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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 02-04-2021


Feb. 4, 2021

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Feb. 4, 2021. 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 2 p.m. the day of publication (Feb. 4).

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Quick links to regions:

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas


Arkansas River and White River levels are available at:


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

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

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

(updated 2-4-2021) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake continues to have its normal Lake Conway stain and the level has picked up back to normal. Bream are good on redworms, crickets and hand-tied jigs. Crappie are good, with anglers using minnows or an assortment of jigs (chartreuse, white and monkey milk colors), as well as anything that resembles baby shad. Black bass are good on crankbaits and anything with rattles or like curly tailed worms, preferably about 7.5 inches in length. Catfishing is good with stink bait, chicken liver, trotline minnows, bass minnows, small bream, nightcrawlers and dough bait.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 1-28-2021) Angler Dennis Charles said water remains clear and cold. Crappie very slow. Catfish are deep and hiding. Black bass are roaming all over and all depths, but the bite is questionable. For more information, visit his Facebook page at

Little Red River
(updated 2-4-2021) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the river is normal to high and has a slight stain. Brown trout are being caught on jerkbaits, maribou jigs and No. 5 and No. 7 Rapala Countdowns. Rainbows are good using Rooster Tails, spoons, Trout Magnets, Lucky Stripe Trout Worms and PowerBait.

(updated 2-4-2021) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said 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 1-21-2021) Greg Seaton of (501-690-9166) said, “First of all, Happy New Year! I hope 2021 brings a more normal year health-wise to all. 2020 was a stressful year for most and I hope the fishing trips on the river helped ease this stress. Sorry I have not posted a report in a while. I have excuses, but you don’t want to hear them. Getting busier in December, more than normal, and not fishing much in early January are the main ones.
“After no generation for a majority of the time during December and early January, the schedule has returned to a more normal winter generation. Mostly early morning generation for 2-4 hours. There has also been a slight bit of generation in the evening hours. This should continue until the temperature warms or we get a large amount of rain to put the lake into the flood pool. As always, this is not written in stone so please check the schedule before planning your trip.
“The app, USACE Little Rock, is a good source and is free to download to your mobile phone. The current generation and past 24 hours are found by pressing the ‘Releases’ icon on the upper left corner of the home page. The predicted generation is found by pressing the SWPA Forecasts icon on the third row of icons on the home page. Select the day and scroll to the GFD row to view Little Red River (Greers Ferry Dam). Be sure the date is correct because the postings occur after 4 p.m. each day for the next day. After 4 p.m. on Friday, they are posted for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”
Greg says the river is clear with rainbows taking midge pupas, size 16 hare’s ear nymphs and small emergers. There is a midge hatch daily with some winter caddis coming off as the temps warm in the afternoons. The browns are ending the spawn and a few are being caught above and below the shoals. Reports show the spawn was successful with a lot or redds being seen.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.92 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl).

(updated 2-4-2021) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 461.84 feet msl and falling with generation, 0.2 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. “Some fish have made an initial move with spawning getting on their minds, with longer days and the last few weeks of warmer nights, but the 10-day forecast does not look conducive to shallower movement much or at all. Looks like when it happens it’s going to happen fast, as has been the case in years previous, so get ready. It will happen overnight and be over,” Tommy said.
Crappie will eat if you get bait in front of them in 18-40 feet of water in and around brushpiles, or pole timber or just floating around guts of deep pockets, on jigs and minnows. No reports on bream. Bass catching is good with crankbaits, traps, spinnerbaits, jigs, hair jigs, jerkbaits and C-rigs from super shallow out to 60 feet. As for walleye, lake fish are not doing much; river fish are spread out all over. Try crankbaits and grubs or a jighead tipped with minnow. No reports on catfish, but the blue’s good bite is fast approaching shallow. Hybrid and white bass are eating in river bends, creek bends, deep guts, off the side of humps, points, etc., on spoons, grubs, swimbaits, inline spinners, Largo Specials and live bait in 30-80 feet.

