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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 11-11-2020


Nov. 11, 2020

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 11, 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 7 a.m. the day of publication (Nov. 11, 2020).

****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:


TOP AND LEFT: Abbott Young caught this beautiful rainbow trout at Dry Run Creek, just below the Norfork Dam in north Arkansas. Dry Run Creek is geared toward youths catching and releasing trout like this. Abbott’s dad, Philip Young of Conway, said his on fought this trout for 10 minutes before netting him and posing for the photo. Read more about what’s going on at Dry Run Creek in guide John Berry’s report below on fishing at the Norfork Lake area. Berry says brown trout are moving into the creek now.


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 11-13-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said clarity is back to the normal Lake Conway stain and the water level is low. Crappie fishing is excellent. They’re biting great in the creeks, the usual places: Caney Creek, Gold Creek and the Highway 89 bridge. Use a chartreuse/black or chartreuse/white jig, about 1-3 inches. Other good colors arne green, pearl, blue and pink. Also, pink, medium and crappie minnows are getting bit. The bream are biting well on redworms, crickets and waxworms. The latest on black bass is that they are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater lures, buzzbaits and poppers. Catfishing is good using stink bait, dough bait, big minnows, nightcrawlers, skipjack and shad.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 11-11-2020) Angler Dennis Charles said he has not been able to collect many reports of ate, BUT of those anglers who do share their stories, crappie are slow in midwater away from the shore. Bream are slow off the weeds. Bass are suspended 12 feet on average; try the whole box. Catfish are by the docks and deep holes. Try the box on them as well.

Little Red River
(updated 11-11-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said, “We are in the typical fall and winter generation pattern for the Little Red River. We are seeing some generation on weekdays and very little, if any, generation over the weekends. This generation pattern is unpredictable and could change depending on power demands. It’s highly recommended to check forecasted and real-time generation before planning a trip to the Little Red.” For fly fishing, Lowell recommends midges, hare’s ears and sowbugs. Hot pink and cotton candy colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin-fishing. Be safe while enjoying the river. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 11-13-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says Little Red River is at low level and clear. Trout are good on Rooster Tails and maribou jigs.

(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.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.62 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl).

(updated 11-11-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry is staying about the same, 458.68 feet msl. It is 3.36 feet below normal pool for this time of year of 462.04 feet msl. “We are experiencing a turnover in different parts of lake now and until it is over and gets settled back down, usually two weeks, catching is going to be down. But after that it should resume, being better than so far 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 uplake or downlake 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 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, too. Try spoons and drop-shot baits. Some bream are still up shallow, but most are moving deeper; try crawlers from real shallow out to 25 feet. No reports on catfish. Hybrid bass and white bass are still trying to eat off and on but hate murky or off-colored water. The bite will be great, though, when all of this is over for the rest of winter. Try spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits or live bait.

(updated 11-13-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that the lake is 3 feet below normal conservation pool and is clear. Black bass are “pretty good” on Alabama rigs, Rat-L-Traps and swimbaits in 8-15 feet of water off of the points. Crappie are good in 10-15 feet of watewr on monkey milk crappie jigs and natural shad-looking hair jigs.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 11-13-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake is murky. Water level is normal. Bream are fair on redworms. Crappie are good using minnows or jigs, preferably shiny jigs with red tails. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits. Catfish are good casting worms and chicken liver, or baiting trotlines with goldfish or nightcrawlers.

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 11-13-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said anglers are catching a lot of small crappie and starting to catch some larger ones on smaller crappie minnows and white/chartreuse jigs. A few black bass are being caught, though not many. The catfish did not do well this past week; a few small ones were caught. Anglers reported hooking a good number of yellow bass on jigs, Randy said. The clarity are normal and the level is low by 1/2 to 1 foot.

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 (spotted) 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, jerkbaits 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 11-11-2020) 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 11-11-2020) 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 11-11-2020) 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 11-11-2020) 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 11-11-2020) 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 11-11-2020) 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 14,035 cfs.
No reports.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 13,190 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 14,173 cfs.

(updated 11-13-2020) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the pool remains at normal and is strained and muddy. Black bass are good on square-billed crankbaits, white/chartreuse spinnerbaits and black/blue jigs. Crappie are good on white/chartreuse, orange/chartreuse and red/chartreuse jigs in 5-8 feet of water.

