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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 11-02-2023


Nov. 2, 2023

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

This tiger trout was caught by Daniel Aistrup near Gaston’s White River Resort. Daniel said the fish was between 20-25 inches in length. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has stocked tiger trout in several location of the White River in recent years. The tiger trout is a hybrid of the brown trout and brook trout.

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 for current news for the lake or stream you plan to fish.

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:

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 10-26-2023) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the crappie are great. They are biting mostly on jigs, while some anglers are catching them on minnows. Crappie are anywhere in the channels and biting. Anglers can still put in at the dam or launch from Adams Lake. Crappie anglers are pretty much getting all their fish in the channel now.
Catfish are still good on bigger worms. Anglers are also catching some bream on redworms; they say they haven’t sold many crickets of late.
“White bass, I can’t keep them off the hook now,” they tell us. For the whites, throw a crankbait or anything shiny. “I’ve been catching on a big white or a shad-colored shallow-diving crankbait. All the fish are all getting centrally located and biting everything you throw into the water.”
A lot of fish have been caught in the past couple of weeks, they report. The lake is getting very low, down over 5 feet from normal level.

The prize for catching a tagged fish in Lake Conway (through Oct. 31) has been raised from $500 to $1,000, but time is running out to catch and make a money claim. There were over 50 fish tagged by the AGFC to aid in research as the lake is drawn down, and two tagged fish were caught when the value was $500 per tag. Many fish were expected to escape from the lake through the Palarm Creek spillway as the lake continues to drop.


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.


NOTICE: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission received multiple requests for information in recent days about the status of the Little Red River and has an update for anglers on the situation.

The Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of replacing components in the switchyard at Greers Ferry Dam, work that prevents the use of the turbines and results in the current low flow situation. This work was started Oct. 10 and was scheduled to be completed Thursday, Oct. 26. The river is not completely without flow. There is a small amount of flow (80-100 cfs) coming from house unit leakage and outflow from the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery.

It is unusual for the flow to be this low going into the annual trout spawning season, but a recent University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff study confirmed spawning starts about mid-October and reaches its peak in December. Based on that work, most fish will not spawn until after this work is completed.

The low flow has also allowed the water temperature in the tailrace to rise. A few fish caught and released always succumb to stress from angling pressure, but rising water temperatures can increase stress and mortality. The most downstream water quality gauge on the Little Red River has indicated water temperatures 65 degrees or lower during the construction. Some exposed shoals may have slightly higher water temperatures, but water in deeper pools should have been cool enough to offer some relief. Until the work is completed, anglers may want to refresh themselves with an article on catch and release fishing written earlier this year.

The AGFC has submitted a request to Southwestern Power Administration that the system receive a flush of water as soon as the work is completed. Any release during this time outside of energy demands would be a courtesy to AGFC and the concerns the agency has expressed. The AGFC hopes SWPA can accommodate this request and looks forward to the timely completion of this needed infrastructure repair.


(updated 11-2-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said that with little release from the dam lately, the bank fishing has been good. There is little to no water to access by boat. But there has been rough water to set up for great wade fishing opportunities using the AGFC walk-in areas such as JFK Park, Libby, Swinging Bridge and Cow Shoals, to name a few.

Trout anglers are mostly catching them on Carolina-rigged PowerBait or on a small Rooster Tail or a small Little Cleo (or small spoon) and a Maribou Jig (anything in olive or white has worked well lately).


(updated 10-26-2023) Mike Winkler of Little Red River Fly Fishing Trips/Little Red River Fly Guides (501-507-3688) said it’s getting close to three weeks now and the Southwestern Power Administration has not run any water on the Little Red River

The river is extremely low and has a brown tinge to it. The last few days have been considerably warm, and with no generation, the water temperature starts to rise. Check the USACE Little Rock app and look at the water temperature before heading out.

Trout get stressed out in the warm water, especially downriver. Keep this in mind and maybe hit the dam or upstream when choosing a spot for fishing.

“The forecast for the next 10 days has rain and colder temperatures moving in. Let’s hope we get that predicted rain,” Mike said.

“With the river being extremely low and not much water to get around or maneuver, I’ve been launching the boat out of Lobo Landing. It has the deepest water on the river.

The best bite is early morning. The hot flies for me have been egg patterns and midges. San Juan Worms have been producing as well. Try fishing the deep water around moss beds. The fish have been concentrated in the deeper water.”


