolling, try shad-style baits in 25-30 feet of water.
If open water trolling for suspended fish, they are still getting a little tougher to catch and are going a little deeper — down as deep as 60-70 feet. Troll early morning for a few hours, then switch over to crawler harnesses. Find shad and try trolling with snap weights from 50-70 feet deep over flooded forests over 100 feet-plus of water while using any type of deep-diving crankbait trolled over the old river channel at 1.5-1.8 mph. That should put some fish in the boat. Jigging spoon fishing has also been another tactic that is working. Casting a half-ounce spoon into 25 feet and hopping it off the bottom back into about 35 feet might also get you a few fish. 

(updated 6-20-2024) Crappie 101 Guide Service (870-577-2045) reports that crappie are scattered in creeks in brush at 10-25 feet. They seem to be in smaller groups mostly and you will still have to cover a lot of brush and structure to find the quality. The jig bite is pretty slow, so minnows have been better lately.


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

(updated 6-20-2024) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort (870-492-5113) said Wednesday, “I started out fishing around 4 a.m. this morning. My first spot was a bust even though I brought in some bait by dropping my green light. Very few fish showed up, so I moved to a main lake point in 100 feet or more of water. Dropped my green light again and the bait showed up. There were some small fry on the surface, but the bigger-sized bait were 15-25 feet down. It wasn’t long until I started seeing a few big arcs cruising under the bait 30-50 feet down. I landed my first striper about 15 minutes after arriving and then it started to get a little light out, but the bait stuck around and a few more fish showed up. I got to land another two stripers by about 5:15.
“By then it was getting light enough that other fishermen started showing up. I had caught three nice stripers and all swam away easily so I decided to look around and fish some new spots for possibly my outing tomorrow. I found one area back in a small creek that was holding a few fish. I fished for them a brief time, but they seemed to be just window shopping. I did manage to catch a couple of nice largemouth by casting out my Kastmaster and letting it sink about 4 seconds. They wanted a steady slow retrieval today. For the striped bass I was using a Tater Bait Tater Shad in a copper rose color pattern. It has been working well for me lately. I headed back to the resort early since I needed to get back and wait for the delivery of a new refrigerator for one of our cabins.
“The lake surface temp was about 83 degrees this morning on the main lake. The water level is fairly stable and sits at 560.65 feet msl. There is a thermocline formed around 25 feet deep. The water is clear on the main lake and slightly stained in the creeks.

“Come make some everlasting memories on Norfork Lake in the Arkansas Ozark.”

Lou posts fishing reports nearly 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 6-13-2024) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is coming down some and the water is heating up. Water temperature is in the low to mid-80s and the level is around 1,123.40 feet msl, which is near 2 feet above normal. Fishing is still in fair to good range.

Stripers are being caught from Horseshoe to Point 5 as of this week. It is an early morning bite. You need to be out at sun-up ready to go. As soon as the sun rises and wake boats arrive, the bite shuts off. 

Crappie are starting to be caught on trolled crankbaits. Look for flats adjacent to main river channels — areas such as Point 12, Nelson’s Hollow, Friendship Creek and the U.S. Highway 412 bridge area. “Lately the cranks I am having the best luck with are anything with pink on it or just straight bubblegum Bandits and Picos. 

Walleye are still slow but should pick up as the thermocline sets up. It is starting to show and will get stronger daily. That will set the stage for bottom bouncers /crawler rigs. Find some humps or a point and look in 20-30 feet of water. 

Catfish are spawning, and noodles and jugs set in coves are working well. 

Bluegill can always be caught shallow on crickets and or worms and make a great dinner and some good fun on top of that. Panfish are an underused resource on Beaver. 

“Good luck and stay safe out there!”

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


Beaver Tailwater
(updated 6-20-2024) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “Fishing these past two weeks has been pretty good. You may have to move around a bit, but the bite does pick up as you do so. Most fish have been caught between Houseman Access and the (U.S.) Highway 62 bridge. The trout have been very responsive to Pautzke Fire Worms, fished on bottom, with slight movement. This is also the bait and presentation of choice when drift-fishing. Also Fire Bait with light terminal tackle has also produced nice numbers. You can also try pulling crankbaits in the deeper water for some bigger fish.
“The water temperature has been up and down, but the Corps of Engineers is releasing water to keep the tailwater cool. There are still some here-and-there walleye being caught — most are being caught in the deeper hole, jigging with soft plastics.
“As summer starts to approach, remember to stay hydrated, wear loose, cool clothing and protect yourself from the sun. Hope you all able to get out and catch some fish!” 

