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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 11-04-2020


Nov. 4, 2020

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 4, 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 10 a.m. the day of publication.

****Buy an Arkansas Fishing License by clicking here. Your purchase of a Fishing License helps support the AGFC’s work in maintaining the fishing resources throughout the state.

Quick links to regions:

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. Geological 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 11-4-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said clarity is back to the normal Lake Conway stain and the water level is also normal. The bream bite continues at a good rate. Bream are being caught off the shoreline and in the creek channels. Redworms and crickets are both working. Crappie are good, particularly in the early mornings and the late afternoons and in the shallow water. Black bass continue to bite well, with anglers’ best success this week coming on plastic worms. Target areas around the cypress trees for best results. Catfish are fair, with most action on limblines baited with cut shad.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 11-4-2020) Angler Dennis Charles had no report.

Little Red River
(updated 11-4-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the river is at normal level and is a little stained. The trout bite has been “pretty good” on Rooster Tails and maribou jigs around the banks.

(updated 10-28-2020) Greg Seaton of (501-690-9166) said the river is clear today (Oct. 28) “but we’ll have to wait and see how much rain we get today (Wednesday) and tomorrow. Generation has been on a twice-a-day schedule of one unit early in the morning and again late afternoon. Again, it’s best to check the schedule daily.”
Greg says there was a midge hatch Monday in the low water and the fish were rising. The midges were small (probably size 28-30) and hard to match. “This makes fishing tough but we were able to fish the deeper water with small midge pupa with some success. Also, small emergers worked fished just under the surface.”
The extreme low water caused by a couple of days of no generation makes the fishing difficult. The fish are very selective and spooky, so the presentation and fly selection become very important. Fishing falling, moving water after generation usually produces a better bite.

(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.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.84 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl).

(updated 11-4-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry is staying about the same at present, 458.88 feet msl. It is 3.16 feet below normal pool for this time of year of 462.04 feet feet msl. Fish are experiencing a turnover in different parts of the lake now and until it is over and gets settled back down, usually two weeks, catching is going to be down. But after that, the fishing should resume being better than so for this fall. If you run into water with an awful smell and tannic color, you are in the middle of it and you need to move up or down the lake to try and get away from it.
Black bass are eating topwater baits on out to 40 feet dragging something and all in between. Some are staying in place but a lot are roaming around staying with the moving schools of shad. Spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits, hair jigs, A-rigs and drop-shots are working. Crappie can still be caught with crankbaits ,jigs, minnows, Road Runners and beetle spins at various depths. The walleye bite is off with turnover, for sure. A lot are roaming underneath schools of shad as well. Try spoons or drop-shot baits. Some bream are still up shallow but most are moving deeper; try crawlers from real shallow out to 25 feet. No report on catfish. Hybrid bass and white bass are still trying to eat off and on but hate murky or off-colored water. But the bite will be great when all of this is over for the rest of winter; for now, try spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits or live bait.

(updated 11-4-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that the lake is low and with clear clarity. Bass are good on Rock Crawler Crankbait and Wiggle Wart Crankbait in 6-8 feet of water, as well as biting on drop-shots and Carolina rigs. Crappie are fair for anglers throwing blue/white and shad-colored crappie jigs. Walleye are good on the main lake and secondary points by drop-shotting and using nightcrawlers.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 11-4-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake is clearbut the water level is low. Bream reports have been poor of late. Crappie are good. Crappie are being caught on trotlines in the early morning. Minnows and jigs are working for anglers. Black bass reports have been poor for two weeks. Catfishing is good. Use worms, chicken liver or goldfish.

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 11-4-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the lake’s clarity turned a little murky in the past few days. Water level is normal. Stripers are good on spinnerbaits, he said. Bream are good on redworms or crickets. Crappie reports the past week have been excellent. Try a minnow or a jig in white/chartreuse. No reports on black bass. Catfishing is good using shad or basic catfish bait.

Brewer Lake
No report.

Lake Maumelle
(updated 11-4-2020) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland said water temperature remains in the mid-60s. The largemouth bass bite is good. Some can be found in shallow water or just outside the grass line biting a variety of lures. Try using Rat-L-Traps or that style of bait, along with swimbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Kentucky bass are good as well. Some reports have surfaced of them being found in 15-20 feet off drops and rocky banks Use jigs. White bass are slow. There have been reports of anglers catching them while trolling. Try using minnows, Rooster Tails, jerbaits or rattle-style baits. Crappie are good. Reports have come in of them moving out of deeper water and being found in 16-18 feet in shallow brush. Some can still be found scattered. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are fair. They can be found on windy points by drop-offs in 12-16 feet of water. Use crickets, worms or beetle spins. Catfishing is good. Try using chicken liver, nightcrawlers or baitfish.

