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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 10-21-2020


Oct. 21, 2020

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Oct. 21, 2020. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email 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 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 11 a.m. the day of publication.

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Quick links to regions:

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at:

For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geoloical Survey, visit:

For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:


Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

NOTE: Employees and contractors with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission conducted herbicide applications to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir through September. The herbicides will 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 10-21-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake has the normal Conway stain and is at normal level. Bream remain good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good, with anglers catching them using crappie minnows in pink, silver or medium-sized. They’re also using jigs that are 2½ inches and smaller, as well as hand-tied jigs. The black bass bite is still good. Plastic worms are a good bet for the deeper ones, topwater will also work, and anglers report success on buzzbaits, chatterbaits and jigs. Catfish are good. Go with nightcrawlers, goldfish, dough bait, bass minnows and trotline minnows.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 10-21-2020) Angler Dennis Charles had no report.

Little Red River
(updated 10-21-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the generation pattern for the Little Red River is unpredictable. “We are experiencing days without generation and days with significant generation. It’s highly recommended to check forecasted and real-time generation before planning a trip to the Red.”
For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends midges, hare’s ears and sowbugs. Hot pink and cotton candy 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 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 ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the brown trout bite is getting better on jerkbaits, maribou jigs and Trout Magnets. The river is normal and clear.

(updated 10-14-2020) Greg Seaton of (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear and low. Generation has been the afternoon, one-unit variety ranging 2-5 hours with the two-hour schedule being the most common. “Southwestern Power Administration has informed me that one unit is shut down for maintenance until some time in November, so any generation will be one unit until that time. Afternoon generation should be the rule unless cold temperatures call for the early morning schedule. It is always best to check the next day schedule before planning your trip. The app, USACE LITTLE ROCK, is available free for your cell phone. Check the SWPA Forecasts icon on this app for the schedule.”

Rainbows are taking small midge pupa and mayfly nymphs. There is a blue-wing olive hatch some afternoons and a few caddis are hatching. In deeper pools, micro jigs are taking rainbows and a few browns. The browns have not started moving much at this time.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.84 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 458.84 feet msl and falling, sitting 3.2 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. Crappie, again, are just coming in by the droves. More and more people are adapting to methods of catching instead of just fishing, as our resource is just very abundant at present. Crappie are 12-40 feet all over water column and biting jigs, minnows, crankbaits etc. Walleye are roaming eating all they can and at 12-40 feet. Catch them with crawlers, crankbaits or spoons. Catfish are roaming and feeding as well, and are being caught with trotlines and jugs, and while fishing for other species. Black bass are on top out to 70 feet eating a gauntlet of baits, all very healthy. Hybrid bass and white bass are eating at will in 25-75 feet of water and every once in a while on tip ends. Spoons, topwater baits, inline spinners, Largo Muskie Specials are the baits to use. Bream will eat crawlers, crickets and crankbaits real shallow.

(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that the lake temperature on the surface is in the low 70s with clear clarity. The level is a little low. Smallmouth bass are good at the lower end of the lake. They’re biting shaky heads, drop-shots, Carolina rigs and topwater lures both early in the day and late. Walleye have been good on drop-shotting nightcrawlers on the main lake humps and secondary points.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 10-21-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reports the clarity being a little dingy and the water level is low. Bream activity is slowing down and anglers said they had poor success. Crappie, though, have been good. The crappie are being caught close to the shoreline on minnows and jigs, particularly using pink jigheads. Black bass are good in the lake’s deeper areas. Try a spinnerbait or a plastic worm. Catfishing is good. Use chicken liver, and on trotlines you should bait with shad, goldfish, regular catfish bait or King’s Punch Bait.

(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reports that crappie are starting to pick up on Bobby Garland Jigs in popsicle, shiney hiney, glimmer blue, bbq chicken, cajun crickets, blue ice, shimmer, monkey milk, crystal, bone/chartreuse, gumdrop and pennyback shad, along with 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Black bass are hitting buzzbaits and minnows, worms, lizards and Brush Hogs. White bass are biting on popsicle, slab slanger, baby shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, and Cajun Spin and silver minnow. Bream can be caught on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.

Lake Overcup

NOTE: Employees and contractors with the AGFC conducted 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 10-21-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the clarity has improved and on Tuesday early afternoon it was clear. The lake is about a foot low. Crappie reports were fair; try minnows or tri-colored jigs. Black bass are fair, with best results in the shallows. A crankbait is working best. No reports on bream or catfish.

Brewer Lake
No report.