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


Lake Fayetteville
(updated 6-13-2024) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says anglers are still having success catching bluegill on worms. Channel cats are blue catfish are being brought in with crickets and minnows; they’re being caught near the dam and off boats as well as off the shoreline. 

Bass are being caught, but anglers aren’t revealing their techniques or baits. 

The lake’s clarity is murky.


Northeast Arkansas

Lake Charles
(updated 6-20-2024) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said fishing is good for all species now and black bass have made a solid reappearance in the past week. Bream are relating to the brush piles, stumps and rocky points. Use redworms or crickets. Remember that Saturday is the peak of the full moon, so bream should be at their peak activity for the month.
Crappie are good on jigs of all colors, as well as minnows. Anglers report crappie most active around 10 feet and relating to the same areas as bream: brush piles, stumps and rocky points.

Crankbaits appear to be working best for black bass. They are hanging around brush and rocky points. Catfish are good on worms and blood bait. White bass are good, too, and being caught on worms and jigs.

Surface water temperature earlier this week was 80.5 degrees. The water is high and murky.


Lake Poinsett
(updated 6-6-2024) Jonathan Wagner at Lake Poinsett State Park said Lake Poinsett has been buzzing with activity this last week. Anglers have been using things like the Booyah Buzzbaits for bass and continue to predominantly use crickets for the bream. Bream have been the most prevalent fish caught both from the bank as well as from a boat and are currently spawning. Recently, Chuck Long caught some nice ones on a trip to the lake. 

Bass and crappie continue to be catch-and-release. Bream and catfish may be kept at state limits.


Spring River
(updated 6-6-2024) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said the water level is running at 480 cfs, while the water clarity is good but can get murked up with storms moving through. The last few forecasts have been wrong and we have been dry this week. “Really don’t need any more rain.
“The rainbows are biting great on about everything lately when the water is right. Definitely hitting cicadas on top with a Woolly dropper can be super-hot. Dark Woollies have been hot, but (Wednesday) Y2Ks and Mega Worms were hot.
“The bad weather has kept the pressure off the river. Easy fishing for a while with weekly stocking. This time of year, stocking numbers are up. 

“Smallies are biting with clearer water conditions; it should be good once things dry out. Had a few really nice smallies on a Woolly dropper below cicada, but not many. Always got to fish the bottom, real slow with Clousers or my fav, the big Woollies with heavy bead head.
“The summer is upon us and the canoe hatch is on. Saturdays on the Spring River can be very busy with floaters from Dam 3 downriver. Through the week can be very nice and Sundays are usually quiet and the time to fish during the summer. Also, areas in town will be free of floaters, like Lassiter walk-in.
“It’s hot out, they are just trying to cool off, but be aware most are inexperienced.
“The river is swift and the bottom is slick, so be safe and have fun! The Spring River is a cool 58 degrees!”

Always check Mark’s blog for the latest river conditions on the Spring River on his website linked above.


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 6-13-2024) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reported water temps are around 80 degrees. The main channel is muddy with less than 4-5 inches visibility and up to 8-10 inches visibility in parts of Lake Langhofer. Black bass have been biting fairly well in Lake Langhofer around flooded vegetation on shore, but dropping water levels are drawing them away from those areas. Begin looking at the first sand drops from shore and especially artificial brush piles to start holding bass more as the water returns to normal level. 

The main channel has been flowing too hard for the past several days for the jetties to be holding bass well, but they will improve quickly as flow rates continue to decline. Shad-colored crankbaits, bladed baits and swim jigs have been doing very well near shallow cover. Light jigs and large worms should start producing more as the fish transition into their summer patterns and cover use. 


Cane Creek Lake
(updated 6-20-2024) Claire Humes at Cane Creek State Park (870-628-4714) said anglers were fishing with minnows and redworms bream at the exterior pier last Friday, while others reported fishing with minnows or nightcrawlers for any bite that evening. An angler was fishing with nightcrawlers and catching small bream Saturday, and minnows were also being used by others. At the camper dock on Monday, redworms were working for bream and anything else that would give a nibble, and the same was reported on Tuesday. Crickets were attracting crappie and bream by the pier on Tuesday, too. Another angler reported catching bluegill and drum with worms the same day.


Lake Monticello
(updated 6-20-2024) Anglers are reminded that if they venture out for some fishing on Lake Monticello now while the lake continues to refill after being renovated, that all fish caught must be released immediately.
The Hunger Run Access is now to open to boat traffic.