Sunset Lake
(updated 11-4-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports. Lisa’s Bait Shop will be closing on or before Nov. 25.

Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 11-4-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports. Lisa’s Bait Shop will be closing on or before Nov. 25.

Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 11-4-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports. Lisa’s Bait Shop will be closing on or before Nov. 25.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
No report.

Lake Norrell
(updated 11-4-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports. Lisa’s Bait Shop will be closing on or before Nov. 25.

Lake Winona
(updated 11-4-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports. Lisa’s Bait Shop will be closing on or before Nov. 25.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 11-4-2020) 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 10-28-2020) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said clarity is clear and the river is at a normal level. Crappie are still good, with minnows and jigs working. Black bass are good using crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish made an appearance, with reports of fair catches on chicken liver. No reports on on bream.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 24,401 cfs.

No report.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 21,737 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 28,667 cfs.

(updated 11-4-2020) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the pool is at normal level and is clear. Bass are fair on square-billed crankbaits and spinnerbaits in white and chartreuse colors along the jetties. Crappie are fair using white/chartreuse and orange/chartreuse crappie jigs in 8 feet of water around brush.

(updated 10-28-2020) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported that crappie are excellent around the Burns Park area. Target a depth of 4-5 feet off the rocks using minnows. Crappie are also good below Terry Lock and Dam. At that location, focus on 10-15 feet deep off the rocks with minnows. Stripers are good below the Murray Lock and Dam and the hydroelectric plant. They’re going after white Super Flukes. Black bass are fair. Anglers are catching them at a depth of 10-15 feet on shaky head worms.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 11-4-2020) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no reports.

Peckerwood Lake
(update 11-4-2020) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) had no new reports. Herman’s closes for the season in November, reopening in February after duck season closes.


White River

(updated 11-4-2020) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said the White River watershed, which includes Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake and their tailwaters, in addition to Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes, saw several feet rise in elevation due to rainfall this past week. Releases from Bull Shoals Dam into the White River, however,have remained fairly low with opportunities to wade fish in some areas. A better quality of rainbows cropped up this past week to the delight of all the trout anglers here.Best bait was the steelhead orange XFactor egg pattern, sometimes combined with shrimp, sometimes stand alone. The browns are being finicky and very selective about what they’ll nibble. Sculpins seemed to be the only bait that attracted the browns.Probably the bigger factor for a slow brown trout bite was the exceptionally bright, brilliant and beautiful full moon this week. The water level is perfect for some jig fishing; try a pink jighead with white skirt. “Take advantage of this terrific weather we’ve been promised: sunny warm days are perfect for an escape to the river. See you there!”

(updated 11-4-2020) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) says this week was much improved over last week. The clarity is “really good.” River level is normal, with the Army Corps of Engineers running 2-4 generators at Bull Shoals Dam. The trout bite was good. Rainbows are doing really well, they report, while browns are “doing OK.” The catch-and-release area below Bull Shoals is closed until February.

