Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
Aug. 12, 2020
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Aug. 12, 2020. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email email@example.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might 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. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second. All Corps of Engineers lake and river readings were taken at 10 a.m. the day of publication.
* Buy an Arkansas Fishing License by clicking here. Your purchase of a Fishing License helps support the AGFC’s work in maintaining the fishing resources throughout the state.
Quick links to regions:
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
NOTE: Employees and contractors with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are conducting herbicide applications to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir through September. The herbicides cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate for lawn or garden use with water from the lake until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake, restricting access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hindering native wildlife and fish populations. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.
(updated 8-12-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is in its typical stain clarity and is at a normal level. Bream are continue to bite well, with redworms, crickets and hand-tie jigs all being used. Crappie reports have been fair; try crappie minnows or small jigs for best results. Black bass are good. Anglers are using a variety of baits still: spinnerbaits, plastic worms, topwater lures, frogs, buzzbaits, chatterbaits and jigs. Catfish are good using stink bait, dough bait, nightcrawlers, goldfish, trotline minnows and small bream.
(updated 8-12-2020) Angler Dennis Charles reports that bass are excellent early and late; they love frothing the water, it’s party time, go see what you can feed them. Anglers are finding success using spinnerbaits, plastic worms, topwaters, chatterbaits, buzzbaits, frogs and jigs. Bream are good all over, fish with redworms or crickets. Crappie are poor, see what you can do to catch a few. Catfish continue to be slow, go to deep water. Dennis says lake clarity is up to 10 feet in spots, those big bass come out of the grass, wink and run back in. Follow Dennis at his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Conways-Lake-Beaverfork-Fishing-Reports-111202737334235) for the latest reports out of Beaverfork.
Little Red River
(updated 8-12-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the Little Red River is receiving a few hours of afternoon generation each day. This pattern provides wading opportunities on the upper river in the mornings and lower river in the afternoons. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends midges, pheasant tails, hare’s ears, sowbugs and streamers. Hot pink bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin-fishing Be safe while enjoying the river. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 8-12-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the generation patterns have been mixed this week, with one-unit and two-unit generation both being used. The schedule for today (Wednesday) shows two units from 2-6 p.m. It is always best to check the schedule for the next day when planning your trip. Greg says, “We have had about 1 inch of rain so far with light rain expected (Wednesday). The river is slightly colored (Wednesday) morning in some areas due to the rain but fishable. The generation this afternoon should clear these areas.”
He says the bite has continued on the mayfly nymphs, emergers and midge pupa. Go with mostly nymphs and pupa unless you’re in an area with rising fish, then the emerger is a good choice.
“My fishermen have taken a few browns lately, with a 17-inch and 20-inch fish being the largest. Mostly rainbows in the 12- to 15-inch range.
“The river is a good place to enjoy the outdoors, and because so many are being confined more due to the virus it can get crowded on the weekends. Many come just to kayak, canoe or boat ride, which is fine, but please give the fishermen as wide a berth as possible – the trout don’t appreciate noise and boats passing overhead. While motoring, please slow down to an idle when passing other boats that are fishing and any occupied docks because your wake can be dangerous to anchored boats or people standing in boats or on docks while fishing. This also should be observed when passing kayaks and canoes.
“Another good rule is to pass behind boat fishermen when possible. This does not disturb the area where they are fishing. River etiquette and courtesy will be appreciated by others and make your day more enjoyable.”
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.35 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 8-12-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level before the rain was at 460.16 feet msl, or 2.38 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet msl, and will rise just a tad after rain; but after that it will be going back down with evaporation and generation pretty fast due to the hot weather. As for catching fish, one thing you can count on in the summer is, if you don’t take a lot of variables into play and play them right, the conditions are tough. They are tough anyway unless weather helps you like Tuesday’s rain for a super good bite. We want to thank our AGFC personnel for being able to get all the OKs and the though process to get the grass started here, and good news is the first of it has lived through the transition from cold water to hot water here, so we look forward to good things to come with our fishery.
Tommy adds, “Crappie are piled up in this thing from bottom to the top. Troll or vertical-fish for them with Road Runners, live bait, jigs or crankbaits, and target 15-40 feet.” He said walleye have slowed due to weather and water temps but can be caught on a grind with dragging crawlers and spoons, or reaction with a crankbait; target 18-43 feet. Bream are good shallow out to 26 feet on crickets and crawlers. Catfishing is going strong. Not a lot of people are fishing for them right now because of hot weather and their freezers are already full. Use whatever bait or technique you enjoy catching them with. Hybrid and white bass are eating live bait, inline spinners, grubs, swimbaits, Largo Super Spinners and the like all over lake and rivers, with the best bite down lake at present. Stay around the shad and keep all conditions in mind while trying to catch them, and seek out 25-85 feet of water. Black bass are eating C-rigs, Texas-rigs, football heads, wacky rigs, jighead worms, spinnerbaits, topwater baits, frogs and such at a lot of depths – super shallow out to 43 feet.