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 6-20-2024) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the AGFC Tournament Courtesy Dock construction was completed last week. Millwood elevation is almost back to normal pool; the lake elevation Wednesday was near 2 inches above normal at 259.4 feet msl and stable. Millwood Lake Dam was releasing about 3,100 cfs and tailwater was holding near 233 feet and falling.
Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the Army Corps of Engineers website linked under “Millwood Lake” above, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Watch for random floaters and broken timber during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake. Lake elevation and discharge at Millwood Dam can change dramatically in mere hours with thunderstorms and fresh water influx. 

Surface temps have been stable this week, ranging in 79 degrees early to 88 degrees later in the day along Little River. Clarity along Little River is much improved this week with decreased river current. Normal to moderate stain is found in most locations; some areas further up Little River are heaviest stain, with river clarity ranging 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows will vary widely from normal stained to good visibility from 10-20 inches, and we observed around fair visibility in a few wind- and current-protected areas like McGuire Oxbow up to 3 feet clarity, away from river current depending on location. Further up Little River from White Cliffs to Cossatot inflow at Wilton Landing remains more stained, and with higher flow rates with more current.
Mike had this species-specific highlights about Millwood fishing in the past week:
* Largemouth bass activity has improved now that the lake’s flash flooding (over 3 feet) has subsided and returned to near normal conditions. Bass have been fairly consistent the last couple of weeks, and the best bite is early on cloudy days, with the topwater bite consistent. In recent bass tournaments on Millwood Lake over last few weeks, anglers have weighed-in several bass over 9 pounds, including a few in the 10-and 11-pound class.

Best activity continues being seen in early mornings near flats of 3-8 feet deep, where a creek meanders through the flat. Fresh lily pad blooms, stumps and vegetation are holding fish. Various topwater baits will get a reaction early, including frogs, Spit’n Images, Dying Flutters, soft plastic jerkbaits, 5-inch Bass Assassin Shads and buzzbaits and drawing reactions from 2- to 4 -pounders from 1-8 feet of depth at dawn and dusk.
Once the sun gets up above the treeline, switch over to a Brazalo Stutterbait Chatterbait with a 3.5-inch Bass Assassin Lit’L Boss swimbait trailer in Spot Remover, white/chartreuse, or Millwood Mayhem Bream to draw a reaction near stumps. For deeper sections of the creek after the sun gets high, a Bill Lewis crankbait like the ATV, MR-6, and SB-57 MDJ crankbait square bills will continue getting random reaction bites from active roaming bass in the creek channels or near drops from the flats into 8- to 10-feet depth structure.
Fat, jumbo Southern Indiana Bait Company’s 4.25-inch Monster Bass Tubes on a light wire jig head or Texas rig in black/blue or green pumpkin/purple, Brush Hogs in watermelon magic, 10-inch Power Worms in blue fleck or black, fished near stumps, lily pads, buckbrush and cypress trees, will draw a reaction from 3- to 5-pound largemouth bass. The best water clarity continues to be more reliable in the oxbows of McGuire Oxbow and Clear Lake, and the bass activity levels are drastically better. Water clarity in Mud Lake and Horseshoe Lake oxbows continues to improve over the past couple weeks. Bang Skunk Apes, Woopah Craws, Salty Rat Tail baits, jumbo magnum 8-inch lizards and Brush Hogs continue taking some decent 14- to 17-inch bass roaming flats in the back of the oxbows near stumps, cypress knees and lily pads. In and near shallow stumps, cypress knees, and cover around 5-8 foot depth flats with vegetation like fresh lily pad blooms, you can get a reaction to a topwater frog or jerkbait at daylight.
* Little River has improved clarity and the white bass bite over the past couple weeks and the reduced current has clarity much improved on primary or secondary points. White bass are roaming back down Little River to their summer spots in the main lake, but pausing on these points in the process, and roaming in and out of creek dumps, too. 