Lake Maumelle
(updated 10-7-2020) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland says the water temperature is in the low 70s. Largemouth bass are good. Some can be found in shallow water or just outside the grass line biting a variety of lures. Try using swimbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Kentucky bass are fair. Reports of some being found 15-20 feet off drops and rocky banks. Try using jigs. White bass are slow. Reports of some anglers catching them while trolling. Try using minnows, Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are fair. There have been reports of crappie moving out of deeper water and being found in 12-18 feet in shallow brush. Some can still be found scattered, mixed in with the white bass. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are great. Bream can be found on windy points by drop-offs in 12-16 feet of water. Crickets, worms and beetle spins will all work for the excellent bite. Catfishing is good. Try using chicken liver, nightcrawlers or baitfish.

(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reports that crappie are being caught on Bobby Garland Jigs such as popsicle and slab slanger, as well as minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting slab slanger, baby shad, cajun spin and silver minnow in the jigs. Black bass are being caught on worms, lizards and Brush Hogs. Bream can be caught using crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.

Sunset Lake
(updated 10-21-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 10-21-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 10-21-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) says catfish are being caught on minnows and worms. Bream are biting crickets, worms and Rock Hopper. Black bass can be caught using worms, lizards and Brush Hogs.

Lake Norrell
(updated 10-21-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Lake Winona
(updated 10-21-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 10-21-2020) Charlie Hoke at Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
No reports.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 10-21-2020) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said clarity is clear and the river is at a normal level. Crappie continue to pick up, with good results this week. Use minnows and jigs. Black bass are still good; go with a crankbait or plastic worm. No reports this week on catfish; they were good a week ago on chicken liver. Also no reports on bream.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 3,639 cfs.

No report.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 3,416 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 191 cfs.

(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river clarity is a little stained and the surface temperature is in the 70s. Black bass have been good on square-bill crankbaits in 5-6 feet of water around the jetties on the main river. Crappie are good on red/chartreuse and blue/chartreuse jigs with a 1/16th-ounce head, fished around the jetties.

(updated 10-21-2020) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported that catfishing is good below both the Murray and Terry lock and dams. Use cut shad. Crappie are fair in the Little Rock Pool; find the crappie 10-12 feet deep off the rocks and use minnows. Black bass reports are good. Bass are biting in 12-15 feet depth on Red Bug Trick Worms.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 10-21-2020) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no reports.

Peckerwood Lake

(update 10-21-2020) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) had no new reports.


White River

(updated 10-21-2020) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said Bull Shoals Lake has reached the established goal of 659 feet msl elevation and a change has been seen in the water flow pattern on the river. Consistent high water over the last few months provided some exceptional catches, and consistent low water will do the same. “During the past week, however, since power pool was reached, we saw changes in releases throughout the day from low to high, creating challenges for anglers. With the morning water level at a single unit or just above, you’ll need to leave the bigger baits in your tackle box and pull out the trusty spoons: gold or copper/bronze Colorados and hammered red-and-gold spoons. You might try a Vibrax Blue Fox in the afternoon when the river rises (the pink or chartreuse bells are proving seductive to the rainbows).”
Consistent water level patterns will allow the trout to settle down into some normal feeding habits; early morning and early evening may be the best times for easy catches. The trout and the guides are already adjusting to the lower depth but continual, often sudden changes to the water level may require frequent, sometimes sudden changes in bait/fly requirements. Keeps you alert and involved.
“Come on over. Fall colors are popping up all around us and we’ve been treated to some perfect autumn days.”

(updated 10-21-2020) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) says most anglers this week have been drift-fishing. The fishing has been “pretty good,” they report, but things are changing while the water goes up and down. The clarity is “really good” as of early afternoon Tuesday. The river level at that time was low, and the Corps of Engineers have turned off the generation regularly. Anglers will find the trout bite good.

(updated 10-21-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that over the past week they had no measurable rain, cooler temperatures and heavy winds (to include wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 4.3 feet to rest at 0.1 foot below seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 36.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at 3 feet below seasonal power pool and 17 feet above the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 1.1 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The White River had heavy generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 2.1 feet to rest at 0.1 foot above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Dam tailwater had wadable water at night and high water all day.
All of the lakes in the White River system are now below or at power pool. Anglers should expect consistent wadable water.
John says, “The grasshopper 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.”
The White has been good. The hot spot has been the catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam. The 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 size eight girdle bug suspended below it).
John also said, “Last week I guided a group of fly-fishers from St. Louis. Steve, Al, Mike and Joe are avid fly-fishers and fly-tyers. They are all retired and are actively involved with the fly-fishing club in St. Louis. They always attend the Sowbug Roundup and the Fly Fishing Fair and usually stay for a week at each event to get in some fishing. I have known them for a long time and have guided several of them in years past.
“Since they usually come here for the Sowbug Roundup of the Fly Fishing Fair, the cancellation of these events this year due to the coronavirus has kept them at home. They wanted to come here to do some fishing. They usually float the river in small pontoon boats. Due to the neverending high water, they thought that they would do better by hiring guides and contacted me and asked me to guide them and contact another guide so that they could all fish. I quickly agreed and contacted my fellow guide, Danny Barker, to join me. He accepted. We agreed to guide them for three days and change out the anglers in our boats every day so that all of the anglers got to fish with both of us and they all got to fish with their entire group.