(updated 11-4-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that over the past week they have had four days of rain that combined for 6 inches in Cotter, along with cooler temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 3.7 feet to rest at 2.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 33.5 feet below the top of the flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 3.4 feet to rest at 1.8 feet below seasonal power pool and 13.7 feet above the top of the flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 3.4 feet to rest at 1.8 feet above seasonal power pool and 7.8 feet below the top of the flood pool. The White had light generation overnight and moderate generation during the day and limited wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 3.1 feet to rest at 2.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 23.3 feet below the top of the flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had some wadable water this week. All of the lakes in the White River system are above the power pool.
The White has fished well. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 14 pheasant tail nymph).
John said that a week ago onMonday, “I had a three-client guide trip on the White River. Three client trips are always problematic. You have more people in the boat, limiting movement. You have to rig and maintain three rods, which uses more flies, leaders and tippets. You have more lunches to supply and you have to make sure everyone catches trout.
“The weather on Monday was tough to say the least. The temperature at starting time was in the mid-40s and promised to drop all day. Rain was to begin at 11 a.m. and last all day and night. I dressed carefully that day. I wore polypropylene long underwear top and bottom. I added a pair of fleece pants and a wool sweater. I topped that with a micro puff-filled jacket. I added heavy wool socks and wool fingerless gloves. A heavy Gore-Tex insulated hat, waders and a heavy duty rain jacket finished off my ensemble. In the beginning, I was quite comfortable.
“We began drifting and catching trout. It took a few minutes to figure out the top fly. It turned out to be an egg fly suspended under a cerise San Juan Worm.
“About 10 a.m., it began raining. It was light at first. As the morning went on, it increased, the wind picked up, the temperature dropped and the water level came up. My hands were wet and cold. The wind was blowing the rain in my face and my glasses were heavily spotted with rain. My clients had the same problem. I found a protected spot to get out of the rain for lunch. It was nice to get out of the rain but it was still cold. We dawdled over lunch for a while and eventually returned to the river.
“The wind and rain conspired with the higher water to make the fishing tougher. My clients were cold and wet but wanted to continue fishing. The wind caused several monumental line tangles. It was difficult to untangle them with cold, wet hands. My glasses were streaked with water and vision was difficult at best. I had to pull up to the bank to rerig the rods. Since my glasses were useless, I removed them. The tippet was sticking to my wet hands, making the process even more difficult. I eventually accomplished the task and returned to fishing. We continued to catch fish although the catch slowed. We finally finished the day and I returned home.
“I was in a hurry to get inside and warm up. I left my boat uncovered and went in for the night. It continued to rain all night. I neglected to pull the plug. When I went out, the next day I had about 6 inches of water in my boat. I pulled the plug and, once the rain stopped, I dried out my boat and gear and put my boat cover on. The whole process took a couple of hours.
“I was glad to be out of the cold and wet. We caught fish but it was challenging. I miss the summer.”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 662.24 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl). The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 916.92 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-4-2020) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock says the surface water temperature took a 5-degree drop from this time last week and is at 62 degrees.The lake remains dingy to clear and is at a normal level. Like last week, the Army Corps of Engineers has been slightly slowing the generation and the shad are getting balled up more. There are 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. The topwater bite has slowed drastically.”
Del suggests trying spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, or square bills for powerfishing “shallow” if there’s 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. Fish the pockets, channel swings and transitions with wind. Brushpiles are getting good if there are 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, green pumpkin blue, or a green pumpkin orange shaky head.

Norfork Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 556.89 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 11-4-2020) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no report.

Norfork Tailwater
(updated 11-4-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 3.1 feet to rest at 2.7 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 23.3 feet below the top of the flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had some wadable water this week. All of the lakes in the White River system are above power pool.
The Norfork is fishing well. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during recent flooding. 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 a pheasant tail size 14 below a cerise San Juan worm. The fishing is better in the morning.
Dry Run Creek is fishing well. Expect less pressure during the week with school underway. Weekends can be pretty busy. 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 11-4-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and off-color. 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 1,122.46 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,120.43 feet msl).

(updated 11-4-2020) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake had a 4-foot rise after nearly 8 inches of rain last week. The lake now sits about 1.5 feet above normal pool. Water temperature is in the lower 50s. Water clarity is from clear to slightly stained from Prairie Creek to the dam, stained from Hickory Creek to Horseshooe Bend, and stained from Hickory Creek up into the White and War Eagle river arms. Fishing will start to pick up this week with really nice weather predicted. Crappie were starting to bite and should turn on as water clears. Everything has been slow but should really see an uptick t his week. Next week the report will be much better. There is some debris still floating on the lake. Be careful and keep and eye out for it. Check out Jon’s Facebook page at FishOn Guides Goshen Arkansas for updated reports as conditions change quickly this time of the year.

(updated 11-4-2020) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the river is still a little stained. Surface temperature is ranging 67-68 degrees. Water level is normal. Stripers are good on big brooder minnows. The topwater bite is starting, and Rat-L-Traps are good baits as well. Crappie were back to good response; try using minnows or crankbaits and target the brushpiles. Black bass improved as well with a slight rise in temperature and better weather. Bass were biting best in the early mornings and late evenings. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater lures, buzzbaits and drop-shots were all working. No reports on catfish or bream.

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 11-4-2020) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “Fishing this past week has been good on the tailwater. Most trout are being caught with Pautzke Fire Bait fished with light terminal tackle. Quarter-ounce spoons and small crankbaits are also getting the job done. The water level went up a bit and is holding steady with generation. This week’s hot spot has been around the Spider Creek area. A few walleye were caught toward Beaver town trolling deep-diving crank baits in 10-15 feet of water. Most are still juvenile males, but there are some keepers in there, for sure. Try to stay in that 10-15 feet or water range when fishing for the eyes, no matter the method.
“Hope y’all are enjoying the fall weather and colors. Be safe, have fun and catch some fish!”