(updated 10-26-2023) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-250-0730) had no new reports. Always check the generation schedule and be aware of unexpected water release. Check before heading to the Little Red River for Greers Ferry Dam water release by downloading the USACE Little Rock app, Corps of Engineers website ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule.


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 11-2-2023) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 453.03 feet msl, 8.37 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. Right now is a great time to check out the lay of land that’s usually underwater — film it or mark it for later when the water gets back up so it can help you understand how the fish set up here for you to catch later. Also, stay away from the tannic-colored water as it is probably in the process of turning over and usually it is about two weeks before fish will settle and eat well again. And wear your life jackets and be safe.
Crappie are as high as 4-5 feet floating around the surface in place, while in other places they are still in 40 feet. Pick your favorite way to catch them and stay with the program with jigs or jigs tipped with minnows. Crankbaits working as well. No reports on catfish other than they are following baitfish around eating what other fish spit up all over the lake and rivers, but jug fishing is a good way to go. Black bass are super shallow out to suspended over 80 feet or sitting on structure in 43 feet. The top, middle or bottom of the water column is working with a lot of different baits. Walleye are still eating — finding them is the ticket now. Try dragging crawlers in 15-45 feet for best results, or use a spoon.
Hybrid bass and white bass are scattered all over the lake and rivers feeding pretty well, and it will be even better soon. They are on top at times, while some are trying to get settled in 33 feet and most are trying to get to 43 feet. When they first get out of deep water they will act kind of crazy like this for a while until they get settled down on the structure they like, close to bait and in the right water conditions. Use spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits and hair jigs for best results and stay around baitfish.


(updated 11-2-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said fishing patterns seem to be the same as they have been for a few weeks. Bass are hitting topwaters mostly. They’re starting to move into the creeks. They’re being found mostly on secondary points and biting there on topwaters and shad-looking baits. Also try a drop-shot around brush for some response. Crappie are also hungry around the brush in 15-20 feet. Some anglers are catching crappie by trolling Bandit crankbaits. No reports on walleye.


Harris Brake Lake
(updated 10-26-2023) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says crappie are moving in and the bite is fair, with the good bite probably still two weeks out, according to anglers. Crappie are being caught before daylight on minnows and Bobby Garland Crappie Jigs. Some catches have been nice-sized, around 14.5 inches. They are being caught just off the shoreline or off the dock next to the bait shop. Also, some boating anglers are catching a few out in the lake.

Catfish of all species are pretty good right now. Most people are catching cats on trotlines baited with minnows or baby bream. The biggest catfish brought in was around 12 pounds. Also, anglers who were trying for crappie off the shoreline were also hooking white bass. Largemouth bass are slow but also should pick up in a couple of weeks. However, one angler did have good success this week using soft-plastic purple worms at night.

The water level is a little bit low.


Lake Overcup
(updated 10-26-2023)
John “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Landing off Arkansas Highway 9 said the water level is about 2.5 feet low. Clarity is murky and the surface water temperature is around 78 degrees. Bream are being caught on redworms and crickets. Bass are doing well on crankbaits and plastic worms off the pier and shoreline in the early morning. Catfish are being caught on yo-yos and jugs using minnows. Crappie are slow but anglers are catching some good ones in 8-10 feet of water using small and medium-sized minnows. Some rain and cooler weather should pick things up.
“Come see us at Overcup Bait Shop off Highway 9,” he said.


Lake Maumelle

(updated 11-2-2023) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported Thursday that fishing has been slow this week on Lake Maumelle and there hasn’t been anyone to ask about how their fishing went. The only word around the dock is that everything is slow and the fish are scattered. Water level is 4.5 low, too. Water temperature has dropped into the mid-60s.

Before this cold spate this week, the largemouth bass bite had slowed down to fair, with the best bite in the mornings and evenings. The bass were being found shallow but scattered, with some hitting topwater baits. Also try using crankbaits, Rat-L-Trap-style baits, square bills and shaky heads. Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) were also fair with reports of them being found at all depths and scattered. Some anglers reported catching them in 10-15 feet off rocky points. Shaky heads and jigs were best baits to use. White bass were slow but are reported chasing balls of shad. Crappie were good before the cold chased anglers off the lake; they were around brush in 16-18 feet on jigs and minnows. Bream were slow, but the ones being caught are anywhere from 8 to 15 feet deep on crickets or redworms. Catfish were slow but still were taking to bream, liver and worms.