(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 11-13-2020) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says bream fishing has picked up lately at Clear Lake. Use redworms or crickets. No other reports on other species, however. The lake is clear and at a normal level.

Peckerwood Lake
(update 11-11-2020) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) is closed for the season and will reopen in February after duck season closes.


White River

(updated 11-11-2020) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said releases from Bull Shoals Dam into the White River tailwaters remained steady and lower, with an average output of about 3,000 to 6,000 cfs (one to two power units). “We’ve seen some days, usually morning hours, when the water level allows for some wade fishing. At these levels, an angler can put an anchor down and fish a favorite deep spot, or drift downriver keeping your line tight and near the bottom without having to use too much weight.
“The brown bite has been iffy because the annual spawn is on, but we’re still seeing some action with sculpin. Be careful not to disturb the spawning beds (the redds) if you motor through spawning areas around Rim Shoals and either side of the catch-and-release area. The rainbows have been feisty and paying most attention to orange baits. XFactor steelhead orange eggs are a favorite for two weeks running paired with a bead of shrimp or alone.
“This November has been spectacular for fall colors and warm, shirt-sleeve days, and, although we expect a cool front to move in later this week, we’ve been promised more sunshine and temperate days to continue for a while. Come visit Cotter; catch your share of rainbows and enjoy the beauty of our Natural State.”

(updated 11-13-2020) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) says last weekend was busy with the good weather. Anglers reported good trout fishing with shrimp, PowerBait, silver Cleos, Rooster Tail spinners and Power Worms. Fly-fishing is good with a grasshopper midge pattern. The river is clear and the level was normal at midweek, with 2-3 generators running from the dam.

(updated 11-11-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that over the past week they had no rain, warmer temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.7 foot to rest at 3.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 32.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.5 foot to rest at 0.2 foot below seasonal power pool and 14.2 feet above the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.3 foot to rest at 1.5 feet above seasonal power pool and 8.1feet below the top of flood pool. The White had light generation. Norfork Lake fell 0.8 foot to rest at 2.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 24.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had some wadable water.
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam is now closed, effective Nov. 1, unti Jan. 31, 2021, to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal catch-and-release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period.
On the lower flows, 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 size 14 pheasant tail nymph with a size 18 ruby midge).
John also said, “My wife, Lori, and I guided a family with three children last week. This is the third time that we have guided them and we are beginning to understand their differences. This concept is not foreign to me. I was one of four children and know that we were all different. My brother, Dan, and I were avid fly-fishers. My sister Carol loved to fish but was not as interested as Dan and I were. On the other hand, my sister Ernestine was not an angler. She was always supportive of the anglers in the family. She even served on the Board of Directors of the Mid South Fly Fishers, the fishing club that Dan and I were active in.
“The family that Lori and I guided consisted of Hannah, a 14-year-old girl; Thomas, a 10-year-old boy; and Alexander, an 8-year-old boy. Hannah was the best angler. Over the past few trips she has bonded with Lori and has become an accomplished angler. She is an intense girl in anything she does and is a straight-A student. On this trip, she managed to land a 25-inch rainbow and a 26-inch brown. Her dad was stoked. He had wanted his children to land a big brown and it happened. He took several photos before we revived and gently released the brown.
“Meanwhile I was guiding the two boys. I took them to another spot. I started with the youngest, Alexander. He is about as intense as Hannah and truly loves to fish. According to his dad, he has been fishing since he was 2. I have guided him several times and he keeps improving. This time he caught a 22-inch brown and did not want to stop for a photo because it would take time from catching fish. He ended up catching the most trout; 26, including two browns at 22 and 23 inches. He had a couple of even larger trout on but unfortunately lost them. To land the really big ones you need a bit of luck.
“The older brother, Thomas, was not as into fishing as his siblings. I worked with him and he caught three nice trout, including a stout 20-inch brown. After that, he lost interest. In an attempt to keep him involved, I made him the “net man” and had him net all of Alexander’s trout. That kept him involved for a while but he eventually lost interest in that, too. I missed seeing him for a while and went looking for him. I found him asleep on a picnic table.
“As I see it, children are all different. They will not all be master anglers. But if you watch their cues and go with the flow, they will enjoy themselves and want to return.”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 661.81 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl). The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 916.86 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-13-2020) 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 more balled up. There is baitfish pushing toward the backs of creeks. “I have been doing better towards back of creeks, and some of hte shad balls are getting bigger but suspended over the old creek channels,” Del said. “The topwater bite has slowed drastically. Try spinnerbaits, chatterbaits or square bills for powerfishing shallow if there are bushes with deeper water close by and shad, and if it’s cloudy or stormy.” He says to target flats close to old creek channels with runoff. As the sun comes up, change tactics and clow down. Pockets, channel swings and transitions with wind are where to fish then. Brushpiles are “getting good if there is 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 green pumpkin orange shaky head.
Bull Shoals Lake is ranging dingy to clear in clarity. Surface temperature earlier this week was 62 degrees. Water level is back up slightly after a lot of rain last week, still around normal level.