(updated 8-5-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the water is normal, perhaps slightly low, and clear. Black bass are biting well in the early mornings and late evenings on Carolina rigs, deep-diving crankbaits and big swimbaits in 20 feet of water.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 8-12-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reports clarity is “a little dingy” while the lake level is low. Bream in nice sizes are being caught in shallow water using redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair, with the best fishing coming in the early mornings in deeper areas. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good. Topwaters are working well in the early mornings, while the rest of the day the best bet is going with plastic worms in watermelon red colors. Catfish are good; several 6- to 8-pound catfish were caught recently. They’re being caught on trotlines baited with small bream or perch, shad, or goldfish.
NOTE: Employees and contractors with the AGFC are conducting herbicide applications to Overcup through September. The herbicides cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate for lawn or garden use with lake water until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake and, if left uncontrolled, could restrict access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hinder native wildlife and fish populations.
(updated 8-12-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said Overcup remains “nice and clear.” The level has dropped to 8-12 inches below normal. Bream are fair but appear to be slowing down a bit. Redworms and crickets have worked best. Crappie also are fair but slowing. They’re in deeper water these days. Use minnows, or try a jig with a pink head and chartreuse body. Black bass are good, with nice-size bass being caught lately. Best fishing is off the shore with spinnerbaits. Catfishing has been excellent. Randy reports several nice-size catfish caught, including one 30-pounder hauled in this past week. Shad, large shiners and bass minnows will all attract the catfish bite.
(updated 8-12-2020) Johnny “Catfish” Banks of Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said the water level is down about 1 foot below pool. Surface temperature is around 88 degrees. Clarity is good but has a lot of green moss in shallow water. Bass are doing well around the brushtops on plastic worms and frogs. Bream are doing well on crickets and worms. Catfish are doing well on jugs and trotlines using perch and hot dogs. Crappie are slow but anglers are still catching some good ones in 12-14 feet of water 3-5 feet down.
Johnny adds, “I want everyone to know that it’s been really warm and not a lot of people have been out. Thanks for your business and stay safe.”
(updated 7-29-2020) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303), said the lake remains stained and is at a normal level. Bream are biting well on worms. They are on the shoreline and around brush. Crappie are fair. You’ll find them 10 feet down around underwater brushpiles. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are in the shallows and the bite is good. Use spinnerbaits, buzzbaits or frogs. Catfishing is good on jugs baited with goldfish or using Danny King’s Punch Bait. White bass are being caught now, with good results on topwater baits during the day.
(updated 8-14-2020) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland said the water is warm and the fishing has been slow. Water temperature is in the 90s. Largemouth bass bite is fair. Some can be found outside the grass in 10-15 feet, so most are moving into deeper water biting a variety of lures. Try using drop-shots, swimbaits, deep crankbaits and spinnerbaits. The Kentucky bass (spotted bass) bite is also fair, with some reports of them being found in 15-20 feet off drops and rocky banks. The better bass bite of this week helped on Tuesday njight as Noah White and Greg White caught 12.94 pounds of bass, edging Cameron Nesterenko and Andrew Wooley’s 12.43 pounds; Nesterenko and Wooley found the 4.74 Big Bass, though.
The white bass bite is still slow. Some can be found in 20-22 feet in or around the channel. Use minnows, Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are fair. Reports have them being found in 22-25 feet. Some can still be found scattered, mixed in with the whites. Go with jigs and minnows. Bream fishing is back to great. They can be found on windy points by drop-offs in 12-16 feet of water. Try using crickets, worms and beetle spins. Catfishing is good on chicken liver, nightcrawlers and baitfish.
For information on fishing the Tuesday night tournaments, call the marina.
(updated 8-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said this lake is best for catfish. “Fresh chicken livers seem to do very well here,” she said. “I also have some anglers that catch them on bait shrimp and stink bait.” Bream have been good on crickets and redworms. Bass have been hitting spinnerbaits, plastic worms and brooder minnows. Crappie have been slow but are deep, with No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows working.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 8-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says some decent-size catfish been caught off of fresh chicken livers as well as on cut baits, too. Some big bass have been caught off of brooder minnows and plastics, too. Bream are very good off of crickets. Meanwhile, crappie have been slow, but some are being caught off of No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 8-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says bass have been good on brooder minnows, plastic worms and Brush Hogs. Catfish have been doing well on trotlines baited with goldfish or black salties. Crappie are being caught in the deeper holes with No. 6 crappie minnows. Bream have been abundant off of crickets. Gar, too, have been very active and fun to catch.
As for hot spots outside her area that she’s heard about, Lisa said, “I have had several customers catching some slab crappie off of the No. 12 bass minnows and also some huge bream on crickets at Lake Nimrod.
(updated 8-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some late-night fishing by a couple of her regulars has been providing them some slab crappie using No. 6 crappie minnows. Not only have the big redear bream been good out there, but the big bluegill also are biting redworms. The redear have been caught off of crickets drop-shotting them. Bass have been good on Zing Tails, plastic worms and brooder minnows. Catfish have been good off of cut bait, black salties and nightcrawlers.