The deeper running Fat Free Guppy crankbaits in Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad, or the Bill Lewis MR-6 Crankbaits in Tennessee Shad and Millwood Magic, also along with Little George’s, little Rocket Shads and red/white Rooster Tails, continued working last week. Random and broken schools are pausing their annual migration back down river and stopping in Little River where primary or secondary points intersect with creek mouths dumping into the river, and with reduced current their activity level, have improved reacting to crankbaits and spoons.
* Crappie continue to improve over the past few weeks with water clarity improving in many locations. Locating planted brush piles in Pugh Slough, Horseshoe, Bee Lake, Millwood State Park or Saratoga continue to hold nice 12- to 15-inch crappie, and gave up some nice 2-pound slabs over the past few weeks. The crappie are best using minnows one day and jigs the next, or jigs tipped with a minnow, in planted brush piles 10-16 feet of depth. Best color jig over the past week was Monkey Milk one day, Electric Chicken the next, while smoke-colored grubs with a chartreuse tip tail on a light wire jighead would pick up a few extra bites.
* We are getting reports from bream anglers along the river that they are having good success from bream in a spawning frame of mind near Jack’s Isle and Hurricane Creek over the past few weeks. We spoke with several bream fishermen and they were having fair results using red worms, grasshoppers and crickets around cypress trees near Jack’s Isle.
* No reports on catfish.

(updated 6-6-2024) 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 this week noted that the two-day Mr. Bass of Arkansas Championship Classic on Millwood June 1-2 produced some impressive totals of black bass. Jeffrey Grappe won the event with a two-day stringer of 29.09 pounds. Fifteen anglers caught more than 20 pounds over the two days. Cole Lamb was second with 27.33 pounds. The average fish weighed among the competitors was 2.05 pounds. There were 355 bass released out of the 360 caught.
Grappe caught a 9.31-pound fish as part of his winning catch, this coming on Saturday when his five-bass stringer led the way with 16.40 pounds. Five-bass limits were caught by 37 of the 56 anglers participating on Saturday.


Lake Columbia
No reports.


Lake Erling
(updated 6-6-2024) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) said anglers in recent weeks have been catching lots of crappie, bream and catfish, and they’re hauling in some black bass, too. Lots of good-sized bream and a lot of redear, some ranging a pound to a pound and a half., were being caught.
The crappie are around structure, and most recently they were being caught in 6-16 feet depth. Use hand-tied jigs.

Many flathead catfish were being caught on limblines.


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 reports.


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

(updated 6-20-2024) John Duncan of YoYo Guide Service (870-942-6291 or at Iron Mountain Marina says, “Well, it’s getting hot! Water level is 407.19 feet msl at this writing. Surface water temperature is in the high 80s.

“Full moon coming, so get ready to find those bream beds. They are there. I found several. They are all over the lake. Side scan for the ‘waffle’. Drop-shot, slip bobber, worms or crickets. It is about to be on again.

“I think the ‘big bite’ that we have been experiencing on crappie on the brush piles seems to be over. My experience tells me that when the water gets this hot, the crappie begin to move. They are in the standing timber now. That means forward-facing sonar and casting jigs or one-poling for them. Jig profile comes into a great effect this time of year. Think small. There are suspended crappie in the open water and on the sides of some piles.

“There are still bream, bass and catfish in the brush piles for the kids.

“Getting hot. Hydrate, watch for others who need help.”

(updated 6-20-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said, “The fishing report for what I am doing on these three lake — Ouachita, Hamilton and DeGray — is the same: Starting early at first-light is key. We’ve been casting spoons for schools of breaking bass. Then trolling crankbaits across points for more bass and an occasional walleye.”


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


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


South-Central Arkansas

White Oak Lake Area
No reports.


West-Central Arkansas

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

(updated 6-20-2024) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 64 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Both lakes Hamilton and Catherine are at normal summertime pool. Before fishing below a hydroelectric dam, it is a good idea to check the weekly generation schedules and plan your outings accordingly. The Entergy website features a hydroelectric page for the general public to view current lake levels and conditions. This website has been down for several weeks for upgrades to be installed, but should be back online soon. 

Below Carpenter Dam, fly-fishermen can still wade to areas that hold 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 cast with a small bobber or fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater can 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. 

Conditions are favorable now for trolling to be effective against the current. Catching a limit of rainbow trout as the middle of June commences should be considered a good day on the water, as the bite is very inconsistent and short in duration.
The walleye spawn is long complete on Lake Catherine, but numbers of male and female walleye remain to rest and feed before making the move downstream to the main body of Lake Catherine. 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. 

As temperatures warm and threadfin shad aren’t stunned by cold 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 proven difficult to catch this entire year. Trout can be caught but not in the numbers that are expected in past years. Normal pool levels will bring a more consistent bite from the rainbow trout population. Patience is a must this year for anglers to have success due to the flooding and heavy flows the lake has experienced. 

Catfish are spawning in the tailrace from the bridge to the dam and can be caught on cut bait fished on the bottom. These fish will in the tailrace the entire month of June and offer anglers a hearty fight and some wonderful table fare. 