Norfork Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 555.66 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).

(updated 11-11-2020) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the fall fishing season on Norfork Lake has started. “This means to me that all species start feeding heavily for the cold winter months. But the best part is that most species school up to feed. When you get into a feeding school of fish, you’ll have a blast. For me the bass bite has been the best over the last week. You can find this species all over the lake and in several different types of areas. The area that has been best for me is in 30-40 feet of water on the edges of large flats. Typically, this is close to a ledge or at an area that gets deeper very quickly. Use your GPS to find contour lines that are very close together on the outer edge of the flat which will show the contour lines farther apart. The bait likes this type of area and the bass will be feeding heavily. I like to vertical jig with a spoon, from half-ounce to 1-ounce depending on the wind conditions. Drop-shot rigs with a small worm should work great. A second method that is still working is to cast out a crankbait that dives 12-15 feet deep. The fish might be on bluffs or on the shallow side of the lake. White with a chartreuse back has been the best colors for both crankbaits and spoons. The old standby, worm or jig fishing, is also catching some nice fish.
“Over the last week white bass have started to show up in large schools more consistently. You may find this species feeding on the bottom, suspended, or just cruising through the area. I am finding whites in a variety of depths, but recently it seems that 30-40 feet is the magic number. The easiest time to catch them is when they are feeding on the bottom. I vertical-jig with a spoon and the best thing is that when you are jigging your spoon you may catch any species in the lake especially if there is lots of bait around.
“Crappie fishing has been pretty good. One thing that I have noticed is that the schools of crappie are roaming around and not necessarily holding tight to the brush. So, don’t hesitate looking out from the brush especially if the bite is tough. Jigging with a small spoon or a small grub is working great. You can also use live bait. When I have marked crappie on my graph, they have been suspended down 12 feet to close to the bottom. You either need to see them on your graph or keep trying different depths until you find the one where the fish are feeding.
“Striped bass and hybrid bass fishing is picking up, but still isn’t consistent. They can be found back in some of the major creeks such as Bennett’s Bayou and also up river from the Calamity area up to the Udall area. They are starting to school, and if you find them feeding, you will catch fish. I am starting to find both stripers and hybrids on the flats where I have been fishing, but it is the beginning of this pattern. Very soon large schools will show up on the flats early in the morning and then again in the evenings, if prior experience holds true. I have caught this species on swimbaits, as well as spoons. I have found them in the same depths as the other species, but don’t hesitate checking in deeper water as they will continue to move around to follow the baitfish.
“I have not been very diligent in writing a fishing report lately, but if you want some great fishing tips and to see what is currently biting, like Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Facebook and you will get frequent fishing updates on Norfork Lake.
The lake level is falling slowly with periodic power generation and currently sits at 555.8 feet msl. The lake surface water temperature has been fairly stable and was 64 degrees Tuesday morning. This temp should start to fall again with the cool front entering our area as I am writing this report. The lake is clear, but still somewhat stained in our area. The farther south you go the clearer the water gets.
“Happy fish and see you on the lake.”

(updated 11-11-2020) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had no report

Norfork Tailwater(updated 11-11-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.8 foot to rest at 2.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 24.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had some wadable water.
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. There is less pressure with school underway; expect less pressure during the week, but 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 11-11-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. 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 1,121.67 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,120.43 feet msl).