(updated 8-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some huge catfish have been caught off of bream, goldfish and black salties. Bream are excellent off of crickets and redworms. Bass are good on minnows. Crappie have been good off of No. 6 crappie minnows and also No. 12 bass minnows.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 8-5-2020) Charlie Hoke at Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said the black bass are mainly being caught in the early morning on topwater baits, and jitterbugs “seem like doing pretty good,” he said, as well as spinnerbaits going across the water. Then, as the day moves on, they’re going down around the jetties, and anglers are using medium-diving pearl- or shad-colored crankbaits. The bass bite is fair, not great, he said.
Catfish are being caught in the early morning on the grass lines with shad mainly. Later on, anglers are drift-fishing for them using a shad/nightcrawler combination. Catfish catches have been good.
Bream are biting on the grass lines and under the over hangs mostly in the early morning. Crickets will work then. As the day progresses, bream go to the jetties and drop down off the grass line a little bit. Use a black Rooster Tail there.
No report on crappie. No report on stripers. White bass are schooling and are at the mouths of creeks early and late. Shad-colored and pearl-colored crankbaits are the way to go for white bass. Catches have been good.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 8-12-2020) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the water is clear, at a normal level and hot. Black bass are doing pretty well in the early mornings and late evenings, he said. Otherwise, there was little else to report as Ray says he has not talked to anyone who has been fishing.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 28,884 cfs.
(updated 8-12-2020) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) had no new reports.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 28,411 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 37,026 cfs.
(updated 8-12-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river is slightly stained by clearing up. Water level and current are normal. The river was flowing at 30,000 cfs as of early Tuesday afternoon. Black bass are good on Bandit 200 Crankbaits along the main river jetties. Also, they’re biting well on finesse jigs and shaky heads on main river current breaks, and for anglers getting out in the early morning or late afternoon, the bass will hit buzzbaits and topwaters. Bream are good on redworms; fish the entrances to the backwaters.
(updated 8-12-2020) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reports that black bass fishing is fair with crawdad-colored crankbaits working best on the main river. Catfishing is fair below the Murray Lock and Dam and the hydroelectric plant, with shad being the best bait. Bream are good in 4-5 feet depth in the river backwaters; use redworms or waxworms. Crappie have been fair off the jetties at a depth of 10-12 feet; use minnows or jigs.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas-River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-5-2020) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says the lake is clear and at a normal level. Bream reports are good, with both worms and crickets working well. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good using spinnerbaits and crankbaits, as well as worms. Catfish reports were good; no word on the bait used.
(update 8-12-2020) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) had no report.
(updated 8-12-2020) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “Last week’s rain lowered the air temperature a little and offered an extra advantage to the anglers: Overcast skies provide the best time for pulling in a brown or two. Bull Shoals Lake level is gradually dropping – current lake elevation is 684 feet msl, about 23 feet from desired power pool – and releases have remained at an average of 13,000 cfs, about four units. Anglers are regularly pulling in 12- to 13-inch rainbows, making for great action and wonderful memories, often using a bubblegum pink XFactor scented egg, with or without a morsel of shrimp added to the mix. Some of the guides say you can’t beat the real thing: Soft-shell live crawdads are their favorite bait for the early morning hours.
“With the river still at consistent mid-level flows, smaller gold or silver/blue spoons have been doing well off the riverbank. Jig fishing in the deeper holes has also been very popular with olive or orange/brown jigs pulling in the trout. Come on over and bask in a little of the great outdoors. There’s no greater Great Outdoors than here in the Arkansas Ozarks.”
(updated 8-12-2020) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) says the water is still running, and they expect that to be the case until October. Rainbows are getting pretty big, they say; some 30-60 fish that were caught by one group were over 14 inches (of course, only one over 14 inches can be kept per angler, so those fish are still out there). Most people are drift-fishing, but the fly-fishing isn’t too bad, they say. Clarity for the river is “really good,” and the level is high with eight generators running round-the-clock from Bull Shoals Dam.
(updated 8-12-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said that during the past week they had a few minor rain events (combined for about a quarter of an inch), warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.9 foot to rest at 24.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 9.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 1.3 feet to rest at 0.6 foot above seasonal power pool and 13.4 feet above the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 3.9 feet above seasonal power pool and 4.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The White saw moderate generation in the morning and heavy generation in the afternoon. There was no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.1 feet to rest at 13.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 10.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had low flows overnight and heavy flows during the day. Most of the lakes in the White River system are still near the top of flood pool. Expect heavy generation and no wadable water into the fall.
John says, “The grass hopper bite is upon us. Use a shorter leader and bang the bank. My favorite fly is a western pink lady size 8. Add a dropper (size 14 pheasant tail nymph) to increase your catch.”
He adds, the White has fished well. “The lower flows we have had in the morning have been extremely productive. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals.” Hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a cerise San Juan worm with a girdle bug suspended below it.)
John has more on the girdle bug. “One of the things I do when I am at the ramp preparing my boat to launch is to talk to the other guides going through the same ritual. The first thing I ask is what their hot fly is. I do this for two reasons: First I want to know what is working for them. It may be a fly that I have never heard of or an old standard. If it is the same fly that I am using, it lends confidence to my own selection. If it is a different fly than I am using, I will try it later in the day if my choice is not working. Second, I need this information for my weekly fishing report.