Arkansas River at Morrilton

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

Little Maumelle River

(updated 11-2-2023) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) reported, while he was fishing from the dock for crappie, said the crappie were biting well. Anglers are catching quite a few. One group went out and caught some bass. But crappie is the main thing right now, he said. The water has cooled off a bunch. Ray personally was using a blue/white jig and some of the Bobby Garland jigs in pink colors, but most anglers he spoke with were using minnows. The crappie are biting at 6-8 feet.


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

Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)

For the real-time water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam and David D. Terry Lock and Dam, as well as the Little Rock pool stage level, visit the Corps’ Little Rock office website.


(updated 11-2-2023) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says bass fishing has been good for catching numbers of bass — not the biggest fish in the world, but lots of numbers — most are being caught on a topwater like a buzzbait or Whopper Plopper. It’s kind of more of a midmorning/midafternoon bite now (not early morning as before). The majority of the day, anglers are throwing something like a square bill crankbait in a shad color around rocks. Also, a chartreuse/white or white spinnerbait will work around rocks, and a Texas-rigged creature bait and a finesse jig also are having success. All of the fishing is focused on the main river now, with fish relating to rocks and wood. There is no particular area of focus right now, though.
Crappie have been biting pretty well on the backside of jetties on white/chartreuse and chartreuse crappie jigs. Anglers are catching them in around 8 feet of water.

White River
(updated 11-2-2023) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “We’ve been served with an unexpected taste of winter for a few days. After a week of unseasonably warm weather, we’re now waking up to some frigid mornings. Expect more seasonable temps this weekend and into next week — warmer days and fewer cold nights, more conducive to spending time outdoors. Check the nighttime low temperature, rather

than the daytime highs, when planning your fishing trip; then dress in layers for the lowest temperatures and remove a layer at a time as the day warms up.”
Bull Shoals Lake is 5.5 feet below power pool and still dropping. Daily releases have included very low flows (less than one unit or 3,000 cfs) during the early morning hours, up to three or four units (9,000 to 12,000 cfs) later in the day.
It’s good to know that the air temp doesn’t affect the trout bite. Rainbows have been attracted to — and hitting on — pumped up nightcrawlers for the shore anglers. If you’re able to float the river and choose to fish a deep hole for a while, drop a hook with shrimp and garlic-scented PowerBait (try orange first) as near to the bottom as possible. Fresh river minnows are the ticket for good-sized ’bows. “We’ve pulled in some dandies this week: 21-inch, fat, healthy, colorful rainbows.”
Drift anglers had luck with a No. 5 rainbow and brook trout Rapala Countdowns and with one-sixth-ounce Rooster Tails, gold blades and orange bodies, and tan skirts. “Although we had some luck with the Rebel Wee Craw last week, this cold snap says it’s time to retire it for the season.
“We’ve had to fight for the browns all week long. River guides have tried all the tricks in their tackle boxes to get the attention of the spawning browns. Turns out the best bites were on small- to medium-sized sculpins and shad.
“Be careful out there. Stay warm. And keep anglin’. See you at the river.”


(updated 11-2-2023) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said the rains Saturday and Sunday dumped a lot of rain into the Buffalo River Valley and Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes. Although the Buffalo River didn’t flood, it did dump a lot of muddy water into the White River. Norfork Lake opened all of its floodgates 1 foot, releasing additional water. As a result, by Monday the river was up over 7 feet and muddy and not really fishable. By Wednesday the river levels dropped to around 6 feet and the water cleared significantly. Fishing with Uncommon Baits UV eggs and shrimp worked the best. There was minimal success using artificial baits.
“If we continue to see clear and steady water levels, fishing should be good the next few days,” McCulley said. “This week we received one stocking from the Norfork Hatchery.”