“On the first day, I had Joe and Al and we fished Rim Shoals. It was a cool start (38 degrees). I had on heavy wool socks, long pants, down jacket, fingerless wool gloves and a warm hat. I had rigged the rods with 4X tippet, large girdle bugs (size 8) below cerise San Juan worms (size 10) and a heavy AAA split shot. The strike indicator was set about 9 feet above the bottom fly.
We were drifting through my favorite sections and had caught a few trout when Joe got a strong take. His rod was severely bent and the fish was hugging the bottom and taking line at will. This was the same rod that I always use with my clients on Dry Run Creek. It is a 5 weight 9 foot TFO rod with an Orvis Battenkill reel. This reel has a stout disc drag. It has landed a lot of big trout. With 4X tippet and a big fly, I thought we had a good chance to land this trout.
“This first thing that I did was pull the chain I was dragging. I did not want the trout to get tangled in it. Joe did a masterful job. He took his time and slowly worked the trout in. I finally got a good look at it and quickly realized that it was a huge brown. He finally got it close enough for me to net it. I breathed a sigh of relief when I lifted the net and the big brown is in it. It was a stout 26-inch male brown trout with a big kype and a large girth. With Joe being 82 years of age and with over 60 years of fly-fishing, this marked the largest trout he had ever landed.
“We went to take a photo and he resisted. Al pulled out his camera and we convinced him to pose. It was a stellar moment.
“Joe showed us how to do it!”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 658.38 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl). The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 913.95 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock says the Army Corps of Engineers has been slightly slowing the generation and the shad are getting balled up more. There is baitfish pushing toward the backs of creeks. “I have been doing better toward the back of creeks, and some of the shad balls are getting bigger but suspended over the old creek channels,” he says. The topwater response has slowed drastically. Try spinnerbaits, chatterbaits or square-bill cranks for powerfishing “shallow” if there are bushes with deeper water close and shad, if it’s cloudy or stormy. Target shallow flats close to old creek channels with runoff. As the sun comes up, change tactics and slow down. Focus on pockets, channel swings, transitions with wind. Brushpiles are getting good if there’s shad present. The fish position will change depending on sun, wind, current, clouds, etc. Keep it moving. The jig bite is picking up. Try a half-ounce jig in green pumpkin orange, or green pumpkin blue, or a green pumpkin orange shaky head. Lake conditions have the clarity ranging dingy to clear and the surface temperature is 69 degrees. Lake level is finally normal.

Norfork Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 553.61 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says this past week they saw a major cool down of Norfork Lake. This week, with the predicted rain, anglers on Norfork should see a push up the creeks by the stripers to find schooling bait and cold water. “I fished both Bennett’s Bayou and above the Missouri line. Both places are holding fish, but only Missouri has the most consistent bite. I usually start off above Point 10 in 11 feet of water at first light and wait until the school comes sometime between 6:3-7:30 a.m.. This week when it did we hooked three and landed them all at the same time. By 7:30 I moved out to deeper water and fished that until 9 a.m. Then I moved down below Point 10 and fished the deeper channel waters. The trollers are having great success in the shallow water trolling small crankbaits. I saw two boats catch their limit of stripers in less than two hours. I’m still using big gizzard shad up to 8 inches. It seems the bigger baits are working the best, but the trollers are using small baits but trolling fast.
“Bennett’s Bayou has a similar pattern. I start off at the cow pasture point in 12 feet of water and fish the area until the sun comes up. I then move off into deeper waters and fished the channel edge. The stripers are not very active there, but as the water cools down it will be a major spot to fish. I have seen a few trollers and some fish are being caught around 10 a.m., but not many yet. The evenings are still the best time to fish the bayou right now.

The walleye are being caught on crankbaits trolled on long flats above Cranfield Marina. Crappie is a strong bite right now on 30 feet brushpiles, with small spoons, jigs and minnows being your best baits. Detailed maps of the new brushpiles are available at various locations around the lake.