“For the past few months on this never-ending high water, I have been talking to guides that have been using girdle bugs. I had fished them out west but never had much luck with them. I decided to give them a chance and experimented with them on Dry Run Creek. I had immediate success and added them to my Dry Run creek fly box. I also gave my wife, Lori, a few to fish with. She has had similar success.
“A girdle bug is basically a Woolly Bugger with a rubber tail and rubber legs but no marabou tail or hackle. It reminds me of a Bream Killer. I tie mine with a copper bead, variegated chenille (black/tan) and barred round rubber (copper and brown). It is a pretty easy tie. The trick is to get the rubber on straight.
“Lori and I had a guide trip last week with Tom and Katrina, a nice couple from northern Georgia. I started off with my old standard, egg patterns suspended below red San Juan worms (spaghetti and meat balls). It was not working. I remember talking to a guide at the ramp about fishing girdle bugs. I changed one of them over and it quickly produced trout. We changed the other angler over and both began doing well.
“The problem was that the girdle bug was a bottom grabber. It was heavily weighted on a large hook with a big gap. It seemed to look for something to imbed itself into besides big fish. Over the course of a half day I lost a dozen flies. At the end of the day I was completely out of girdle bugs.
“On one occasion, Katrina told me she was hung up. While she let out line I quickly started my motor and headed upstream. As we went up to back the hook out, she wound in her line. When we reached the hang-up, she tugged and tugged but could not free it. I reached down and grabbed the line and began bringing it in hand over hand. I felt some resistance. When I got to the leader I looked down and saw a fat 21-inch rainbow on the end of the line. About this time it freed itself and swam off. That was the best hang-up ever.
“As I write this I am surrounded by my fly-tying gear and the materials necessary to tie them. When I first went to tie them I thought it would be an easy job. I have a huge inventory of tying material in my house and surely had the stuff to tie this simple fly. I was wrong. I have been back to the fly shop twice to get the right chenille and rubber legs and can now begin to tie. I have a guide trip tomorrow and better get to tying.
“The trick to catching fish is the have the right fly. Right now that is the girdle bug.”
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 684.09 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.20 feet msl). Table Rock Lake above Bull Shoals on Wednesday was at 916.84 feet msl (normal conservation pool is 917.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-12-2020) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock reports that the Army Corps of Engineers continues to allow limiting access to ramps and parking; customers/boaters/anglers should call first, especially on weekends. Del says the bass bite has changed a little. The Corps is pumping water out of the lake, and the water being 25 feet high this past week has fish moving out on the points, and there are baitfish suspended deep off the points. Del says that if it’s hot, go deep. If it’s cloudy and windy, go shallow. Use topwater baits in the mornings. Berkley Wake Bait, poppers, a Whopper Plopper, buzzbait or chatterbaits are best for powerfishing shallow if it’s cloudy or stormy. Target shallow flats close to old creek channels with shad.
During the day, smallies and spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are stacked out on main and secondary points, sunken islands, humps, channel swing bluffs and bluff ends. With shad present, fish position will change depending on sun, wind, current, clouds, etc. Still a lot of places for them to hide with high water, so keep it moving. Use a big worm in sunken trees, near ledges, or a half-ounce jig in green pumpkin orange or green pumpkin blue in 18-28 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are at gravel banks, boat ramps and old roads. Drag baits like the Ned rig, Hula Grubs, tubes, the Lil’ McMinnow, and fish a drop-shot suspenders off bluff points, main lake points and hump islands at 26-32 feet depth.
Lake clarity is dingy to clear, while the surface water temperature is 85 degrees. Lake level is 25 feet high and falling. Visit Del’s YouTube page (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for video with more information and tips on fishing Bull Shoals Lake.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 568.19 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept., 555.95 feet msl).
(updated 8-5-2020) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said, “Norfork Lake continues to frustrate me. One day you can catch your limit in minutes, then you only catch one or two stripers. After a couple of days of catching only a few fish, Tuesday was the exception – the stripers and hybrids went crazy in Hand Cove area. Acres of hybrids and stripers were feeding from 20-40 feet and it only took 20 minutes to catch a limit. What’s crazy is the first fish we caught were in 70 feet of water and we caught it at 60 feet. Right now you have to fish all the water columns within a four-hour trip.
“Today I left the dock at 4:30 a.m. and had poles in the water by 4:45 a.m. We fished for almost an hour and were on hundreds of stripers but did not get a bite. I moved to my second spot and found hundreds of hybrids feeding at 30 feet. We caught one quickly but we spent over an hour following the school but only caught a short striper. They would not bite. Some of the problems are all the short storms and fronts and the full moon. Stripers are like deer – they will feed all night on a full moon. We caught a nice striper, and at 8:30 a.m. at our fourth spot, again we were all over the stripers but we could not get them to hit. If we did not have the hot weather it probably would be better to fish in the afternoon.”