(updated 2-4-2021) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the lake remains normal and clear. Bass continue to bite “pretty good” on crankbaits and Chatterbaits in 5-6 feet of water. They’re also being caught in good numbers on Alabama rigs, jerkbaits and drop-shots out deeper, in 10-20 feet of water.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 2-4-2021) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake clarity is clear and the water level has returned to normal. Bream reports are fair; use redworms or crickets. Crappie continue to pick up, with good reports this week. Best fishing is close to the shoreline and following the big and little shad. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good. Best results will come using crankbaits, topwater lures and jigs. No reports on catfish.

Lake Overcup
(updated 2-4-2021) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the fishing is “not great, but betting a little better.” Anglers are catching just a few crappie now, as the bite is very sporadic. Randy reports that environmentalists were on hand at Overcup recently and said the lake looked really good, with no evidence of any algae that had caused problems last year. Lake clarity is fairly clear and the lake level is high by about 1 foot.

Brewer Lake
(updated 1-28-2021) Angler Dennis Charles said crappie are elusive, set up on the southwest end and drop-shot with small jigs. Cats are there, just have to find them. Many anglers catch them hunting crappie. Bass are starting to show themselves along the grass.

Lake Maumelle
(updated 1-28-2021) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reports that water temperature has been in the mid- to low 40s (about 43-44 on Thursday). The largemouth bass bite is fair. Some can be found just outside the grass line and in 8-12 feet of water biting a variety of lures. Try using rattle-type crankbaits, jigs or jerkbaits. Kentucky bass are fair. Some reports have come in of them being found at 15-20 feet depth off drops and rocky banks. Try using jigs. White bass fishing is slow. Some reports of anglers catching them at 25-30 feet depth. Try using minnows, Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are good. Reports of them moving out of deeper water and being found in 30-35 feet in the channel. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are slow. They can be found on windy points by drop-offs in 12-16 feet of water. Try using worms and beetle spins. Catfishing is slow. Try using chicken liver, nightcrawlers or baitfish.

Little Maumelle River
(updated 2-4-2021) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the bite for white bass is good. Anglers are catching a lot of them. Shad is thick in the Little Maumelle right now, which is drawing a lot of fish. Crappie are good, with the fish being found at 8 feet depth. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good, but they are deep. Try a crankbait or jigs. No reports on catfish or bream. River clarity is clear and the level and current are normal.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 73,553 cfs.

No report.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 65,934 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 69,492 cfs.

(updated 2-4-2021) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the the river is at a normal level and the clarity is still stained. Crappie are “pretty good” and being caught on blue/chartreuse, black/chartreuse nad orange/chartreuse crappie jigs below Murray Lock and Dam or behind the jetties in 10-15 feed depth of water. Black bass are biting black/blue jigs, Chatterbait and red crankbaits. No other reports.

(updated 2-4-2021) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said crappie are fair below the Terry Lock and Dam, below the Little Rock pool, in 10-12 feet of water. Try black/chartreuse Super Jigs. White bass are reported fair in both pools, with white Rooster Tails working best. Catfish are being caught in fair numbers below the hydroelectric plant at Murray Lock and Dam. They will bite skipjack.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 2-4-2021) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the lake is clear and at a normal level. Crappie were biting better this week, with good reports. Use minnows or jigs. No other catches were reported.

Peckerwood Lake
(update 2-4-2021) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) is closed for the season and will reopen later this month.

White River
(updated 2-4-2021) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said Bull Shoals Lake is about a half-foot above power pool and they are continuing to see significant releases, averaging three to four generators (8,000 to 12,000 cfs), due to Table Rock and Beaver Lake discharges. “It’s time to catch some beautiful browns and we’ve been doing so with sculpins, river minnows and some choice stick baits. Little silver ShadRaps made a nice comeback this past week; the Rapala Jointed ShadRap JSR-5 did a nice job for us on this higher water, swimming mid-depth, about 5-6 feet. Look also for 4½- or 5-inch lures with a yellow collar or yellow back; the HeadHunter series has a good selection.
“This time of year always calls for white baits, and a white jig, maybe with some red in the skirt, is a good choice. Everybody is looking for a brown because the catch-and-release area near the dam reopened after the annual spawn closing, but the rainbow catch has been terrific, too. Along with the always successful shrimp/egg pattern bait,
we’ve met our limit with spinners. We especially liked the Blue Fox 3/16- ounce rainbow blade and pink bell; played about a foot or 2 below the surface. Come on over and angle for your trout catch.”