(updated 10-26-2023) John Berry, veteran angler and retired guide/owner in Cotter, said that during the past week they had a couple of rain events that combined for an inch and a half in Cotter, cold temperatures (to include frost advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals remained steady at 5.5 feet below power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 41.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 4 feet below power pool and 18 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.3 foot to rest at 6.4 feet below power pool and 16 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had less wadable water in recent days with moderate flows in the afternoon during peak power demand. Norfork Lake fell 0.1 foot to rest at 0.5 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Tailwater has had wadable water. All of the lakes are below the top of power pool. Expect wadable water in the coming days with moderate flows in the afternoon during peak power demand. On the Norfork, all turbines are inoperable for the foreseeable future. Minimum release is being made through the siphon at continuous flows of 185 cfs and additional flows are made through the floodgates.
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed until Jan. 31 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park is seasonal catch-and-release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period.
John says, “On the White, the hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. We have had lower flows that have fished well. The hot flies were Y2Ks, Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold ribbed Hare’s Ears and Sowbugs. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. My favorite has been a Pheasant Tail (size 14) with a ruby midge dropper (size 18).
John also said, “Now that I have retired, I have been quite busy winding down my fly-fishing guide business. The idea is to shut down any expenses associated with the business and deal with any equipment that was used in the guide service.
“My biggest expense was liability insurance. I canceled it when it came up for renewal. My wife, Lori, wanted to keep the liability insurance as she wanted to continue guiding and teaching. These would be half-day wading trips. She convinced me to work on half-day guide trips on Dry Run Creek with her. We therefore got a wade-only policy that was much less expensive.
“I will keep my boat to take Lori, family and friends fishing. I got separate insurance for it. You would think that a boat would be my primary expense. I am very frugal. Over 30 years of guiding, I spent $9,000 for three used boats (with motors and trailers). I bought good equipment and maintained it properly.
“I had several extra personal flotation devices that I carried in the boat that are no longer needed. I have an extra big one for large clients, a small one for children (kids under 12 years old and younger must wear a PFD at all times when in a boat). I also had a couple of spares. I will donate these to a not-for-profit.
“I have four Temple Fork Outfitter rods that I used for clients. I picked out the two best-looking rods and reels and set them aside for Lori and me to use. I bought new fly lines for them along with new leaders. Lori and I use them on our weekly fishing trips. The other two I set aside to sell. They are good rods with plenty of life left in them.
“My two boat nets (Lori and I both use them) were pretty beat up. They were both in bad need of repair. The handles are carbon fiber and are nearly indestructible, but the net bags have suffered a lot of abuse and are torn in spots. They must be fixed to prevent fish loss. I bought replacement bags from Amazon. They had everything needed to replace the bag and even had a video showing how to do it. It was an easy repair and only cost $70 to repair both nets.
“There are a lot of flies, more than I will ever use. These are special to me. Many were tied by my brother, Dan, or me. I will fish as many as I can and look for a good home for the others. My Yeti cooler, various tote bags and lunch gear will be repurposed to dog shows.
“Now if I can just figure out what to do with three dozen shirts embroidered with BERRY BROTHERS GUIDE SERVICE.”


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 11-2-2023) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Wednesday the lake level is still at 653 feet msl. The water temperature dropped to 64 degrees give or take. Bass fishing has been up and down like the weather. Be sure to fish the conditions. It’s a mixed bag — you can catch them a bunch of different ways without one being better than the other. Looks like we’re getting some shallow fish creeping up. Fall fishing equals junk fishing, covering water. Use a buzzbait, spinnerbait, square bill, Chatterbait. The shad should pick back up in skinny water. I will powerfish if it gets cloudy and windy. Use a Rock Crawler and target steep transition banks.
The shad are ever so slowly getting grouped up in the creeks. There are wads three-quarters back in the middle of the channel or pushed on the flats, especially if there’s wind. I have found groups busting the surface down to 50 feet. Graphing can pay off. Get around bait and fish whatever is available: piles, ledges, swings, etc. … Beaver, shaky head worm and Jewel Jig in green pumpkin orange with red highlights are working for me. I seem to need some color in the water for this bite to be good. They seem to be holding onto ledges shallow if it’s cloudy, or in the 15-20 feet range while not munching shad. Most days you’re going to have to work for them. There are mega schools of smallies demolishing shad, but videogame fish can be tough to fool; try a small shad swimbait, a Damiki or Hover Rig with a Tater Shad.

The Jewel Scuba Spoon and Rapala Ice Jig are working for me if the shad are on the bottom. Every day is different; fish the conditions;
Walleyes are in the deep trees and humps in 50-60 feet. Crappie are picking up, hopping brush piles is working for some anglers. Try a crappie minnow under a float.

Del regularly posts new YouTube videos. Visit his YouTube site (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for more information and tips on fishing Bull Shoals Lake.