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 11-4-2020) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the lake clarity remains murky. The surface water temperature is in the 60s, while the water level is still high. Crappie are still biting well, as anglers find them trolling minnows or using jigs. Black bass are good on topwater baits and on minnows. Catfish picked up with good reports. Shad and regular catfish bait were being used. No reports on bream.

Lake Fort Smith
No report.

Lake Sequoyah
(updated 11-4-2020) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says the lake clarity is still “very clear,” and water level returned to normal. Black bass are good on crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing bounced back after last week with good reports. Best catches were coming on chicken liver. Crappie and bream reports are poor.


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 boathouses, 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 11-4-2020) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said a sustained drawdown is planned for Lake Charles to begin Nov. 15 (see above note). The best days for fishing on Lake Charles, based on moon times, are expected to be Nov. 12-18. The fish have been scattered of late. Anglers report catches of small bass and crappie. The catch is rated fair for both. No baits were mentioned. No reports on catfish or bream catches. Surface water temperature Sunday morning was60 degrees. The lake is murky but will drop as water from Lake Charles is used to help flood the Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area for waterfowl season.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 11-4-2020) 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 10-28-2020) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the bad weather has chased away most if not all of the anglers. No reports were heard. The lake clarity is clear and the surface water temperature is 67 degrees. Water level is normal.

Spring River
(updated 11-4-2019) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels have been at 380 cfs this week. Rain last week did bring water level up about 6 inches. Water clarity was poor after the rain and now is  heavily green tinted. Before the rain the river was very low and clear, too clear.
With leaves still falling, the catching can be tough on windy days. Plenty of leaves caught on those days. On the calm cloudy days the catching has been excellent on Woolies. Big nymphs are hot, also. On the windy days you’ve just got to get the fly below the leaves. Y2Ks or smaller nymphs/ants can work.
On spinning equipment, Trout Magnets in hot pink, orange and black are very hot below a float. For really big fish, trout cranks are the ticket. Walleye feed on smaller trout in the river. Actually, there are probably a lot of other predator fish that feed on the smaller trout. Rainbow and brown trout colors work well.
Big rainbow trout will begin moving with colder temps. One big brown was caught last week, but we haven’t seen many. Really cold temps will move smallmouth bass up looking for warming water. Stocking is not as heavy, making wintertie the best time to catch bigger fish.

(updated 11-4-2020) 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 7.90 feet, well below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. At Newport, the river jumped 8 inches from this time last week, to 14.47, but still well below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is 27.59 feet, above the flood stage of 26.0 feet.

(updated 11-4-2020) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report.


Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 11-4-2020) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temperatures in the mid-to-low 60s. Visibility up to 1 foot in protected backwaters, only inches on the main channel, which is flowing strong. Water level was about normal. Black bass were biting very well on small shallow crankbaits in shad/chrome colors. Look for the first sand drop in front of pockets with abundant shad, or flats with shad. You can occasionally see surface schooling to key in on where to cast. Black bass can also be caught near the ends of main channel jetties.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)
No reports.

Cane Creek Lake
(updated 11-4-2019) Cane Creek State Park reports Cane Creek Lake water temperatures are running in the mid-60s. Water clarity is starting to improve after last week’s rains; visibility is around 1 foot. Crappie fishing is slow following the last front but should improve going into the weekend. Bite is best 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 are falling into a late fall pattern and can be found fishing suspended structure. Catfish are being caught on trotlines and limblines using large minnows and various attractant baits such as chicken liver.

Lake Chicot
No report.

Lake Monticello
(updated 11-4-2020) 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 259.44 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).