(updated 2-4-2021) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported that the Army Corps of Engineers has the generation high in the mornings and tapering off in the afternoon. No wade fishing is available. The catch-and-release area below the dam is open. White jigs are good on cloudier days. Anglers are drift-fishing with minnows and shrimp. They’re catching a few browns here and there. Shrimp, PowerBiat and pink worms will work very well with rainbows. Fly-fishing is best throwing streamers in a white pattern. River clarity is clear and the river is high when eight generations are going at the dam. Overall trout bite is good.

(updated 1-28-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service says that during the past week, they have about an inch of rain in Cotter, very cold temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.1 foot to rest at 0.2 foot below seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 36.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.5 foot to rest at seasonal power pool and 16 feet above the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.2 foot to rest at 0.1 foot below seasonal power pool and 9.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had variable generation with some wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 0.1 foot to rest at 0.1 foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msland 26.3 feet below the top of flood pool.
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam is through Sunday, Jan. 31, to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park is seasonal catch-and-release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. The section section will reopen to fishing on Monday, Feb. 1.
The White has fished well on moderate flows. The hot spot has been Wildcat 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 an egg pattern with a size 18 ruby midge).
The Norfork is fishing well on the wadable flows. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the flooding over the past two years. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a pheasant tail size 14 with a root beer midge dropper. John says, “My wife, Lori, did well with an olive woolly Bugger. The fishing is better in the morning.”
Dry Run Creek is fishing well. There is less pressure with the colder weather. 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.
John adds, “We finally have reliable low water and I have waded on both the White and North Fork rivers in the last few weeks. I have even had wade guide trips. While I love wade fishing, I am always aware that it is inherently dangerous. I do my best to make it as safe as possible. Dead clients don’t tip!
“The most important consideration is information. I have written about reliable generation predictions for the last couple of weeks. While I have to rely to a certain extent on predictions, I always observe water conditions carefully, whenever I am on the river. I always choose a rock that is just out of the water to observe frequently to see if there is rising water (a $100 bill placed on top of the rock will sharpen your power of observation). If you see trash in the water, hear a different sound of the water or feel the water rising, check your rock. If the water is coming up, get out, preferably on the side of the river that your car is parked on. I try to leave the water before it is scheduled to rise. It is easier to walk out on low water.
“Equipment is the next consideration. Waders are important. The basic choices are neoprene and breathable. Neoprene waders are fine for the winter but the breathable waders are more comfortable when the weather is warmer. To make the breathable waders more comfortable in the winter I wear long underwear and heavy fleece pants under them.
“Waders are boot foot (the boots are an integral part of the waders or stocking foot; the boots and the waders are separate). I always recommend stocking foot waders, because the separate boots provide better foot support. They come with a variety of soles, Vibram or felt. I use felt because it provides better traction, particularly on bedrock. Because of didymo (an invasive alga that can be carried on felt soles); many states (including Missouri) have outlawed them. They are legal in Arkansas. I also put studs in my felt soles to improve traction. You can also do this to the Vibram soles. Do not wear studded boots in boats, as they provide no traction on fiberglass decks.
“I always carry a wading staff. This is a folding metal staff that provides extra stability when wading, particularly in heavy currents. When not in use, I fold it up and carry it in a holster. I have found the Folstaff brand to be the most effective. It is well-built and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
“I always wear polarized sunglasses to cut the surface glare on the water and allow me to see into the water and avoid subsurface obstructions. My polarized sunglasses are prescription bifocals.
“The last consideration is technique. I take my time and make sure that one foot is securely planted before I move the other one. I turn my body perpendicular to the current to present a smaller surface to the water and make it easier to wade.
“I prefer wading and make sure that I have the best information, equipment and technique to make it as safe as I can.”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 659.62 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl). The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 915.91 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 915.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-4-2021) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock says the baitfish are on the move again in the creeks and main lake pockets. Spend your idle time on the graph looking for loons and video gaming, and that will pay off. Fish 50-80 feet in the guts. Most of the shad are suspended over the old creek channels. A Rapala Ice Rig or a Jewell Spoon is useful if it’s windy. Use a Damiki drop-shot or McMinnow if it’s flat. Go powerfishing shallow if there’s wind, cloud, bushes/snags with deeper water close and shad. Rock Crawler, Wiggle Wart and square bill are all working with some wind on 45-degree banks with nasty rock transition. Moss is becoming prevalent and is a pain. As the sun comes up, or after a front, change tactics and slow down. Use jigs and shaky heads on channel swings. Follow the shad regardless of the depth and you’ll find the fish. Fish the conditions. Bull Shoals is clear with a surface temperature of 47 degrees. The lake is about 6 inches high.+