Norfork Lake

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


(updated 11-2-2023) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort and Boat Rental said Wednesday night that the lake level was 553.24 feet msl with no change for 24 hours with no discharge from the dam. The Army Corps of Engineers are very reluctant to drop the level below 553 feet msl and both generators have been inoperable for months and they are working on the dam. The surface water temperature was almost 67 degrees last evening at 6 p.m. and the water looked pretty clear. Scuba Steve said he was not diving and it was hard to tell what was happening below from the surface. The cold ambient weather has dropped the surface water from 70 to 67 degrees with the cold temperatures. Norfork is a big body of deep water and does not drop in temperature as quickly as you would think. The shallower the water, the lower the temperature and the quicker it drops this time of year.
The fishing is about the same and is still not the best, but some nice ones are being caught every day. Crappie and Kentucky bass are the best bite over brush piles in 18-30 feet of water on the main lake. “Cold weather does not make for good fishing, but I am ready for the winter crappie bite and caught a couple this afternoon. Warm weather to follow,” Scuba Steve said.
Visit and click on Scuba Steve’s blog for a daily update.


Norfork Tailwater

(updated 11-2-2023) John Berry, angler and retired operator of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169), said Norfork Lake fell 0.1 foot to rest at 0.5 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Tailwater has had wadable water. All of the lakes are below the top of power pool. Expect wadable water in the coming days with moderate flows in the afternoon during peak power demand. On the Norfork, all turbines are inoperable for the foreseeable future. Minimum release is being made through the siphon at continuous flows of 185 cfs and additional flows are made through the floodgates.
The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like Zebra Midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-head nymph (Zebra Midge, Copper John or Pheasant Tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan Worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). John says his favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan Worm and a ruby midge. The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.
Dry Run Creek has fished a bit better despite a lot of fishing pressure. School is back in session and weekdays are not as crowded. The hot flies have been Sowbugs, various colored San Juan Worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and white mop flies. Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. Carry a large net, as most fish are lost at the net.


Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 11-2-2023) John Berry, angler and retired operator of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169), said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are fishing well but are very low. With moderate temperatures, the smallmouths are more active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown 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.

Beaver Lake

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


(updated 11-2-2023) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said, “Well, winter showed and jumped right over fall. Not much of a report this week as we have been riding out some interesting weather. Last week we had nearly 80 degrees most of week. Water temperature on the lake actually climbed a bit.
“This week as I write in a deer stand it is 20 degrees. Next week looks like 60s into 70s and I would bet that by the next report, fishing will be on the upswing. It will take a little adjustment to the rapid drop in lake water temps but the good news is that water in the 50s is a great time to be out. Fish will respond in a positive direction once it stabilizes. Until we get some people fishing this next week, including myself, I really have nothing to report on except I believe the water has really dropped in temperature. Stripers and walleye will start to move south. Look from Horseshoe south to Point 12. Crappie will load up on brush and the white bass should start a topwater show around Point 12. Until next week, stay safe and good luck!”

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


Beaver Tailwater

(updated 10-19-2023) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says the fishing this past week has been off and on. Water temperature has been around 50 degrees and the water level has dropped a little. Trout have been really responsive to Pautzke Fire Worms and Fire Baits, fished with light terminal tackle. The Fire Worms have done best with drifting. The walleye bite has been up and down as well, but it is still there, mainly between Beaver town and Holiday Island. Pulling mid-diving crankbaits, coated in Pautzke Fire Gel, has been the preferred method.
Remember to follow my fishing Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for day-to-day updates between reports. Have fun, stay safe and catch some fish!


Lake Fayetteville
(updated 11-2-2023) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no new reports.

Lake Charles

(updated 11-2-2023) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said that a cold and wet weekend put a big damper on any fishing plans for folks, and she had no reports for this week. Before the weather change, however, Shelly said that bream and catfish are both fair on worms. Catfish are being found deep. She had no reports on crappie or bream, but she did suggest that a jig or stick worm would work decently for bass these days. Best “moon times” for this coming month, she said, will be Nov. 10-16, while good days will be Nov. 29-30.

Lake water temperature took a slight warmer turn, rising to 64.5 degrees Sunday. The level is high after all the rain and the clarity is the usual murky.

Lake Poinsett

(updated 11-2-2023) Seth Boone, the superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, had no new report this week, but had reported lately that Lake Poinsett was doing well with black bass and some crappie. The bass were biting well around the lily pads and the crappie are a bit deeper with live bait. Bream were still biting, but have been more active early in the morning and right before dusk. Catfish were doing outstanding on just about anything at night.