Tom says the thermocline is at 25 feet and they are seeing stripers at all water columns. “Some of this to feed on crawdads and the other is to find better oxygen. You will see a lot more of this as we move into August,” he said.
(updated 8-12-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 1.1 feet to rest at 13.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 10.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had low flows overnight and heavy flows during the day. Most of the lakes in the White River system are still near the top of flood pool. Expect heavy generation and no wadable water into the fall.
The Norfork is fishing well. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during flooding of the past two years. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try an egg pattern 18 inches below a cerise San Juan worm. The fishing is better in the morning.
Dry Run Creek is fishing well. With summer here there is a lot of pressure. Fish early or late to avoid the crowds. The Norfork National Fish Hatchery is closed so there are no open restrooms there. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12), various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10) and mop flies.
Remember that the White River, Norfork tailwater and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 8-12-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,125.01 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl).
(updated 8-12-2020) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake levels remain above normal and water temps are in lower 80s. Clarity is stained in river arms and fairly clear on the dam end. Stripers continue a good bite very early in the morning. You better be there at 5:30 a.m. to get on the bite. There is a short topwater bite that lasts for an hour or so. Zara Spooks, Redfins and Pencil Poppers are working during the flurry. Look at Point 5 to the dam on main lake points and flats for the fish. Find the bait and the fish will be nearby. Crappie are fair with pulled cranks and jigs fished in brush. You can grind out a limit. Bass are schooled up chasing shad and are on an early/late bite. Walleye are hit and miss with a fair number of shorts being caught on trolled cranks and crawler harnesses. Look to all major windswept points in 25-35 feet of water. Catfish are good on all methods. “We caught some nice cats pulling live bait for stripers recently,” Jon says. “Feel free to hit me up for info and guided trips on Facebook at Jon Conklin FishOn Guides.”
(updated 7-29-2020) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said that fishing under the lights continues to produce good results. The lake is clear and while Beaver Lake remains above normal, it is coming down. Bream fishing is fair; use redworms or crickets. Crappie are good. Some crappie are in the cover and some are being caught in open water. Minnows, jigs, crankbaits, trolling and spider-rigging, are working. Black bass are good. Go with topwater baits in the morning, switch to a shaky head during the day. Various baits continue to work at night, but jigs seem to be as close to a sure thing as there is. Catfishing is good. Chicken liver or live bait is best on trotlines or jugs.
(updated 8-12-2020) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says the river is returning to normal levels and temperatures. Most of the trout are upstream past Spider Creek. So if you have been fishing in a boat that has a pretty deep draft, you will no longer be able to make it upriver, as some areas are only inches deep. With that being said, the trout bite has been pretty good. Most are being caught on various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. Spoons and micro jigs have also produced good numbers. If you looking for walleye, white bass or Kentucky bass, you need to locate the warmer water. Try fishing structure, chunk rock and flats. Jigging live minnows and throwing soft and hard plastics have produced the most. If you can find the baitfish, you will find the fish! “That’s all I have to report,” he said. “As always, have fun, stay safe and catch some fish!
War Eagle Creek/Beaver Lake Area
(updated 8-12-2020) Loy Lewis with War Eagle Creek Outfitting (479-530-3262) had no recent reports. Follow War Eagle Creek Outfitting on Facebook for photos; call 479-530-3262 for guided trips and for free water access and parking.
(updated 8-12-2020) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the lake remains murky and is back up to a high level. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie reports are poor. Black bass are good using plastic worms and topwater baits. Catfishing is good; use nightcrawlers, glow worms and regular catfish bait.
(updated 8-12-2020) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says the lake clarity is “average.” Water level remains normal. Bream fishing continues to be excellent, with the catches still coming near the shoreline. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie tailed off a little from the excellent bite of a week ago, and they’re now good. Minnows and slow-moving crankbaits have been working best. Black bass improved this week to good; use spinnerbaits or plastic worms.. Catfishing is fair, and worms and stink bait will work best.
(updated 8-12-2020) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) says the lake is “pretty clear” and the level is low by about a half-foot. Bream continue to bite well. Redworms, crickets and nightcrawlers are all working. The best locations for bream fishing has been all around the docks and off the points. The crappie bite has fallen off, with poor reports this week. Black bass are good in the early mornings and late in the evening. Use topwater baits or jigs. Catfishing is good using worms.
(updated 8-12-2020) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the state park “had two young men camping with us this last weekend. They caught a 20-pound flathead with a pole and a worm. They also caught a nice batch of catfish using jugs.”
She adds that the bream are biting “anything you throw at them. No big ones were reported.” Bream can be caught around brushpiles, stumps and rocky points. Worms, crickets and jigs were all recommended. Worms, blood bait, stink bait and chicken liver will all work for the good catfish bite. She had no reports on crappie or bass.
Surface temperature Sunday morning was 70 degrees. The clarity remains murky and the water level is normal.
(updated 8-12-2020) The lake at Lake Poinsett State Park has been undergoing a two-year renovation with plans to refill it later this year and for fishing to resume at levels far better than in recent years, thanks to improved fish habitat and new underwater structures. The water control structure was also repaired.
