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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 11-18-2020


Nov. 18, 2020

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Nov. 18, 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 9 a.m. the day of publication (Nov. 18, 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: The feeding frenzy at Millwood Lake, which local guide Mike Siefert terms “Millwood Mayhem,” continues in southwest Arkansas. This angler from Texas found out just how active the largemouth bass, as well as white bass, are these days as they chase threadfin shad into the oxbows and other areas. Seifert says a combination of stable temperatures and some recent cold fronts that have kept the daytime temps in the 60s have helped to create the mayhem. He encourages the adult anglers out there to take this opportunity to introduce kids to an amazing time of catching frenzied white bass at this time, too. Check out Siefert’s report below.




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 11-18-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said clarity is the usual stain, while the water level is low. The lake has been lowered a foot. Crappie are good using pink minnow or jigs (chartreuse/black or chartreuse/white jigs have been working). The bream are good on redworms and crickets. Black bass are good; try spinnerbaits, topwater baits and buzzbaits. Catfish are fair on stink bait and dough bait.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 11-11-2020) Angler Dennis Charles said he has not been able to collect many reports of late, 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 11-11-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says Little Red River is at normal level and a little stained. The trout bite is “pretty good” on Rooster Tails and maribou jigs around the bank.

(updated 11-18-2020) Greg Seaton of (501-690-9166) had no report.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.32 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl).

(updated 11-18-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 458.33 feet msl, 3.71 feet below normal pool, with some on-again, wait, then more generation, wait, more generation for various reasons. Overall catching is real good in places and real bad in others. “According to the presence of shad, the turnover, weather conditions and species fished – that’s the short of it – try and mimic what follows for best guesstimations of when, what and how. Black bass are shallow to 100 feet. Alabama rigs, spoons, spinnerbaits, Wiggle Warts, jigs, topwater baits – a lot will work; stay around the shad. Crappie can be caught trolling and fishing vertically with jigs and minnows. No report on catfish. Walleye are roaming as well; a spoon will get a good bite when you find the walleye. Fish main and secondary points. Some bream are still shallow and will bite the regular stuff; no report on the rest. Hybrid bass and white bass are doing about the same as the black bass. Where things are settled, a spoon on structure right now is key, most of the rest are roaming. Stay with shad and try to mimic.

(updated 11-11-2020) 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 clear but 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 11-18-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the lake’s clarity is cloudy and the surface water temperature is 62 degrees. Water level has been high. Bream fishing has been poor. For a nibble, though, try redworms around the pier. Crappie are biting well, though they’re small, Randy said. Try using small minnows or small jigs. No reports on catfish. Yellow bass continue to be caught in fair numbers on spinnerbaits and jigs, he said.

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 11-18-2020) 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 11-18-2020) 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 11-18-2020) 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 11-18-2020) 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 11-18-2020) 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 11-18-2020) 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 11-18-2020) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) had no report.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 19,548 cfs.

No report.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 13,945 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 14,448 cfs.

(updated 11-18-2020) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is stained and at a normal level. Crappie are being caught in fair numbers in 8 feet depth on jigs around the jetties. Black bass are good; try a crankbait or black/blue jig. Fish for bass around the jetties or in the backwater. No reports on catfish or bream.
(updated 11-18-2020) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said that reports it’s heard from the Terry Lock and Dam area had the water clarity is murky with a surface temperature ranging 60-63 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are fair on worms. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass will bite fair on crankbaits or topwater baits.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 11-18-2020) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the lake clarity turned murky this week. The water feels cool, about 63-65 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream reports have been fair; use redworms. Crappie are biting fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair; try a crankbait. Catfishing is fair with redworms and nightcrawlers.

Peckerwood Lake
(update 11-18-2020) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) is closed for the season and will reopen in February after duck season closes.