Norfork Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 554.69 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl).

(updated 2-4-2021) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no report.

(updated 2-4-2021) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had no report. Look for new reports in March.

Norfork Tailwater
(updated 1-28-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 0.1 foot to rest at 0.1 foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msland 26.3 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork is fishing well on the wadable flows. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during the flooding over the past two years. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a pheasant tail size 14 with a root beer midge dropper. John says, “My wife, Lori, did well with an olive woolly Bugger. The fishing is better in the morning.”
Dry Run Creek is fishing well. There is less pressure with the colder weather. 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 1-28-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the cooler temperatures the bite has slowed. John’s favorite fly 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 Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.34 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,120.43 feet msl).

(updated 2-4-2021) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is clearing nicely and starting to set up for pre-spawn. Water temps are in the 40s. “The lake is holding steady. We had some rain last week and a slight rise in river arms. Stripers are fair but the fish being caught are some real studs, many 30-plus pounds, caught this week in the Horseshoe Bend area.
Crappie are loading up on brush as to be expected. Jigs are working at 15 feet or so. Alabama rigs are starting to catch bass on main lake points. White bass are schooling up at Point 12. Walleye are up in the War Eagle arm with small males being caught with most under 18 inches. It should be on with the whites and walleye within the next month. Time to get all your prep done and be ready for some good fishing.”

(updated 2-4-2021) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said stripers are good on jerkbaits, brood minnows and big shiners. As for walleye, just a few males are moving up the river right now; they are about three weeks out from a big move. No reports on bream. Crappie are excellent and being found in 8-10 feet depth; use minnows or small jigs and work around the brushpiles. Black bass are fair, with best success coming on Alabama rigs or a jerkbait. No reports on catfish. The lake clarity is clear and the surface temperature is mid- to high 40s. Beaver is at normal level.

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 1-28-2021) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) says fishing has been consistent this past week with the trout bite. Since the Army Corps of Engineers has two floodgates open a foot, it may be difficult to fish from the shore. However, if you’re fishing from a boat, you may do a little better. The trout have been biting on various Fire baits, fished with light terminal tackle. Throwing spoons and hard baits have also produced some nice fish. The water temp is still around 43 degrees in most of the river. This week’s hotspot has been around the Spider Creek area. Just remember to watch out for the hidden structures if you decide to go up that way. While the water is flowing, try fishing the slack water around structure to locate the trout. You can also try to drift-fish as well, just downsize your weight and you should do just fine. If you get out this weekend, bundle up, it may be quite chilly. Good luck, stay safe and catch some fish!

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 2-4-2021) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) is temporarily closed.

Lake Sequoyah
(updated 2-4-2020) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said that the lake is “just a little dingy” and is back to normal level. Crappie are good using minnows and jigs; last week, the prime target depth was between 8-10 feet. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. No reports on bream or catfish.