(updated 11-4-2020) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Monday thatMillwood Lake pool has jumped about 7-8 inches above normal conservation pool from recent thunderstorms and inflow of muddy water. On Monday Millwood Lake pool elevation was 259.9 feet msl and falling. Discharge was around 6,500 cfs in Little River according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday was around 233 feet msl and steady with discharge. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels.
Surface temps were stable over the last week, ranging 56-63 degrees. Clarity worsened over the past few days in the oxbow lakes along Little River, with heavy stain pushing into the oxbows from Little River’s muddy inflow, ranging 10-20 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility along Little River was at 3-5 inches depending on location. Further up Little River has more heavier stain conditions. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, gate discharge, rain, or thunderstorms.
As for fishing specifics:
* Largemouth bass: The water temperatures this week have settled into the mid-to-upper 50s and low 60s. A couple of cold fronts coming through Millwood Lake this week have kept daytime water temps in the low 60s most all day long, and the “Millwood Mayhem” continues with the largemouth and white bass feeling frisky. Largemouth bass continue in a feeding mode and are following threadfin shad schools in the oxbows.The highest activity period has been shifting to later in the morning and midday over the past few weeks. 1-knocker Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic and Splatterback Shad continue working from subsurface to the surface when the bass are chasing and busting shad over 12-18 foot structure, and where lily pads are a short distance on flats near the vertical structure. Johnson Chrome Spoons are working when bass break in the pads. Bomber Fat Free Shad Crankbaits and custom painted Little John Crankbaits continue working for solid bass from 3-3.5 pounds, following shad and bait pods over 15-20 feet of depth. Adolescent bass continue random, surface-breaking on schools of threadfin shad at multiple locations near and in Lily pads for short durations in the best water clarity of the oxbows up Little River. When the shad schools move to vertical structure, the largemouths will follow the shad schools and suspend over 15-18 feet of depth. Where vertical structure drops from 5-foot flats into 18-foot drops, the custom-painted Little John Crankbaits in Splatterback Shad or Millwood Magic, and ¾-ounce Rat-L-Traps in Splatterback and Millwood Magic continue working for the suspended bass. 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 also connected with the suspended bass over 14-18 feet depths in the oxbows.
Shallow square-bill cranks like the Bill Lewis Echo 1.75 or SB-57 in Millwood Magic, Splatterback and Fat Free Shads in Tennessee Shad continue drawing reactions as a few bass are beginning to follow the shad into the creek channels. Shad schools are beginning to migrate into several creek mouths up Little River in McGuire Oxbow. The MR-6 Crankbaits in Millwood Magic, Splatterback or Louisiana Shad colors continue getting good responses. Best locations are near intersecting creek channels dumping into McGuire. The creek channel points, which dump into Little River, have been holding small schools of juvenile largemouths from 2-3 pounds, where large stumps and pads nearby have been holding good schools of bass for several weeks.
* White bass: They continue roaming the oxbow lakes up Little River and are following the same large schools of threadfin shad as the largemouths, occasionally surface-breaking on shad and willing to bite crankbaits, jigging spoons and Rat-L-Traps, Little John Crankbaits 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 and Little John custom-painted crankbaits in Tennessee Shad and Splatterback Shad over the past couple weeks have connected with a good schools of 2-3 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 near vertical structure and standing timber in McGuire, also. “It’s a GREAT TIME TO TAKE A KID FISHING for these hard charging, rod-hammering big white bass!” Mike says.

* Crappie: Slowed over the past week with increased muddy current along Little River and stain pushing into the oxbows.
* Cats: Have been fair to good along Little River, with trotlines and yo-yos working along Little River from 9-12 feet deep using cut shad, buffalo, drum or King’s Punch Bait.
* Bream: No report.

Lake Columbia
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 540.67 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 398.39 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-28-2020) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips Guide Service (501-844-5418) says the crappie are still there 6-12 feet deep. The big slabs are tough and holding near the bottom of the brushpiles, which makes them hard to get to without hanging up. The smaller, good-eating-size crappie are ample in numbers though. Fish ON, everyone.

De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.47 feet msl (full pool: 437.36 feet msl).

Dierks Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.36 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 11-4-2020) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report.

Lake Catherine
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

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

(updated 11-4-2020) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 53 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Both lakes Hamilton and Catherine are being drawn down 5 feet, which began Nov. 1. Each lake will fall 6 inches per day with this process complete by Nov. 11. The 5-foot drawdown will remain in place until March 1, 2021, when the refilling process is scheduled to begin. The No. 8 gate is open below Carpenter Dam to assist in this lowering process. Boaters should use caution when approaching the dam as underwater obstructions are becoming visible under low-water conditions. 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 has white bass and hybrid bass still living in the tailrace and feeding on shad. Boaters trolling shallow-running crankbaits that imitate minnows or crawfish will catch fish in current created by an open flood gate. Size will range 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 can be caught on minnows tightlined in deep water. The closer to the dam you fish, the more likely you are to catch walleye in the fall. The deepest areas consistently hold walleye that live and feed in the tailrace. 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 11-4-2020) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water Clarity is poor but clearing. Water temperatures are in the 50s. “Right where we want it; now, if the conditions were just better it would be on fire,” he said. Bass have still been good “but the best is yet to come once we get some clearwater, but for now use bright spinnerbaits like coleslaw color. Rayburn Red Rat-L-Trap. Wiggle Warts in orange and black, chartreuse and black or yellow and black has been working great. Jigs in black and blue with a black Spadra Bamboozie trailer also are working. Plastics have been working in green pumpkin with some orange. Crappie has still been good, around 8-foot deep. Natural colors are still the way to go, but in the real dirty water, electric chicken and cajun cricket have been working. And minnows will work if you just let them swim around without moving them around much. White bass are still in the creeks in the bays. Where there is the dirty water it’s a lot easier to get over the top of them and the stripers. Spoons, spinnerbaits and swimbaits have been working. The large stripers are still on the hard bottom points, like shell beds. Catfish have been excellent but are starting to slow. Cut perch, shad and worms are best. There are a lot of channel cats still in the backwater.