(updated 10-7-2020) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing in October can be lots of fun, but also can be inconsistent. There are many changes going on in the lake, which affect the movement of the predator fish and bait. The water temperature starts to cool and the main thing is that the lake turns over. The lake is in the process of turning over, but it has been very gradual. The thermocline has dropped to somewhere between 50-60 feet and will continue to fall until the lake totally flips.
There has been a really good bite for bass. Largemouth and spotted bass can be found all over the lake. If you like topwater fishing, throw your favorite topwater bait onto points where you can see sunken brush still out in the water. The fish are inside of it and will come up and slam the bait. Spinnerbait, lipless crankbaits, regular diving crankbaits and jigs are all working in different areas. The bass are also on the bluffs, especially on points of large coves or small cuts in the bluff wall. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up as well. Keep your eyes open for topwater action. The bass will chase shad out in open water just about anywhere, but especially on the large flats.

Crappie fishing is also picking up nicely. This species has been moving back to the brush and they can be found at varying depths. Brush in 15 feet of water out to brush in 35 feet of water may be holding crappie. Small spoons, small twister tail or paddle tail grubs and live minnows on a slip float are all working. The fish can be at any depth over the brush from 7 feet down to the bottom. The depth of the fish will vary depending on the time of day.
White bass have finally come out of the depths of the lake and are showing up in different locations. Lou says, “Last evening, I was checking out a large flat outside of a cove and starting to hear what I thought was surface-feeding fish. I could not see any, so I started to head toward the sound. I finally saw white water on the other side of the lake along a long deep bluff line. There were schools of whites feeding heavily. They didn’t stay up long, and kept moving around. I stopped the boat in an area where I had seen the fish come up and waited. It was not long before they came up again and again. I had my half-ounce Kastmaster tied on and started to cast. I worked the bait in a jerk, stop and reel motion and kept it close to the surface and they loved it. From about 5:45 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. they were active. When it started to get dark, the topwater in this deep-water area stopped. I heard some activity on the shallow side of the lake and headed that way. I found hybrids and whites feeding heavily in very shallow water, 5 feet or less. The hybrids were coming completely out of the water at least a foot above the surface; it was amazing to see and very fun to catch. Topwater baits such as a Zara Spook would have worked great, but I can cast a Kastmaster farther.
Striped bass fishing has been very inconsistent. I have found them off a large flat in the mid-lake area, as well as out in very deep water. On the flat the fish were in 45-55 feet of water suspended to the bottom, and in the deep water they have been suspended 35-60 feet down in 100-plus feet of water. I have caught fish in this area by vertical jigging a ¾-to-1-ounce spoon. Live bait may work better. As the lake continues to cool and the turnover completes, this species will become very active and start to feed very heavily.”
The surface lake temperature has ranged 69-73 degrees depending on location and time of day. The lake is still falling about 3 to 4 inches per day and currently sits at 557.05 feet msl. The water is stained, but does start to clear more as you head south. “I forecast a great fall fishing season, so get ready to have some fun. Happy fishing and see you on the lake.”

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 10-21-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 2.1 feet to rest at 0.1 foot above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Dam tailwater had wadable water at night and high water all day.
All of the lakes in the White River system are now below or at power pool. Anglers should expect consistent wadable water.
John says, “The grasshopper 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.”
The Norfork is fishing well. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during flooding over 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. There is less pressure with school underway; expect less pressure during the week. Brown trout have begun moving into the creek. The Norfork National Fish Hatchery is open but the restrooms are still closed. 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), mop flies and egg patterns.
Remember that the White and North Fork Rivers 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 10-21-2020) 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 here 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.


Beaver Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,119.15 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake sits at 1119.30 feet msl, which is near 2 feet below normal level. “Finally the lake is getting back to normal rise and fall with the seasons. I believe the lake has suffered the last two years in the normal rise and fall cycles, which has made fishing somewhat harder than usual. When the lake normally drops, vegetation fills in on the banks, and when it rises it floods the new growth vegetation. With this normal rise and fall nutrients and cover are introduced into the lake. I believe this is very good for Beaver Lake and we have not had that for two years now. “That being said, the lake is almost turned over and in the river arms water is still a nasty brown turnover color with lower oxygen levels. Once it flips, fishing will respond and get much better. You can catch fish now, but you certainly have to work at it.
Stripers are fair/good depending on the day. Most guides, including myself, are catching two to five keepers per trip. Look from Prairie Creek toward Horseshoe Bend and back down toward the dam area. Stripers are moving daily and will end up toward Point 12 in a month or so, and will hang around that area throughout the winter.
“Crappie are loading up on structure 15-30 feet deep, but really are locked up. If you bounce jigs in front of them, they will eventually react with a bite. Walleye can be caught on worm harnesses for the next three weeks or so. Then they move also toward Point 12. I like to spoon for them in the winter. White bass are schooling up, also. Spoons are working. Next month should usher in some good fishing … Stay tuned.”
Check out Jon’s Facebook page at FishOn Guides Goshen Arkansas for updated reports as conditions change quickly this time of the year.