(updated 8-12-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is navigable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. Canoe season is here and it can get very crowded, especially on the weekends. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 8-5-2020) Mark Crawford of Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 450 cfs (350 cfs is average), and water clarity has been heavily green tinted. There has still been a lot of rain in the area, keeping the river from getting clear, but it has dropped over a foot in water level from the spring rainy season.
With the water conditions it has been very hard to beat Woolly Buggers for trout. Olive has been the go-to color, with brown being very hot after rains. “We tried some hopper dropper action and have got fish on the droppers but not much on top,” Mark said. For the smallmouth bass, olive skull heads are great and olive Woolies with lead eyes, tied Clouser-style, and of course crawfish patterns. “The smallmouth really like a fast-dropping fly and hit a lot of times on the drop.”
Mark adds, “With the COVID-19 crisis the river has been very busy on the weekend. It is highly recommended that visitors come up and fish through the week to avoid crowds. The Spring River is a quiet place during the week. Above Dam 3 up into town was heavily stocked with really nice trout. Lassiter Walk-In has good trout again. The moss has been thick and heavy this time of year. Fish the open channels. They are watching them.”
For the latest river conditions and more information from Mark, visit his blog at springriverfliesandguides.com.
(updated 8-12-2020) Elizabeth Kimble at Walcott Lake (Crowley’s Ridge State Park) said, from her observations, the fishing for black bass was fair. A couple of anglers Sunday reported catching two bass, both about 10 inches long, on yellow jigs. There were no other catches report.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Wednesday that the White River stage at Batesville was at 9.25 feet, below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. At Newport, the river is at 12.34, more than 13 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is 23.91 feet, more than 2 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet.
(updated 8-12-2020) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville had no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 260.23 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).
(updated 8-12-2020) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Monday the lake is stable and near normal level. The discharge is around 170 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday remained extremely low, around 225 feet msl and falling with low-level discharge. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or the Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates. Millwood State Park and Marina are open. See the COVID-19 related information and camping reservation requirements at www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/millwood-state-park.
Surface temps are stable this week ranging 85-90 degrees. Clarity in the oxbows is improved. Little River normal stain this week with few random broken timber.
As for fishing details:
* Largemouth bass: They have been in their typical summer habits and haunts for last few weeks. Early morning continues to be key for the best bite of the day. Cypress trees / knees near lily pads on shallow flats are drawing top water blow ups early, using soft plastic frogs, Crankbaits, and Stuttersteps in the oxbows. Best activity period remains from dawn to around 10 a.m. Juvenile largemouth are breaking on threadfin shad early mornings in multiple locations, near & in Lily pads for short duration periods. Bass Assassin Shads, Johnson chrome spoons with a short grub trailer, or H&H short-arm spinnerbaits will work through the pads when Bass move into the pads to feed for quick cycles, chasing and busting shad in the pads.
Over the past couple weeks, most Largemouths continue most active feeding at night and at early daybreak for a few hours, in the oxbows of McGuire, Mud, and Horseshoe Lakes. Baby Torpedoes, Spitn’ Images, Stuttersteps and Dying Flutters early in the mornings around standing cypress trees and knees where grass and pads are in close proximity are working for a few fish at daylight. Later as the sun rises, shallow square-bill cranks in Millwood Magic, Splatterback, and Tennessee Shad were drawing random reactions. Bill Lewis Lures’ SB-57 and Echo 1.75 crankbait square bills in Ghost Minnow, Bluegill, and Sneaky Shad and MR-6 Crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic, SplatterBack or Ghost continue getting good responses over the past couple weeks, as the sun rises and the largemouths transition to vertical structure after 9-10 a.m. Target ditches with vertical drops near 3- to 6-feet deep flats that transition into 12- to 14-feet structure. Creek channels dumping into Little River have been holding small schools of juvenile Largemouths from 2-3 pounds (see photos). The points extending into Little River, with large stumps and pads nearby are holding Bass. A few random Bass can still be found well into the creek channel, as long as adequate depth and a fast escape route is close to the points extending into the river.
“Several mornings over the past few weeks we have been catching schooling juvenile 2-3 pound largemouth bass in Mud and Horseshoe oxbows up Little River,” Mike said. SpinTraps in chrome/blue, Rat-L-Traps in Splatter Back or Millwood Magic, Custom painted Little John cranks, and square bills are catching these surface breakers during the shad busting frenzy. Several schools were surface breaking on threadfin Shad, simultaneously over the past few mornings. Clear Baby Torpedoes, Chrome/black Dying Flutters, and Spooks were also catching these schooling juvenile Bass this week at the surface between 6-10 am. Millwood State Park was yielding some nice, healthy 3-5 pound Largemouth over the past weekend.
Texas-rigged Senkos, trick worms, and Salty Rat Tails have been working for a couple weeks, by working randomly near cypress trees and knees Largemouth Bass from 8-12 feet deep. Best colors over the past several weeks have been the watermelon candy, Blue Ice, and June bug/blue tail.
* White bass: Nothing consistent yet. They are hid out deep!