Spring River

(updated 10-19-2023) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are very low at 200 cfs and water clarity has been very clear. “We really need rain in the area. The river is very low and clear with excellent catching in these conditions. Lots of hopper dropper action with eggs and nymphs as droppers. The fish can be picky with the clear water clarity. Lighter tippet and smaller nymphs can be the ticket on tough days. Micro streamers to imitate sculpins and baitfish work great on the dreary days that have been few and far between. On the sunny days, get it down and look for the deeper pockets.
Mark adds, “This is when Trout Magnets do the best. Hot pink, white, black and red can be hot! Fish them just off the bottom. And Trout Cranks can work well for bass that imitates rainbow and brown trout cranks.
“The largemouth bass always start biting when the water gets low and clear. Look for the slack water and hang on. Smallmouth bass have been hitting well on tubes and Ned rigs. Some of the best smallie water has been hard to get to with low water conditions, but if you can get to the remote areas, the smallies are hitting hard!
“Hoping we get rain in the near future!”


(updated 11-2-2023) John Berry, angler and retired operator of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169), said the water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. 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, cerise and hot pink San Juan Worms and Y2Ks.

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.

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 10-19-2023) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team reports that water temperature in the river is in the low 70s and visibility ranges 6 to 12 or more inches. There is little to no flow on the main channel. Black bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, shallow-running crankbaits and lipless crankbaits in shad/chrome colors, especially near woody cover and docks/piers. Windy banks tend to produce better than slack ones.


Cane Creek Lake

(updated 11-2-2023) Stephanie Clingenpeel, seasonal park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, had no new reports.

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 11-2-2023) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Wednesday, lake elevation is 9 inches above normal conservation pool and rising due to recent rainfall; the 1-foot drawdown imposed by the Army Corps of Engineers ended Wednesday. Gate release at the Millwood Dam of about 6,985 cfs. Up Little River from White Cliffs to Cossatot inflow from Wilton Landing remains more heavily stained. There is increased river flow rate and current. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels.
Surface temperature dropped this week, ranging 55-62 degrees along Little River this week, depending on location and the time of day. River clarity is ranging 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity of oxbows will vary widely from heavy stain to good clarity, visibility 10-15 inches, up to 3 feet visibility in a few locations away from river flow.

Mike had these specifics on the Millwood Lake fishing for this week:

* For several weeks the largemouth bass have been schooling in numerous locations along Little River. Bass feeding periods continue to shift to later in the day from mid-morning up until noon, but they continue randomly schooling into the early afternoon, mainly in the oxbows along Little River from Mud Lake all the way upriver to Brown’s Slough. We found several schools of adolescent-aged largemouth and yearling spotted bass schooling over the past few weeks in Mud, Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows on shad. These schooling juveniles and adolescents will bust a tandem-rigged Bass Assassin Shad or Cordell Crazy Shad on the surface, then alternating with a shallow-diving Bill Lewis Lures Mag Trap in three-quarter-ounce, or Echo 1.75 Square Bill crankbaits, and Rat-L-Trap Spin Traps with a tail spinner.

Most bass are ranging 2-3 pounds, and during the past week the schooling activity has slowed somewhat with the increase of water temperature. We connected with some largemouth, spots and whites in the early morning on Cordell Jigging Spoons all in various groups following shad schools along the river. Anywhere a creek channel dumps into Little River, the mouths of the creeks are holding various-sized schools of largemouths or spots. Along Little River just north of Hurricane Creek dump, there have been a few good schools of schooling largemouth and juvenile spots chasing shad. These schooling bass were hitting chrome/blue or Millwood Magic Spin Traps, Sexy Prism, Millwood Magic and Silver Tennessee Shad-colored Rat-L-Traps after the surface-breaking slowed for another 5-10 minutes at a time.

Best color of Shad Assassins with current water clarity is Salt & Pepper Silver Phantom in the lily pads when bass are busting shad on the flats. We were able to catch several nice bass over the past couple of weeks by finessing a short-arm H&H Spinnerbait and a Rocketshad in the lily pads on flats near vertical drops into 9-12 feet of depth.

Small Bill Lewis Lures Spin Traps continue working on randomly schooling juvenile bass at various locations. After about 9-10 a.m., bass will randomly respond to a Bill Lewis ATV Square Bill, Echo 1.75 Crankbait and three-quarter-ounce Mag Trap Rat-L-Trap. The oxbows continue providing best water clarity in many locations. Flats next to deep creeks and secondary points with any fresh grass growth, new lily pad blooms and vegetation will coax an ambush bite on an ATV Square Bill or Echo 1.75 Square Bill after the topwater bite subsides late in the morning.