(updated 10-21-2020) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said stripers are good and beginning to move upstream. Beaver Lake stripers will respond to topwater baits, brood shiners and live shad. Crappie bounced back this week with good results. Catches. Minnows, jigs and spider-rigging are the methods working now. Black bass remain fair. Use spinnerbaits and crankbaits during the day; if you’re out early in the day or late around dusk, the topwater will work. Also throw shad their way. Catfishing is fair on shad. Bream reports are poor.

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 10-21-2020) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “With all this crazy weather lately, I hope you were able to get out and fish. The river is quite low in most places upstream from Spider Creek for boat access. However, if you are fishing from the bank, you should do quite well from Spider Creek to Parker Bottoms.
“The trout bite has been consistent for the most part. Most are being caught using Pautzke bait products fished with light terminal tackle. Spoons and micro jigs have produced nice numbers as well. As for the fall walleye bite, most of that is going to be from Beaver town toward Holiday Island. Fish in 10-15 feet of water. Try to hit points and any vegetation lines. Try pulling deep-diving crankbaits or crawler harnesses.

“Folks who are fly-fishing or wade fishing, please keep an eye on the water levels while fishing. If you notice a flow, be prepared to place yourself in a position where you can exit the water safely. Inspiration Point Fire Department has already had to do some river rescues due to individuals not paying attention to the release horn and getting stranded on gravel bars in the river. Please be mindful and safe. You can download the USACE app for your cell phone to get the generation schedule. That’s all I have for this week. Have fun and stay safe.”

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 10-21-2020) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the lake is still a little dingy and is a little low. Surface water temperature is in the 60s, but they noted a lot of fluctuation in the temperature this week. Bream really fell off with poor results this week. The crappie bite is still good. Use minnows and jigs. Black bass are good, though the activity switched to topwater baits. Catfish bounced back with good results on worms and regular catfish bait.

Lake Fort Smith
No report.

Lake Sequoyah
(updated 10-21-2020) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says the lake clarity continues to be “very clear” and the water level is low. The bream bite is still good. Use redworms and crickets. Crappie were poor again this week. Black bass are good on crankbaits and plastic worms. Channel cats appear to be slowing down with just catches this week. Try worms or cut bait.


Lake Charles

NOTE: A sustained drawdown is planned for Lake Charles beginning Nov. 15. Water from Lake Charles is released annually via a diversion ditch to flood greentree reservoirs at Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area for waterfowl hunting. Since the amount of water needed at Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA is dependent on rainfall, heavy fall rain events the last few years have prevented a substantial drawdown at Lake Charles. This year, fisheries biologists are working with the Wildlife Management Division to maintain a low lake level through January 2021. Once Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA is flooded, biologists will allow excess water to pass through the WMA to the Black River without any adverse effects. The goal is to maintain Lake Charles at least 8 feet below normal pool, although the lake level could drop beyond this if more water is needed at the WMA.
Drawdowns help congregate baitfish and sportfish, which can increase growth of sportfish. Drawdowns also provide adjacent landowners an opportunity to repair fishing piers and boat houses, or complete other AGFC approved land-use projects. AGFC reminds adjacent landowners that a permit is required for activities occurring on AGFC property, including building new structures and stabilizing shorelines.

For a copy of the AGFC Land Use Policy or a permit for a new fishing pier or boathouse, or for any other questions, please call biologists Allison Asher or Brett Timmons at 877-972-5438.

(updated 10-21-2020) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the Visitor Center has nightcrawlers and lots of artificial bait available, which might be timely with angler reports of small bass being caught. She says good days to fish this month based on moon times will start Oct. 28 and run th rough Nov. 3. She heard no reports on bream, but everything else was biting. Crappie reports are good. Anglers say they are scattered but biting on minnows and jigs. Look around brushpiles, stumps and rocky points. Bass are scattered as well and the bite is fair. Try plastic worms or a topwater lure, and target the brush or rocky points. Catfishing is good. Use worms, blood bait, stink bait, chicken liver, cut bait or minnows for good success. The lake remains murky as usual and the surface temperature Sunday morning was 68 degrees. Water level remains high, but Lake Charles has a planned drawdown coming (see above note).

Lake Poinsett

(updated 10-21-2020) The gate at the dam at Lake Poinsett will be closed on Dec. 1, allowing the lake to begin refilling with rainwater. Property owners with piers and boathouses on the lake have this period to get their last repairs done before the lake will begin filling up.
The lake, at Lake Poinsett State Park, has been undergoing a three-year renovation with a new water control structure, more than 10,000 linear feet of shoreline work, more than 100 habitat structures placed on the lakebed, and nearly 100 trees anchored for fish habitat with more anchoring in the plans as the lake begins to refill.
When the lake has enough water for stocking, channel catfish will be stocked to give anglers target fish to seek, while prey fish such as shiners and shad will be stocked. After the prey fish have established a base over the next year or so, predator fish such as largemouth bass and crappie will then be stocked.