(updated 11-11-2020) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is at 1,122 feet msl and holding steady. “I have been out the last few days and fishing is starting to pick up. Water is at mid-50s in most parts of the lake. Lots of debris in the War Eagle arm and some up the White River arm. The muddy water stretches from Blue Springs up to War Eagle Marina. It is clearer above that toward Horseshoe Bend. Stripers are migrating toward Point 12 and should start to get real good next week or so. Black bass are hitting pretty good from Hickory Creek up into the river arms.
“I have been crappie fishing as of late and each day is getting better. Jigs fished around brush in 15 feet of water are doing well. White bass are starting to school up around the islands at Prairie Creek, and on that note there has been some topwater for whites and stripers in that area.
“Fishing will continue to get better. Catfish are still good if you’re chasing them.”
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 11-13-2020) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the lake clarity is still murky. The surface water temperature is in the 60s, while the water level is remains 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 reports.

Lake Sequoyah
(updated 11-13-2020) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says the lake clarity is clear and about 1 foot high. Bream have improved, with good catches this week on redworms. Crappie are excellent for anglers trolling with shallow crankbaits. Black bass are good in medium to shallow water. Try jigs. Catfishing fell off again with poor reports.


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 11-11-2020) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said fish were biting better this past weekend, and what a beautiful weekend it was at Lake Charles, she added, with surface water temperature Sunday recorded as 61 degrees. Crappie and bass both were biting well. Anglers were catching 6-to-8-inch crappie with a few reports of 12-inch crappie. The crappie were being found at 10-12 feet depth. Minnows and jigs, particularly smaller minnows, were working best around brushpiles, stumps and the rocky points. Bass ranged from 2-3 pounds. They were biting spinnerbaits, crankbaits and shaky head worms in watermelon color. Brush and rocky points seemed to hold the most bass. There were channel cats at around 4 pounds that were caught on goldfish. Overall the catfish bite was fair, with blood bait, stink bait and chicken liver also working. No reports on bream.
Remember: A sustained drawdown is planned for Lake Charles to begin Nov. 15 (see above note). The lake is murky and high now 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 11-11-2020) 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 brought the 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 wintertime the best time to catch bigger fish.

(updated 11-11-2020) 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 Friday, Nov. 13, that the White River stage at Batesville was at 8.76 feet, well below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. At Newport, the river is at 11.82, below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is 23.54 feet, more than 2 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet.

(updated 11-11-2020) 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. #6 Minnow seems to be the ticket fished at a depth of 4 to 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 reports.

Lake Monticello
(updated 11-11-2020) 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 259.48 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).

(updated 11-11-2020) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Monday that as of Monday, Millwood Lake was 3 inches above normal conservation pool and water clarity was improving. Millwood Lake pool elevation on Monday was 259.5 feet msl and falling. Discharge was around 2,500 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday was around 228 feet msl and falling 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 57-63 degrees. Clarity was improving over the past few days in the oxbow lakes along Little River, with Little River’s current slowing, ranging 15-30 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility along Little River was 5-10 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: 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, following threadfin shad schools with random schooling in the oxbows. The highest activity period has been shifting to later in the morning and midday 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. 1-knocker Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic and Splatterback Shad continue working subsurface when the bass are chasing and busting the shad near surface over 12-18 foot structure, where lily pads are 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 that are following shad and bait pods over 15-20 feet of depth. Adolescent largemouths 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.
Shallow square-bill cranks like the Bill Lewis Echo 1.75 or SB-57 in Millwood Magic or 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 this week 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 juveniles 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 are still connecting with a good schools of 2-to-3-pound white bass. Vertical-jigging War Eagle Underspins with a short 2-to-3-inch white, curly grub trailer was connecting with the whites once the schools were located by trolling, and watching the schools follow the threadfin 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. “It’s a GREAT TIME TO TAKE A KID FISHING for these hard-charging, rod-hammering big white bass!”
* Crappie: Continue improving along Little and Saline rivers on jigs in black/chartreuse or red/white and minnows from 12-15 feet of depth in planted brush piles.
* Catfish: Have been 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.

Lake Columbia
(updated 11-11-2020) 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 539.95 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

No reports.

DeGray Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.41 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 437.26 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.31 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).

No reports.


White Oak Lake
(updated 11-11-2020) Curtis Willingham of River Rat Bait (870-231-3831) had no report.

No reports.


Lake Atkins
No reports.