White River

(updated 11-18-2020) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said the White River is currently a little high with three generators (9,900 cfs) flowing round-the-clock over the past few days. “We’re nearing power pool (659 msl elevation), so expect a decrease in releases soon. This has been an unseasonably warm November. We’re experiencing beautiful mild days, cool nights and amazing creel fills of colorful rainbow trout. You’ll find success with a variety of spoons and Blue Fox spinners. Any rainbow-colored spoons or Rooster Tails in your tackle box should be your first choice; throw those first. When bait fishing, the guides are using red wiggler worms and backing them up with shrimp and peach, orange or pink egg patterns. The X-Factor steelhead orange and shrimp colored baits (egg clusters and regular-sized egg patterns) as well as XFactor redworms are attracting the rainbows, too.
“The browns are not immune to bait now even during the annual spawn; sculpins work one day, minnows the other.
“More visitors are expected on the river with the upcoming holidays, so expect an increase in river traffic, although we haven’t really seen much slow down this season to date. Be especially careful and thoughtful of other anglers: boaters, shore fishers and waders. The AGFC manages our trout waters so well, there’s plenty of trout and lots of river for every type and size of angler who visits.
Come in and share your fishing stories.”

(updated 11-18-2020) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) says the rainbows because caught this week “are huge!” The river is clear and the water level is normal with four generators running from the dam. Overall, the trout bite was fair.
The catch-and-release area below Bull Shoals is closed until February.

(updated 11-18-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that over the past week they had about a quarter of an inch of rain, cool temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals dropped 2 feet to rest at 1.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 34.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at 0.2 foot below seasonal power pool and 14.2 feet above the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 1.7 feet to rest at 0.2 foot below seasonal power pool and 9.8feet below the top of flood pool. The White River had moderate generation and no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 0.9 foot to rest at 1.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had no wadable water. All of the lakes in the White River system are now at or near power pool. We should receive wadable water in the near future.
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed through 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, “I was returning home from having breakfast at the White Sands Restaurant, our local dining spot here in Cotter, when I noticed Henry Seay’s little green pickup parked outside the Natural State Fly Shop. I decided to stop in and say hello. He is an old friend that I have known for years and I always enjoy visiting with him. While we were talking, he said that he had put in his notice and was going to retire. Henry is 84. I asked him what he was going to do. He said that he didn’t know, maybe go fishing.
“We worked together when I was the manager of Blue Ribbon Fly Shop. He was the key employee. Over the years he has worked at several fly shops and is very knowledgeable of local conditions. He would sit at the fly-tying desk and tie all day except when customers were about. By the way, he is a master fly-tyer. He would often give a customer one of his hand-tied flies along with detailed information on how to fish it. They were well received.
“Henry does not own a boat, so he is a wade fisherman. High water does not seem to bother him. He always finds some place to fish. Back in the Blue Ribbon days, I wrote a weekly fishing report and Henry wrote a wade-fishing report that told our customers where they could wade no matter what the conditions were. It was quite popular.
“Henry is also a guide. He specializes in teaching new fly-fishers or guiding kids on Dry Run Creek. Over the years he has shared information on his secret hot spots on Dry Run and I always listen intently because he knows the creek well. My wife, Lori, and I use him when we need additional guides on Dry Run Creek for large groups that we cannot handle alone. He always produces good trout.
“He has done a lot of volunteer work with the local Trout Unlimited chapter. He has held various positions and was very active with the youth camps. He was their first recipient of the volunteer of the year award. That award is now known as the Henry Seay award.
“His favorite place to fish is on the lower North Fork. I have fished there with him and he knows the trout by name. He fishes bamboo rods and favors an old weathered cowboy hat. He looks like a figure from a bygone era. In truth, he is. They don’t make fly-fishers like him anymore, and it’s a shame. He doesn’t have a big riverboat and an even bigger jet motor. What he has is a lifetime of knowledge and a desire to catch trout. I look forward to some lower wadable water and the opportunity to fish the Norfork tailwater with Henry again.”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 659.80 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl). The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 916.82 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 554.70 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.”

Norfork Tailwater
(updated 11-18-2020) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.9 foot to rest at 1.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 25 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater had no wadable water. All of the lakes in the White River system are now at or near power pool. We should receive wadable water in the near future.
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, so expect less pressure during the week. Weekends can be pretty busy, however. 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. Be sure and 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 11-18-2020) 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 1,120.63 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,120.43 feet msl).