Crown Lake

(updated 10-21-2020) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said fishing is really tough right now. There are a few reports of bass and crappie biting, but anglers said it was hard fishing right now. The lake clarity is clear and the water level is low.

Spring River
(updated 10-21-2019) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 300 cfs (350 cfs is average) and water clarity has been clear. Low, clear water on sunny days can make for tough fishing. On the slow days, a indicator with a Y2K with a midge/nymph dropper will catch fish. About every morning heavy hatches of blue-wing olives and caddis are on the water. Not much on the rise but nymphs can be hot.
On the good days a Woolly Bugger cast downstream with a steady short strip all the way back is dynamite for smallmouth bass and brown trout, and the big rainbows like it, too.

On spinning tackle, a hot pink, black or red Trout Magnet is hot. For chasing the big fish, a trout crank or Flicker Shad is the ticket. With the trout cranks, the rainbow and brown trout colors are the best. Wading is much better with the slow water, but always be careful with the slick river bottom.

(updated 10-21-2020) 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. 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).

White River
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Wednesday that the White River stage at Batesville was at 7.68 feet, well below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. At Newport, the river is at 8.52, almost 18 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is 20.91 feet, more than 5 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet.

(updated 10-21-2020) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report.


Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

(updated 10-14-2020) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temperatures are in the low 70s. Visibility is less than 6-8 inches in most places. Very little to no flow on the main channel and water levels have been consistently 6-8 inches low (careful going over jetties that are normally deep enough to cross!). Black bass are biting fairly well, especially on white or bright-colored spinnerbaits, bladed jigs and square-bill crankbaits around woody cover near the bank or on shallow sand ledges in windy conditions. Dark-colored jigs in the same places worked methodically through brush will pick up bites in calm conditions. Small fish can be caught along jetties on the main channel using the same lures. Keep an eye out for schooling activity and have a topwater like a Whopper Plopper, Zara Spook or popper-style bait ready to capitalize on surfacing fish (these can get you some big bites right now).

Arkansas River (Pool 2)
No reports.

Cane Creek Lake
(updated 10-21-2019) Cane Creek State Park reports water temperatures are running in the mid-60s. Water clarity has improved, and visibility is around 2 feet. Crappie fishing slowed down over the last week; however, crappie should pick up ahead of next weekend’s weather system. The bite is best in the early morning and late evening. No. 6 minnows seem to be the ticket fished at a depth of 4-6 feet. Regular shiners are working on cloudy days and rosy reds are working better on sunny days. “We have also been getting reports that Electric Chicken Crappie Jigs are starting to produce results.”
Bass can be found chasing schools of shad. “We have been getting reports that lipless crankbaits are the ticket.” Catfish are being caught on trotlines and limblines. Bream fishing has slowed down; however, a few can be found using nightcrawlers at a depth of 4-6 feet deep.

Lake Chicot
(updated 10-21-2020) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), had no report.

Lake Monticello
(updated 10-21-2020) The lake is undergoing a repair to the dam and improvements to the fish habitat and is currently drawn down.


Millwood Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.42 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Mike Siefert at Lake Guide Service said Tuesday that Lake pool is near normal conservation pool, at an elevation of 259.3 feet msl; the discharge around 2,100 cfs in Little River according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Tuesday was around 227 feet msl and falling. 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 with rising and falling lake levels.
Surface temps were stable over the last week, ranging 67-73 degrees. Clarity improved dramatically over the past week with reduction of discharge at the dam, and muddy inflow has tapered off. Clarity in back of the oxbows and main lake continues improvement. Clarity and visibility along Little River is at 5-8 inches depending on location. Further up Little River has more heavier stain conditions. The oxbow’s clarity improved over the past week, still with light stains, ranging 15-20 inches depth of visibility depending on location.
As for fishing specifics:
* Largemouth bass: The water temperature drops have stalled this week with the unseasonably warm days. “If we get another couple of cold fronts coming down, to keep those daytime water temps in the mid-60s all day, it’s going to be on like Donkey Kong!” Mike said. However, he added, the largemouths continue in a feeding mode, following threadfin shad schools with random schooling in the oxbows. The highest activity period has been shifting to later in the morning and mid-day over the past couple weeks. Several simultaneous schools continue random surface-breaking in McGuire Oxbow up Little River with the improvement in water clarity and reduced stain. Small StutterSteps in Millwood Magic, Chug Bugs, Ken Pops and Cordell Crazy Shads in chrome/black back, and Clear Baby Torpedoes continue working at the surface when the schooling bass bust the shad near surface over 12-18 foot structure, where lily pads are a short distance on flats near the vertical structure. Bass Assassin Shad jerkbaits and Johnson Chrome Spoons are working when bass break in the pads. One-knocker Rat-L-Traps, Bomber Crankbaits and Little John Cranks continue working for solid bass from 3-5 pounds following shad and bait pods over 15-20 feet of depth.
Adolescent largemouths have been randomly surface-breaking on schools of threadfin shad at multiple locations, near and in lily pads for short durations for several weeks in the best water clarity of the oxbows up Little River. When the shad schools move to vertical structure, the largemouths will follow and suspend over 15-18 feet of depth. Where vertical structure drops from 5-foot flats into 18 feet’ drops, the ¾-ounce Rat-L-Traps in Splatterback, Millwood Magic, chrome Cordell 3/4-to-1-ounce Hammered Spoons, MR-6 Crankbaits and Bomber Fat Free Shads in Millwood Magic, Louisiana Shad, or Tennessee Shad have been connecting with the suspended bass over 14-18 foot depths in the oxbows.