Lake Catherine
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

No reports. Lake Catherine has been drawn down 5 feet for the winter.

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

(updated 11-11-2020) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 55 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Both lakes Hamilton and Catherine are being drawn down 5 feet, and the process was scheduled to be completed 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 now dangerous with low-water conditions. Rainbow trout fishing will return in mid-November when the 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. Since the drawdown began, fishing has been difficult with heavy generation and open floodgates. Few reports of quality fishing have come in. However, the beginning of fall brings white bass and hybrid bass into the tailrace to feed on shad. Boaters trolling shallow-running crankbaits that imitate minnows or crawfish will catch fish in current created by an open floodgate. 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 11-11-2020) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is 57 degrees in most places. water clarity has improved a lot, the creeks are clear with some backwater still dingy. Bass fishing has been good on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and Bamboozie. The A-rig bite was just starting to heat up when the warm temperatures hit but that bite will be coming back. Crappie has been fair, too, good in 8 feet of water on minnows and jigs. Stick to natural colors like monkey milk. Stripers are still holding around shell beds and hard bottom points on the main river, with some starting to move up into the creeks. White bass are in the creeks and the bays; inline spinners, small crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits have been working on stripers and white bass. Bream have been gathering on brushpiles 3-4 feet deep; crickets and worms will catch them.

(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 11-11-2020) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s temps at 64 degrees and rising due to warm weather and warm rainfall. Lake level is down almost 5 feet for the yearly drawdown, USE CAUTION! Black Bass are doing really well considering the lake levels and temps out right now. There are a couple of baits that are just getting it done right now. A white, chrome or silver Zara Spook is really doing the vast majority of the hitting right now. Bass will rise and break periodically and give their position away, but the Spook seems to call them up even when they aren’t feeding aggressively. A walk-the-dog pattern retrieve off docks, shallow gravelly areas and bridge and dock piers is the way to go. Be prepared as there will be the occasional biggin’ mixed in with the little ones. Technique No. 2 has to be a green Zoom Horny Toad skipped and dragged under docks and through grass. The fish are there but very hard to get a cast to. Be patient. It’ll happen. Finally a jig is still working well. Black-and-blue with some subtle differences. Slicked back Slammer Hammer is a great option! Blue, black, olive all mixed together in a        quarter-ounce finesse style with a Bandito Bug Trailer gets some strikes. Be prepared for the jig to just swim away with no thump. Crappie are still a bit sluggish and it’s likely they are biting at night also, but early in the morning is best in 20 feet of water over brushpiles in up to 40 feet. Current is really key with these fish and they should consistently have current while the lake is dropped in the main channels. Live minnows and occasionally shad-colored jigs will get results. Hybrids are a ton of fun right now just off the main channel in feeder creeks and ditches. Early in the morning or from about 3-5 p.m. a person can have a blast catching these breaking fish! Spoons, Spooks or Rooster Tails are absolutely too much fun! No catfish report but we have seen many noodles and yo-yos recently so maybe that means positive?
“Again, please be careful out there. Shallows and shoals have popped up everywhere. Good luck and Go Greeson!”

Lake Nimrod
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.66 feet msl (normal pool: 342.0 feet msl).

(updated 11-11-2020) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) had no report.

Lake Ouachita
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 577.35 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-11-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are still good. Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) are schooled up chasing baitfish. Try a small ⅜-ounce spoon in submerged schools and your favorite topwater in those same areas. No report on walleye. Stripers are very good. These fish are being caught on live bait. No report on bream. Crappie are good. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 15-25 feet of water. No report on catfish. The lake conditions show water temperature ranging 68-73 degrees, the clarity is clear throughout, and the lake level on Monday was 577.44 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 384.69 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No reports.


White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday reported the Clarendon gauge at 22.69 feet, 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 11-11-2020) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says anglers have had success catching crappie from depths of 12-15 feet due to cooler weather. Anglers have reported catching crappie on minnows and jigs. The minnows seem to be getting the best bite at the moment. The U.S. Forest Service has coordinated a team to begin surveying for the new construction of the spillway. “This is the first news we have heard! We will continue to update anglers as this project progresses.”

Storm Creek Lake(updated 11-11-2020) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says anglers have had very little success catching fish at this location. Catfish seem to be biting the most.

Horseshoe Lake
No reports.

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