* White bass continue random schooling and surface-breaking in Little River and the oxbows with the Kentucky bass and largemouth bass near grass mats and extended points breaking off into deep water chasing shad. These whites were hitting our custom-painted Little John Crankbaits in Millwood Magic, or Kastmaster Hammered Spoons with a white bucktail. Several different schools of whites were feeding along Little River breaking on shad at the surface, and the biggest part of the school was between 5-10 feet of depth while we were casting to them. Once the surface-breaking subsided, we were able to coax another 5-10 good bites from the school by switching to a Rat-L-Trap MR6 Crankbait, or a magnum-size three-quarter-ounce Rat-L-Trap in Silverado color, or an ATV Square Bill. The majority of these white bass were feeding aggressively, and ranged from around 2 to 3 pounds each.
* The crappie bite continued to improve over the past week, and was best using minnows one day and jigs the next in planted brush piles in 10-18 feet of depth. Crappie sizes were up to 2 pounds.

* Blue catfish and channel cats improved on blood bait, Danny King’s Punch Bait and chicken livers in Little River on trotlines set at 10-18 feet depth, according to several catfish anglers we talked with over the weekend.
* No report on bream.


Lake Columbia

No reports.


Lake Erling
(updated 11-2-2023) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) has not had any reports of late, but crappie should be biting well now, and catfish have been biting good to excellent all year. The Lake Erling Guide Service store is open daily, 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. weekdays, 9 p.m. on weekends. Also check out Friends of Lake Erling on Facebook for more information and photos, too.


Lake Greeson Tailwater

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


Lake Greeson

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


No reports.


DeGray Lake

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


(updated 11-2-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said crappie are still hanging around these fall season depths (12-20 feet), but slowly moving into a winter pattern deeper in the channels. Bass, of all species, can be found schooling on their morning feed. Run and gun. Don’t stay too long in one area where you don’t see surface-feeding fish. Stay warm and safe.


(updated 10-19-2023) Randy Plyler with Plyler Outdoors Guide Service (870-210-0522) said DeGray action is on fire with water temperature ranging 72-76 degrees. Bass fishing has been great on topwater. Watch for fish schooling early in the morning through midday. When they stop schooling, just watch your LiveScope and when you see them you can vertically drop a spoon on them. White bass have been schooling along with the blacks but have been below the largemouth and spots and can be caught on spoons. Hybrids are being caught on topwater out over deeper water.

No reports on crappie

Randy adds, “Book your trip today to get some of the best action you can get.”


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.

White Oak Lake Area

No reports.

Lake Atkins

(updated 10-19-2023) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-264-0851) said anglers were catching a few largemouth bass with some quite sizeable up to 6 pounds. Meanwhile, the crappie are deep. Anglers are catching some but they are of no real size. “A bunch of smalls,” he said, “about 9 inches, some are 10 inches, but the big ones are still down deep.” The water temperature Wednesday was 67 inches. Donald says with a temperature of 65 degrees or cooler, the crappie will start moving into the coves, and he anticipates that coming in a couple of weeks. Rain is in the long-range forecast for a week from Friday.

Shad has started to be around the area, he said. For fishing for the crappie, he says the anglers are using minnows and chartreuse/black jigs. The bass anglers weren’t as forthcoming, neither where they were catching the bass nor what baits they were using. They were showing photos of what they caught, however, and some bass were impressive, he said, but he hasn’t seen any of the 10- or 11-pounders that have been caught there in the past.


Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit


(updated 11-2-2023) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 59 degrees with stained conditions in the tailrace. Several days of steady rain prompted Entergy to run heavy generation and open floodgates to rid the system of excess rainfall. Entergy has not scheduled a recreational weekend release the past several weeks and the same is planned for this weekend. Also, the weekday release has been reduced to minimum flow for purposes of power generation and lake level management. This pattern will continue for the next several months in an effort to refill Lake Ouachita. Rainbow trout stocking will begin again this month and will bring life back to the area, as the trout season ended early this year due to the constant flooding of spring. The annual winter drawdown will also begin this month — although no exact date has been announced — to allow for dock renovation and vegetation control. Extreme heat kept many anglers off the water below Carpenter Dam this summer but diehard anglers caught numbers of white bass in late August and early September as these fish migrated in and out of the tailrace chasing threadfin shad.