* White bass: Not much changed over past week, with white bass continue to roam the oxbow lakes up Little River, and they are beginning to follow the same large schools of threadfin shad as the largemouth bass, occasionally surface-breaking on shad, willing to bite crankbaits, jigging spoons and Rat-L-Traps, Little John Cankbaits and Bomber Fat Free Shad cranks over the mid-channel depths, and near tributary points with stumps and grass. Trolling McGuire oxbow upriver with mid-depth Bomber Fat Free Shad Crankbaits in Tennessee Shad over the past week connected with a few schools of 1-to-3-pound white bass. Vertical-jigging War Eagle Underspins with a short 2-to-3-inch white curly grub trailer connected with the whites once the schools were located by trolling and watching the schools follow the shad on electronics. Fat Free Guppy crankbaits in Citrus Shad were catching shallow-feeding whites in 5-8 feet depth near vertical structure and standing timber in McGuire, also.
* Crappie: Have improved with the reduction of muddy inflow and current of Little River, especially in planted brush. Jigs and minnows got the best responses from 8-12 feet of depth in brushtops.
* Catfish: Have been fair to good along Little River, with trotlines and yo-yo’s working along Little River from 9-12 feet deep using cut shad, buffalo, drum or Kings Punch Bait.
* Bream: No report.

Lake Columbia
(updated 10-21-2020) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had no report.

Lake Greeson Tailwater
Visit for a daily update on fishing conditions.

Lake Greeson
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 542.11 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

No report.

DeGray Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.56 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips Guide Service (501-844-5418) says the fishing is consistent from last week. Crappie are doing great on minnows under corks 10 feet deep on brushpiles. White bass can be found in roaming pods near the bottom in 20-plus-feet of water. Vertical-jig spoons and fill the livewell.

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.35 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 531.99 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
No reports.


White Oak Lake
(updated 10-21-2020) Curtis Willingham of River Rat Bait (870-231-3831) says the clarity is muddy and the lake level is low. Crappie are good on medium shiners and pinks. Black bass are also hitting the shiners with good results. Catfishing is good using stink bait, chicken liver and goldfish.

No report.


Lake Atkins
(updated 10-14-2020) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water this week has been calm and clear. Water level is low. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair; use minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair; use worms. Catfish are biting well. Bait a yo-yo with live bait such as black salties or small perch.

Lake Catherine
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

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

(updated 10-21-2020) 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. Lake Ouachita remains just below flood pool, which has enabled Entergy to greatly reduce flow from all area dams. Entergy is running a minimum flow pattern flow below Carpenter Dam and lake conditions are stable. Rainbow trout fishing will return in mid-November when the AGFC’s stocking program begins again for the winter. Trout are normally in Lake Catherine the week before the Thanksgiving holiday or earlier, depending on fish availability. The beginning of fall finds white and hybrid bass still living in the tailrace and feeding on shad. Boaters trolling shallow-running crankbaits that imitate minnows or crawfish have caught these fish in decent numbers this week. Size ranges from 1 to 2 pounds with some hybrid catches over 4 pounds. Topwater action has been observed in the early morning below the bridge. Walleye still remain in the tailrace and have been caught on minnows tightlined in deep water. The closer to the dam you fish during the fall, the more likely you are to catch walleye. The deepest areas consistently hold walleye that live and feed in the tailrace. A few catfish have been taken on stink baits around rock structure close to the dam. No striper activity has been reported this week, but these predator fish migrate in and out of the area frequently.
Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should always wear a life jacket and must observe all park rules. Mask wearing and social distancing should be observed by everyone visiting the Carpenter Dam area. Until the trout stocking program begins again, the fishing report will remain consistent from week to week. The infusion of trout always shocks the system into action with more and diverse species of fish migrating into the area to live and feed.