(updated 11-18-2020) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake has stabilized and is clearing up fairly well. “Stripers are biting if you can locate them,” he said. “Cover lots of water from Rocky Branch all the way to Point 12. Stripers migrate up into the river arms this time of the year. Point 12 is a great starting point to look, as is Big Hickory.”
Crappie are continuing to get better. Jon says to look them on brush in 15 feet of water. “This stable weather should really spur on the bite this next week.”
Bass have been hit and miss. Walleye still seem to be scarce. “Not sure what’s going on with them. White bass starting to school up around islands at Prairie Creek. Spoon time is right around the corner for whites and stripers. Good luck and enjoy this weather.”
Check out Jon’s Facebook page at FishOn Guides Goshen Arkansas for updated reports as conditions change quickly this time of the year.

(updated 11-18-2020) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is in the 60s. Water level is 2 feet high. Crappie reports are fair. Crappie are being caught in 10-12 feet depth on jigs. Black bass are being caught in shallow water with fair results. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits or a topwater lure. No reports on catfish. No reports on bream.

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 11-18-2020) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says, “Fishing this past week has been pretty good in the tailwater. Get out there early if you want to avoid generation, otherwise you will have to find some slackwater or drift fish from a boat. Most trout have been hitting on various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. Spoons and small crankbaits have also worked as well.
“The river is running a little high due to the previous rain, so you should be able to get through Spider Creek with a boat for the time being. A few walleye are still being caught; try jigging live minnows or working soft plastics close to the bottom. Pulling a crawler harness with a nightcrawler can do the trick as well. This week’s hot spot is between Parker Bottoms and the dam. Bank fishing should really be productive. Y’all stay warm, be safe and catch some fish.”

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 11-18-2020) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the lake clarity is still murky. The surface water temperature is 60 degrees, while the water level has fallen back to normal. Crappie are good. Minnows will work best now, and anglers continue to troll for them. Black bass are good on topwater baits. No reports on catfish or bream.

Lake Fort Smith
No report.

Lake Sequoyah
(updated 11-18-2020) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) says the lake clarity is still good, the surface temperature is 62 degrees and the water level is normal. Bream improved this week to fair, with redworms working. Crappie also bounced back, as anglers reported good catches. They were using jigs. Black bass are fair on crankbaits and jigs. Catfish fell off with poor results.

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 11-18-2020) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said there were no reports from fishing over the past weekend, but she notes that anglers will be in the middle of the best days to fish, based on moon times, through Wednesday, Nov. 18. Also, the lake drawdown began on Sunday. Surface water temperature Sunday morning was 60 degrees and the water was still murky. The level as of Sunday was normal. Shelly says that the next good stretch of days for fishing fall Nov. 27-Dec. 3.
The lake drawdown is used to help flood the Shirey Bay Rainey Brake Wildlife Management Area for waterfowl season.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 11-18-2020) 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 11-18-2020) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) had no report.

Spring River
(updated 11-18-2019) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are low at 320 cfs (350 is average), and water clarity is clear. “The river is looking great. On easy days, streamers like the White Lightning and Woollies have been hot. There are big fish moving due to the cold temps. On the tough days, Euro nymphing with a tight line can be very productive. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass have been biting well on the warmer sunny days.”
Mark reports much more people are on the water this time of year than normal. “Always best to find the unpressured areas for the best fishing. With the trout, the colder the better. Wintertime is the best time to catch that trophy fish.”
For spin-fishers, Trout Magnets have been hot below a float. Fish it just off the bottom. Crankbaits are great in deeper water. Gold and brown trout colors have been best. “Bundle up and get out and enjoy some great weather.”

(updated 11-18-2020) 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 8.99 feet, well below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. At Newport, the river is at 11.48, almost 15 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is 23.22 feet, almost 3 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet.

(updated 11-18-2020) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) received reports that walleye are biting fair in the river. Try using minnows, jigs or a crankbait. They heard no other fishing reports.

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
(updated 11-18-2020) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), had no report.

Lake Monticello

(updated 11-18-2020) 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 259.27 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).