* Crappie: Best bite continues to be early for the past 3-4 weeks. Minnows and jigs have been the most consistent response with minnows having a slight edge, working away from current and flow of Little River, in any clearer water sections of the oxbows and Millwood State Park, and near Okay Landing and Cottonshed areas near cypress trees from 3-5 feet deep and planted brush piles from 8-10 feet of depth. Millwood State Park continues seeing good activity in the pockets and coves near cypress trees and grass from 6-12 feet of depth. River Crappie have not been nearly as consistent as the Oxbows or main lake early. See attached photos from Oxbows and main lake.
* Catfish: Have slowed over the past couple weeks, on tight lines in Little River with reduction of current along Little River. Cut shad or buffalo, Gold fish (Gold Fish available at Millwood State Park Marina), spoiled chicken hearts and gizzards, or Punch baits were working well for 2-4 pound Blues and Channel cats were randomly taking a few but were slow.
* Bream: Report of good Bream activity at Millwood State Park and off the floating dock at Jack’s Isle this week! Slab Mason Bream and Bluegill were hitting red worms, crickets, and Catalpa worms. Good activity for kids to catch a mess of fine eating bluegills.
Lake Greeson Tailwater
Visit www.littlemissouriflyflishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 540.47 feet msl (normal pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 402.42 feet msl (normal pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-12-2020) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Here we go again. Summer heat and slow down. Lots of people are taking advantage of the lower water by catfishing. Stretch your trotline across a stump-filled cove and bait with live bait. Catching them coming in to feed on bream and baitfish. Another way that is showing up is running a trotline with jug floats down the spine of a ridge. (Remember how deep to place it for outboard motor clearance).
“The full moon has passed so the bream should be moving off the beds and back into the brush and piles. Black bass are being caught mixed in with surfacing fish. Surfacing fish are happening all over. However, reports are that more hybrids are in the mid-lake area of Caddo Bend. Topwater while on top (Whopper Plopper or Zara Spook) crankbaits when they are just “dimpling” and, of course, spoons. You can also troll for the fish. Alabama rigs and deep-diving crankbaits shad-colored. Crappie have had a good report. The tournament last weekend produced some good catches. The winners were fishing timber with LiveScope. Go to the YouTube page to view how to do it, if you don’t know. It’s more of hunting fish individually. Great stringers, though.
“Be safe and remember social distancing.”
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.46 feet msl (normal pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 531.07 feet msl (normal pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 8-12-2020) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 65 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy has scheduled an 11 a.m.-11 p.m. generation pattern that has included an open floodgate at times below Carpenter Dam, which has created a dangerous flow. Boaters are cautioned to remain a safe distance from the dam during this time. A routine lackluster summer pattern has set in in the tailrace concerning fish bite patterns. The rainbow trout season is over, with the majority of the year ruined by constant flooding. The stocking program will begin again in late November. Hopefully, the upcoming year will be much better than the last two seasons. While the white bass spawn is over, good numbers of fish remain in the tailrace and are feeding on shad. The size is running small but these fish are actively feeding and are being caught on jigs, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and live minnows. Walleye are also present from the bridge to the dam and being taken on the same presentations. The hot weather draws these fish to the tailrace to feed on shad and crayfish. The hot summer weather has drawn big numbers of freshwater drum into the tailrace. These fish range from 2 pounds to 20 pounds and larger. These fish feed on shad and crawfish and are also caught on nightcrawlers. The strikes are hard and fast and bank fishermen are cautioned not to leave rods unattended. Tackle is easily jerked into the lake by drum that are actively feeding. Little topwater action has been observed around the dam this week, which normally marks the feeding patterns of big stripers that migrate in and out of the area to rest and feed. Hybrid bass often accompany these predator fish and both species can be hooked by casting Super Spooks and weightless jigs in a rainbow trout color. Flow discharges can change rapidly and anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is urged to stay alert and always wear a life jacket when on the water.
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 18,752 cfs.
(updated 8-12-2020) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said the past week saw the area return to hot and humid conditions. An evening storm did arrive this past Thursday. The National Weather Service forecast discussion expects storm chances in the next few days resulting from ongoing convection produced outflow. This weekend a northwestern flow is expected to establish over the area between a high-pressure ridge over the Rockies and a trough above the Ohio River Valley. As a result, some chances for rain can be expected with high temperatures in the low 90s. Upper level flow in the atmosphere will become stagnant again and heat indices over 100 degrees may return for the weekend. The water here has cleared up near the surface and visibility reaches a few feet. Surface temperature Tuesday was 88 degrees. Also as of Tuesday the Army Corps of Engineers last reported river flow at Ozark Lock and Dam increased to 28,000 cfs. River flow did briefly increase to 62,000 cfs last Friday night and then held steady between 35- and 25,000 cfs over the weekend. The Ozark tailwater had risen to 345 feet msl over the past weekend but has since fallen to 339 feet msl. River flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was near 36,000 cfs Tuesday afternoon. It had risen to 86,000 cfs last Saturday morning. Dardanelle tailwater level had briefly risen to 10 feet then, but has since fallen to about 6 feet. The pool elevation near the State Park has been relatively low and is just above 337 feet msl. River flow at both Ozark and Dardanelle has been good considering it’s August, which normally sees the slowest and warmest water. Most, if not all, of the flow at both dams has been through the powerhouses, which have been generating most days. Ozark has been flowing mostly through the powerhouse while Dardanelle has been dividing flow between the spillway and powerhouse.