Lake Dardanelle
(updated 10-21-2020) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said they have been hosting weekend bass tournaments for the past several weeks. The weather has been great, but the bass fishing has been tough for all of them. The water is cooling off and there is not much river flow to speak of. Anglers have been weighing several 3- and 4-pound bass, but many have not been catching a five-bass limit.
He says the past week featured sunshine and cool temperatures before turning somewhat cloudy and humid. The National Weather Service is monitoring a front that is setting over the state from Texarkana to Memphis. Temperatures are expected to begin the period above normal until a possible cold front arrives early next week. Slight rain chances are expected this weekend as this front waffles over the area.
The water clarity remains somewhat turbid and visibility was little more than a foot or 2. Surface water temperature is 68 degrees.
The Corps of Engineers said Tuesday that Ozark Lock and Dam was not releasing much water. Ozark has been releasing water to generate for a short time in the evening or overnight if at all. River flow there has been fluctuating between nothing and 27,000 cfs over the past couple of weeks. The Ozark tailwater had been consistently near 337 feet msl since last report. River flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was nil and has fluctuated to 28,000 cfs. Dardanelle tailwater level has fluctuated between 4 and 7 feet. The pool elevation near the State Park has been just above 337 feet msl.
“For details or any questions contact our visitor center at (479) 967-5516. Be safe while on the river and take time to put a line in the water!”

Lake Hamilton
(updated 10-21-2020) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s water levels continuing to fall slowly due limited flow and evaporation. Water temps are in the mid-60s throughout the lake, except in the river channel. “This is quite simply the absolute worst fishing we have ever seen in recent history. We need rain, folks, but we will settle for a drastic drop in temperatures (not happening anytime soon).”
Here is the sum up: Bass – terrible; crappie – horrible, bream – xecent on worms and xrickets at 15-20 feet off docks and over brush; catfish – no report.

Most game fish are suspended right now in 20-plus feet depths and have no interest in eating. Fish are mostly lethargic due to low oxygen levels. Not just Hamilton is bad, all surrounding lakes are not doing well at all. This coming week will be even worse with high temps in the 80s and blue bird skies. “Good luck! Go Greeson!”

Lake Nimrod
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.33 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) says the clarity has cleared up quite a bit. Water level is low. Bream are fair. They are not bedded up, but they’re being caught in shallow water. Use redworks or crickets. Crappie are good and are being caught 4-6 feet deep. Focus on the brushpiles and use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good. The best catches are coming on topwater lures and Alabama rigs. Catfishing is good trolling on Bandits, Road Runners, perch and black salties.

(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are being caught on Bobby Garland Jigs in popsicle, shiney hiney, glimmer blue, bbq chicken, cajun crickets, blue ice, shimmer, monkey milk, crystal, bone, gumdrop, pennyback baby shad, slab slay’r and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Bream are being caught on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper. Black bass are hitting worms, lizards and Brush Hogs.

Lake Ouachita
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 577.75 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are good. The topwater bite is better, and spotted bass are schooled up chasing baitfish. Try a small 3/8-ounce spoon in submerged schools and your favorite topwater bait in those same areas. Major creek mouths and up the rivers have had the best reports.No reports on walleye. Stripers are fair. These fish are being caught on live bait. Bream are fair with crickets or worms in 15-25 feet of water. Crappie are fair to good. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 15-25 feet of water. Catfish are fair and being caught with rod-and-reel and on jugs. Cut bait and live bait are working best. Water temperature is ranging 68-73 degrees and the clarity is clear. Lake level is at 577.75 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 384.33 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl).

No reports.


White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday reported the Clarendon gauge at 18.71 feet, well below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.

Cook’s Lake
(updated 10-21-2020) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) reports that the White River level at Clarendon is perfect for a fishing trip at Cooks Lake; however, the fish have different thoughts. Black bass should be shallow and hitting slow-moving baits flipped into hollow cypress trees or spinnerbaits bumped off of the trees on more windy days. Crappie are slow but are being caught on minnows and jigs around laydowns. Hafner also reminds everyone that the last day for fishing Cooks Lake in 2020 is Saturday, Oct. 31. The lake will serve as a waterfowl rest area November through February.
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
(updated 10-21-2020) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says anglers continue to have great success catching crappie at Bear Creek Lake. Anglers report catching crappie at depths of 2-3 feet with baits such as minnows and jigs. Majority of catches being caught off of jigs. Some anglers are reporting catching a few catfish as well in deeper water. Anglers report using baits such as stink bait and homemade baits. Mississippi River State Park is still waiting on information from the Forest Service about when the construction of the spillway will be coordinated.

Storm Creek Lake
(updated 10-21-2020) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says anglers have been experiencing very poor fishing quality out of Storm Creek Lake. No reports at this time.

Horseshoe Lake
No reports.

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