Lake Charles
(updated 2-4-2021) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said anglers should match jig colors to water conditions for best results at Lake Charles. If the water is slightly stained, she recommends trying jigs in the colors Refrigerator White, Pepper Shad and Glimmer Blue. In dingy, muddy water, you should go with Tuxedo Black/chartreuse, Electric Chicken and Cajun Cricket. She notes that hte best days to fish based on the moon cycle runs Feb. 8-14. On Monday, the surface temperature in the morning was 46 degrees. The water is low, but now with waterfowl season completed and Lake Charles’ water not needed for Shirey Bay/Rainey Brake flooding, look for water to pick up. Clarity is murky. There were not reported catches this past week.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 2-4-2021) The gate at the dam at Lake Poinsett was closed on Dec. 1, allowing the lake to begin refilling with rainwater. 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 2-4-2021) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) remains closed until further notice “due to unforeseen circumstances.” However, they are still accepting RV and cabin reservations.

Spring River
(updated 2-4-2021) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) had no new report. Check out Mark’s blog on his website for the latest fishing conditions!

(updated 1-28-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is off-color. 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 Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was at 9.30 feet, well below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. At Newport, the river is at 17.49, still more than 8 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is 28.95 feet, almost 3 feet above the flood stage of 26.0 feet.

(updated 2-4-2021) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report.

Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 2-4-2021) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)
No reports.

Cane Creek Lake
(updated 2-4-2021) Jeff Shell, superintendent at Cane Creek State Park, had no new reports.

Lake Chicot
(updated 2-4-2021) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), had no report.

Lake Monticello
(updated 2-4-2021) The lake is undergoing a repair to the dam by the City of Monticello and the AGFC is making improvements to the fish habitat while the lake is currently drawn down for the dam work.

Millwood Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 260.28 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).

(updated 2-4-2021) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that ss of Tuesday, Millwood Lake was approximately 5 inches above normal conservation pool and falling; oxbows’ water clarity was stained, while Little River was muddy. Gate discharge at the dam was around 8,300 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates was around 231 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 theArmy Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Use caution in navigation along Little River with high discharge rates and scattered, wide debris fields in heavy flow conditions.
Surface temps dropped again over the last week, ranging between 44-49 degrees. Clarity reduced over the past few days in the oxbow lakes along Little River. Current along Little River decreased, and river clarity ranged 5-6 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of oxbows along Little River was at 12-18 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.
Millwood State Park is opened for campers. See the COVID-19 related information and camping reservation requirements at Millwood State Park Marina is closed for its annual winter shutdown through the end of February. The Millwood State Park Office is open and can be reached at 870-898-2800 for additional information.
As for fishing details:
* Largemouth bass: Warmer days this time of year are when the big bass can really surprise you. High bluebird days with bright skies have been best on 5-9 foot deep flats near vertical structure nearby. Over the past couple weeks, bass have been suspending near these flats with stumps on vertical drops into 16-20 feet structure. When the feedbag light bulb turns on, it’s decent action for a couple hours on square bills, BLL MR-6 Crankbaits in Millwood Magic, Ghost Craw or Rayburn Red Craw. Custom Chatterbaits in Fire Craw, Texas Craw or Firetiger will draw a few reaction bites. Brazalo Spinnerbaits in Millwood Mayhem Bream or Spot Remover and heavy thumping 1-Knocker Rat-L-Traps with a very slow and deep retrieve picked up a few 2-4 pound largemouths last weekend. “Most bass we are finding continue randomly roaming shallow under full sun and bright skies into the 6-10 foot depths of flats adjacent to deeper drops into 9-15 feet depth ranges. The best 3-4 hours is during the heat of the day – best on bright, sunny, clear days when water temps will rise a few degrees after lunch. Little John Crankbaits have been getting slow responses over the past week. Anywhere a creek channel runs into the deeper creek bends or vertical structure and drops into the oxbows, where stumps and creekmouths drop, have held some decent-sized bass over the past few weeks. The best bite continues during the heat of the day from noon-3 p.m.
Best colors for Rat-L-Traps and SB-57 medium-diving cranks have been Millwood Magic, Red Shad, Red Glitter Craw or Red Chrome Craw and Natural Crawfish colors, and they continue getting random reaction bites over the past several weeks. These traps and crankbaits yield best results on a pump-and-go, slow retrieve from 6-10 feet of depth. McGuire Lake and Horseshoe Lake oxbows up Little River had the clearest water conditions. Majority of these roaming, mid-day bass are suspending near vertical structure for many hours of the day, and turn on like a light switch for a few hours under the warmest 2-3 hours of daylight, from 5-9 feet depth with 12-18 feet of depth nearby. Bomber Fat Free Guppy’s were finding a few 2- to 3-pound roaming bass as well. Swim jigs with a Bang Die Dapper, and vertical-jigging Cordell or Kastmaster Spoon got a few reaction bites last week from vertical-suspended bass from 10-15 feet on ledges or deep creek, outside bends, with stumps present.
* White bass: Large schools of whites were located on the main lake over the past few days, and are holding in deep holes along Little River and Saline River intersections, in open water near standing timber, from 20-35 feet of depth. Vertical-jigging spoons caught a few hammering white bass last weekend along Little River and Saline River cutoff boat lane, between 1-3 mile marker on Little River. Chrome/Blue, Chrome/Chartreuse and Leadhead spoons, hammered Cordell Slabs with bucktails got the best response from the guys we talked to. Several whites in the 3-pound class were hard-charging the vertical-jigging spoons near any remaining standing timber/stumps out in front of the dam and 1-3 miles from the dam where Little and Saline Rivers junction. “We have yet to locate with any consistency any large schools of whites running in Little or Saline rivers as of this point for their annual spawning runs. Once the water temps climb out of the 40-degree range overnight and into the mid 50-degree range all day and overnight hours, we are expecting the white bass run to fire up in short order.”
* Crappie: No report.
* Catfish: Channel cats and blues in Little River continue to bite well on trotlines, and in the oxbows on limblines, using Punch Bait and chicken livers/hearts.