The heat of summer brings striper action closer to Carpenter Dam as these large predator fish search for prey and cooler temperatures. Alabama rigs and large topwater lures work well when the turbines are running, which is a key ingredient for success when attempting to catch these wary predators. 

Entergy is scheduling a weekend release below Carpenter Dam from noon until 5 p.m. on select Saturday and Sunday mornings, which is keeping tailrace temperatures down and reducing moss growth, which is rampant below the dam. Always wear a life jacket when on the water and remember to follow all park and boating regulations. Pick up after yourself, as the number of trash cans are limited in this area. Always cooperate with all wildlife officials and law enforcement. 


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

No reports.


Lake Hamilton
(updated 6-20-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said, “The fishing report for what I am doing on these three lake — Ouachita, Hamilton and DeGray — is the same: Starting early at first-light is key. We’ve been casting spoons for schools of breaking bass. Then trolling crankbaits across points for more bass and an occasional walleye

“Stay safe on the water. Start early because summertime pleasure boating on Hamilton is upon us anglers.”


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 6-6-2024) Sheila Ferrebee, owner of Carter Cove Bait-N-More (479-272-4025), says a lot of catfish are being caught. Quite a few anglers are out trying for crappie. Some who know the spots are having good luck (one angler caught 16 crappie in the brush); others are not — the lake is in a drawdown until October. Anglers are buying pounds and pounds of No. 6 crappie minnows.

A catfish angler had six or seven flathead catfish in the boat, one of which was 52 pounds measured at the dock. Try goldfish or other live bait for the catfish.

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 6-20-2024) 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 or a Texas- rigged Ole Monster near brush. Walleye are still very good and being caught on nightcrawlers near structure with a drop-shot rig. Stripers are very good. These fish are being caught in the central and eastern portion of the lake and can be caught on umbrella rigs or live bait. Bream are very good and being caught on crickets and worms in the 15-25 foot range. Crappie are still fair. Try minnows or small jigs over structure in the 15-20 foot range. For catfish try stink bait or cut bait on a rod and reel set up in the 10- to 20-feet range, especially near structure and brush.
Water temperature is ranging 80-86 degrees. The clarity is clear. Lake level at midweek was 577.34, still less than a foot below normal conservation pool. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 6-20-2024) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said, “The fishing report for what I am doing on these three lake — Ouachita, Hamilton and DeGray — is the same: Starting early at first-light is key. We’ve been casting spoons for schools of breaking bass. Then trolling crankbaits across points for more bass and an occasional walleye.”

(updated 6-6-2024) Philip Kastner of Trader Bill’s Outdoors in Little Rock and Hot Springs noted earlier this week on “The Wild Side” on KABZ, 103.7 The Buzz, the amazing stringers of bass caught on Ouachita last week in the Trader Bill’s Team Trail senior high tournament. Grayson Goss and Wally Wilcox caught a two-day total of 27.27 pounds. “That’s an incredible stringer,” Kastner said. Hunter Sanders and Zane Cox edged out Cole McNeely and Cole Martin for second, 22.98 pounds over two days to 22.29 pounds.

Kastner recently noted that for best success, anglers should “pay close attention to lake levels. With all the rain and storms we’re getting, you’ve got a lot of things to deal with. And, for the most part, all of Arkansas’s central lakes are at full pool. It’s rare to see this many lakes where they are right now. Ouachita, DeGray…. are all at full pool.”

For Free Fishing Weekend, Kastner says, “It’s all about bream fishing — whether you’re using crickets, nightcrawlers or whatever, as long as the kids are having fun.”


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.


Horseshoe Lake
(updated 6-20-2024) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) is back on the lake and reports that Horseshoe’s water temperature is in the low 80s and the water is clear on the western arm and a little cloudy on the eastern arm. The water level is near normal for this time of year.
Crappie are slow, he said. “We had problems getting bigger fish to commit and bite a bait. Small fish would bite a jig, but they didn’t hit it hard. We probably caught 30 fish and only had five that would be 10 inches or over. The pads are where the most action is. Fish on piers were difficult.”

Kent had no reports on black bass or catfish. Bream are slow. “We used a small one-sixteenth-ounce jig with a waxworm and only caught about 15, and they were small.”


Cook’s Lake
(updated 6-20-2024) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) reports that the water level has fallen drastically in the last week fishing remains poor at best. He is hearing this trend for White River lakes from Newport all the way south of Cook’s Lake, though he’s not sure what’s going on.

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.


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

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter E-mails

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