Zara Spooks and Alabama rigs have been the lures of choice when feeding schools of bass have been observed in the late evening on the main channel and just below the bridge. Jigs have also caught fish over the deeper waters of the main channel in a white or gray pattern. Hybrid bass have also been taken using the same techniques — most of which are in the 3- to 4-pound class. A few large stripers have been seen in the area when the turbines are running just before nightfall. No big numbers of game fish were reported during the summer months, but several different species of fish are always present close to the dam. Bream and crappie numbers are low but are being caught on jigs, minnows and nightcrawlers during periods of no generation along with catfish that spawn next to the dam in late June. Because baitfish are often present in the tailrace, these species can be found and caught all throughout the warmer months. Good numbers of crappie and white bass are always taken by anglers in March and April which are the times for these game fish to spawn.

Fishing will improve dramatically as the trout stocking schedule kicks into gear and temperatures allow a safer environment to be on the water. Always wear a life jacket when on the water and remember to follow all park and boating regulations when visiting our local lakes.


Lake Dardanelle

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


(updated 11-2-2023) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) reported water temperature is in the 50s during the mornings, warming to the 60s in the afternoons. Water clarity is dingy in the river, stained in some of the creeks and backwater. Bass fishing is slow but picking up. Use spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits. Baits are working outside the grass lines. Rage Bugs and jigs are working around rocks and stumps. Crappie are starting to do real well. The best bite is in 8 feet of water. Monkey Milk, pink and green have been working well as well. White bass has been hanging around trees off of points in 12 feet of water. Small rattle trap-style baits and crappie jigs have been working well. Stripers are starting to move up into some of the creeks. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps have been working well. Bream have been caught in 4 feet of water on brush using jigs. Cajun Cricket had been working pretty well.


Lake Hamilton

No reports.


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 11-2-2023) Sheila Ferrebee, owner of Carter Cove Bait-N-More (479-272-4025), said the fishing is going great, particularly crappie and catfish. Look for crappie under the shad. One catfish angler caught a 56-pounder and another caught a 52-pounder, both flatheads. They were both fishing for crappie with minnows, and one had a crappie on the line and the flathead joined in the catch —- three fish on one hook.

Carter Cove has a Facebook page and the email address is, with photos and video of those two aforementioned catfish catches. 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 11-2-2023) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said he has been fishing DeGray Lake and Lake Ouachita recently and is seeing similar patterns at those lakes. Crappie are still hanging around these fall season depths (12-20 feet), but slowly moving into a winter pattern deeper in the channels. Bass, of all species, can be found schooling on their morning feed. Run and gun. Don’t stay too long in one area where you don’t see surface-feeding fish. Stay warm and safe.


(updated 11-2-2023) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are fair to good. Try your favorite topwater early or late; a finesse worm or crawfish on a drop-shot will produce some nice spotted bass, too. No report on walleye. Stripers are still fair. These fish are being caught in the central portions of the lake and can be caught on live bait. No report on bream. Crappie are fair and being caught on small jigs. Try brush and structure 20-25 feet deep. Catfish are fair on rod-and-reel with crawlers or cut bait. Jugs and trotlines with live or cut bait are working well, too. Water temperature has dropped to 62-68 degrees. The clarity is clear. Lake level is 568.64 feet msl (less than 10 feet below normal pool). Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.


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.

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 11-2-2023) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said the water temperature was 68 degrees as of Saturday. The water was a little dingy, but it looked like the lake had turned over, and it should continue to clear, especially with the cold temperatures coming in this week. Crappie are being found in 10-15 feet depth and are setting up a late fall/early winter pattern. Fish are aggressive and biting hard. Electric chicken was the color used for casting or jigging.

There were no reports on bream, bass or catfish.


Cook’s Lake

(updated 10-26-2023) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Nature Center (501-404-2321) says that due to extremely low water creating hazardous launching conditions, Cook’s Lake is now closed to fishing through February and will serve as a rest area for migrating waterfowl.

Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile-long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass, and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers, 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. Please call ahead at least a day in advance to register to fish. 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.


White River/Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 10-19-2023) Webb’s Sporting Goods (870-946-0347) in DeWitt reports that on the White River off the bluff banks the catfish are biting cut bait. From the mouth of the Mississippi River all the way to Clarendon, lots of white cats ranging 8-15 pounds have been active and hungry.

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

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