(updated 11-4-2020) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said he’s gotten no fishing reports at the park in the past week. Visibility in the water continues to be a little more than a foot. Surface temperature is 58 degrees. Since last week, steady rains left the area giving way to clear sunshine and cool temperatures. The National Weather Service forecasts a tranquil forecast through the week and into the weekend. Temperatures are expected to be above average until a possible cold front approaches Tuesday. Rain is not expected until late Monday.
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported Ozark Lock and Dam was about 26,000 cfs. Release at Ozark peaked last Thursday morning at 154,000 cfs and steadily slowed to below 30,000 cfs Saturday. Since then, Ozark has only released through the powerhouse and flows sometimes go below 10,000 cfs. The Ozark tailwater has risen to near 339 feet msl since last report. Release at Dardanelle Lock and Dam peaked midday last Thursday near 150,000 cfs. Dardanelle began flowing only through the powerhouse on Sunday morning and has since held consistent flow at 18,000 cfs. Dardanelle tailwater level crested near 21 feet and is now down near 6 feet. The pool elevation near the State Park has fallen slightly to just above 337 feet msl. For details or 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 11-4-2020) 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 on the front end of a downhill fall. The lake is being dropped 5 feet this year for dock repairs, so please be aware that shallows are a real threat and DANGER from here on out. Please run the main channels at speed and the main channels only! Lake visibility is 10-15 feet right now and it should stay this way unless there is a major rainfall.
Bass have been really good this last week! Shallow is the word to use! Bass, and some Big Bass, have moved into the shallow flats adjacent to the main channels and major feeder creeks. These fish don’t do much during the daytime, but during the early morning and late afternoon they can easily be caught in large numbers on a shad or white Zara Spook and fished in a walk-the-dog pattern. Under bridges are also good areas to hook up with these feisty feeding fish. In the high sun of the day a frog (Zoom Horny Toad) in white or black gets the job done in 2 feet of water under docks.” Crappie have been doing really well in the VERY EARLY mornings. A live minnow under a cork fished over the brushtops at 15-30 feet is having really good results, but when the sun rises it’s over. Bream are also doing very well on worms in 20 feet of water near or on docks or brush. No catfish report. “Good Luck and Go Greeson!”

Lake Nimrod
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.49 feet msl (normal pool: 342.0 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.

Lake Ouachita
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 577.76 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-4-2019) 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 still fair. These fish are being caught on live bait. No reports on bream. Crappie are still good. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 15-25 feet of water. No report on catfish. Water temperature is ranging 68-73 degrees and the clarity is clear. Lake level earlier this week was at 578.12 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.46 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No report.


White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday reported the Clarendon gauge at 24.14 feet, a little below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.

Cook’s Lake
(updated 11-4-2020) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) reports that fishing has closed for the year at Cook’s Lake. Cook’s Lake will serve as a waterfowl rest area from November through February and will reopen to fishing in March if the water level permits. Hafner wants to thank everyone who took the time to bring a youth to experience Cook’s Lake this fishing season and hopes to see everyone again next spring.
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, 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. For more information please call the center at 870-241-3373.

Bear Creek Lake
(updated 10-28-2020) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says this week anglers have had little success catching fish at Bear Creek. A few blue catfish have been caught. Anglers are still reporting fish being caught in deeper waters due to the cooler temperatures. The U.S. Forest Service has not started the construction of the new spillway yet. Mississippi River State Park is still waiting for more information at this time.

Storm Creek Lake
(updated 10-28-2020) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says there has been very little fishing activity taking place at Storm Creek Lake, and no reports.

Horseshoe Lake
No reports.

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