No fishing tournaments were hosted at Lake Dardanelle State Park this past weekend. Lake Dardanelle State Park continues to comply with state and federal guidelines and directives for social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The status of the facilities continues to be evaluated. In accordance with the governor’s directive, tournament officials are required to submit an event plan and permit application to the Arkansas Department of Health before their event. Tournament officials are also required to present their ADH permit and event plan to Lake Dardanelle State Park and agree to tournament regulations regarding COVID-19. For details or questions contact the visitor center at (479) 967-5516. Be safe while on the river and take time to put a line the water!
(updated 8-12-2020) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton water levels down slightly and water temps hanging in the high 80s throughout the lake, with the exception of the river channel. Largemouth and spotted bass are generally deeper in the water column than they have been (12-22 feet). “It seems to our Greeson anglers that bass are starting their fall pattern of binge feeding a little early this year, for whatever reason that may be. All fish we have caught have had full bellies and a tremendous amount of energy, making angling a lot of fun! Targeting these deeper bass will drop-shot rigs with watermelon or watermelon seed Trick Worms have been the ticket, along with the Ned rig in June bug. Either way you go you will get bit, just stay in areas of deep shade, steep drop-off lines or deep structure!”
Catfish are good as always in areas near or in current. Block cheese and cut bait are the ticket. Bream (bluegill) have been very hungry lately. Crickets, worms and small spinners can put a mess in the pan very quickly. “Good luck, and Go Greeson!”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 344.03 feet msl (normal pool: 344.31 feet msl).
(updated 8-12-2020) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reports fair conditions with the clarity and a surface water temperature Tuesday afternoon of 90 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream catches have been good. The fish remain 3-5 feet deep on the points and the beaches. Use redworms or crickets (more crickets have arrived at the Bait Shop). Crappie are excellent. Best baits for crappie are Beaver Bottoms in purple/chartreuse colors and the Bandit Arkie bait in black/chartreuse colors. Black bass are good. They’re being found mostly in 8-10 feet dept. They’ll hit topwaters, a short worm/grub in purple/chartreuse and black/blue colors, and a purple and red Trick Worm. Also consider a white spinnerbait with gold leaf skirt. Catfish are fair and anglers are finding them coming off of the bottoms. Black salties, goldfish, trotline minnows and trolling are catching the cats.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.20 feet msl (normal pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-12-2020) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are still slow to fair. Big Texas-rigged worms and jighead worms are working best right now. Try red bug, plum or blood line colors. Walleye are still good. Spoons and bottom bouncers with small spinners tipped with a crawler are working best right now. Stripers are fair to good. These fish are being caught on live bait on the east part of the lake. Bream are good with crickets or worms in 15-25 feet of water. Crappie are slow. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 15-25 feet of water. Catfish are fair and being caught with trotlines and jugs. Cut bait and live bait are working best. Water temperature is ranging 80-85 degrees and the clarity is clear. The lake level Tuesday was 573.29 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.36 feet msl (normal pool: 386.36 feet msl).
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday reported the Clarendon gauge at 20.37 feet, well below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 8-12-2020) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) says the fishing is beginning to slow down during the hottest days of the summer. Anglers are still catching bass and bream but the action is slowing down. Black bass are being caught around cypress trees. Target the dead and hollow trees. Most are being caught flipping black and red flake tubes or grape shad worms. Some bass are being picked off with crappie jigs. Bluegill have been fair around laydowns and cypress trees with crickets. They are harder to find now than they were a month ago but anglers that put in several hours still seem to find a mess. Crappie have been hit-or-miss and have not improved since opening day. Try black and chartreuse jigs in hollow cypress trees. “No one has targeted catfish, but they should be biting, too!” Wil says.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Due to current guidelines, Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing during normal business hours Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility impaired, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat, but we ask for trolling motors only. To comply with current guidelines, please call ahead at least a day in advance to register to fish. Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center, and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, call the center at 870-241-3373.
Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 8-5-2020) Natalie Faughn, assistant superintendent at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said Bear Creek Lake has seen some good catfish activity over the last few weeks. They are biting on stink bait or homemade bait, mostly in the cooler hours of the day (early morning or evenings). With the increase in air and surface temperature, most other species have moved into deeper water.
Storm Creek Lake has not had any substantial reports of successful angling.
Remember, the Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center is OPEN and stocked with your fishing needs. Live and artificial bait, hooks, line and other accessories are available.
(updated 8-12-2020) Fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) said had no report.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 8-12-2020) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no reports.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 8-12-2020) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), had no reports.
(updated 8-12-2020) The lake is undergoing a repair to the dam and improvements to the fish habitat and is currently drawn down.
Cane Creek Lake
Northeast Arkansas efforts highlighted at AGFC meeting
Nov. 30, 2023
Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
Nov. 30, 2023
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