(updated 11-18-2020) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Monday that the lake was near normal conservation pool and the water clarity was improving. Millwood Lake pool elevation was 259.3 feet msl and stable. Discharge was around 1,700 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday was around 226 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 US 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 between 55-63 degrees. Clarity was improving over the past few days in the oxbow lakes along Little River with the river current slowing, and the clarity in the oxbows ranged 15-30 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility along Little River was at 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: The stable water temperatures this week, and a couple of cold fronts coming through Millwood Lake this week that have kept daytime water temps in the low 60s most all day long, 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 shifted to later in the morning and midday over the past few weeks. Several simultaneous schools continue random surface-breaking in McGuire Oxbow up Little River over the past few days with the improvement in water clarity and reduced stain. 1-knocker Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic and Splatterback Shad continue working below the surface when the bass are chasing and busting the shad over 12-18 foot structure, and where lily pads are a short distance away on flats near standing timber or 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 largemouth bass continue random surface-breaking on schools of threadfin shad at multiple locations, near and in lily pads for short duration periods for several weeks in the best water clarity of the oxbows up Little River. When the shad schools move to vertical structure, the largemouths will follow the shad schools and suspend over 15-18 feet of depth. Where vertical structure drops from 6 foot depth flats into 18 feet drops, the custom painted Little John Crankbaits in Splatterback Shad or Millwood Magic, and ¾-ounce Rat-L-Traps in Splatterback or 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 connected with the suspended bass over 14-18 foot depths in the oxbows. Water temps have not yet dropped enough for the shad to commit to the backs of the creeks just yet, but shad continue staging on points and creek mouth junctions.
* White bass: White bass continue roaming the oxbow lakes up Little River and are following the same large schools of 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 Crankbaits in Tennessee Shad and Splatterback Shad over the past couple weeks connected with good schools of 2-to-3-pound white bass. Vertical-jigging a War Eagle Underspin 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 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. Mike says, “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 brushpiles.z
* Catfish: Have been good along Little River, with trotlines and yo-yos working along Little River in 9-12 feet depth 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 538.22 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 398.27 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-18-2020) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips Guide Service (501-844-5418) says had no reports.

De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.25 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.22 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 report.

Lake Atkins
(updated 11-18-2020) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake is clear and the surface temperature this week is 58 degrees. The water level is about 2 feet below normal. Bream reports are good. Crappie are biting well, also. Anglers are using minnows or black/gray jigs. No reports on bass or catfish.

Lake Catherine
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

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

(updated 11-18-2020) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 51 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Currently, both lakes Hamilton and Catherine have been drawn down 5 feet, and the drawdown will remain in place until March 1, 2021, when the refilling process is scheduled to begin. Numerous underwater hazards are now visible in the tailrace due to the low water conditions and boaters and wade fishermen alike should use caution when navigating the area. Rainbow trout fishing has now returned to Lake Catherine with the AGFC stocking 1,400 trout last week. Since the drawdown began, fishing has been difficult with heavy generation and open floodgates. Few reports of quality fishing have come in. However, trout have been caught this week from the bridge to the dam. The trout are highly scattered, which is normal for the early part of the fall season. The majority of fish have been caught by fly-fishermen that are now able to access areas that hold fish. Egg patterns in orange or yellow have accounted for several limits of quality rainbows presented under a strike indicator. Micro-jigs in black or white used in the same manner have also worked well. Boaters trolling shallow-running crankbaits that imitate shad or crayfish have taken numbers of trout during times of generation. The majority of trout are in the 11-to-12-inch class and are full-bodied. Bank fishermen are also catching trout on PowerBaits and nightcrawlers cut in half used under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Good numbers of white bass are inhabiting the tailrace and feeding on threadfin shad. 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. 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 342.28 feet msl (normal pool: 342.0 feet msl).

(updated 11-18-2020) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the clarity is murky and the lake level is normal. Surface water temperature is 60 degrees. Crappie reports are good. Crappie are being caught at 16 feet depth on minnows and lemon jigs. Black bass are slow but there have been some fair catches. Spinnerbaits are working, along with Zara Spooks. Fish a Rat-L-Trap 3 feet deep for success, too. A few blue catfish have been caught but mostly the catfishing is poor. Bream will bite redworms a little, but the results lately have been poor for bream as well.

Lake Ouachita
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 577.16 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-18-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are fair to 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 still 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.Water temperature is ranging 62-68 degrees, the clarity is clear throughout, and the lake level Tuesday was 577.17 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 384.34 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No reports.

White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday reported the Clarendon gauge at 21.32 feet, almost 5 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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