Lake Columbia
(updated 2-4-2021) 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 Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 543.38 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

No reports.

DeGray Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 402.90 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(update 2-4-2021) Local angler Charles Abernathy says water temperature is still hanging around the mid-40s. “Water was pretty muddy up around the Shouse Ford area. I found a lot of fish in the Shouse Ford cut-through that runs across #39. Several schools of crappie and hybrids, too. This area has some brush scattered around ranging from 25 feet to less than 10 feet. There’s a creek channel that runs through that area, too, that gets down to about 35 feet and will hold fish year-round. It’s kind of a pick-your-poison type area. There were fish relating to the brush at these depths as well as schools roaming in open water. I caught fish as shallow as 8 feet.
With the water being muddy and some cloud cover, I started with a dark bait (Mr. Crappie Slab Slanger, black with chartreuse tail, paired with a bright orange head, 1/16-ounce). This combo seemed to work fine. I also tried a 1/16-ounce maribou jig (black glimmer body with chartreuse tail paired with unpainted lead head) and seemed to work equally as well. I did not throw any other color and left with a decent mess.
“It was extremely windy Sunday evening, but the fish were willing if you could get your bait down to them. I had to use a lot of weight to keep my bait down. More weight means a faster bait, so you have to get pretty close to them to be able to keep your bait up and slow on the swing down.
|Hint: Normally in the winter, you think fish are deep, and that is logical thinking. But that’s not always the case. You can find fish in the winter in shallow water. Maybe it’s been cold for a spell and the sun is finally poking through to warm the surface just a degree or two? Maybe the water is muddy and they just want a little light? Maybe the wind is hammering and all the shad are flopping up on the windblown bank? Who knows? But regardless, I’m still looking for a deeper hole nearby for them to retreat to (that river channel … or perhaps a nearby creek channel). In this area I have described, it happens to be an old creek channel. That is what put me in that area to begin with. I’ve said this before, but it really helps if you are using some type of topographical map to form a game plan before hitting the water. (Don’t forget Navionics has a free viewer online). Even on your home lake. We all have holes that were passed down from friends, family, word of mouth, etc. Look up these known places on your map and try to figure out why they are there. If you do this, you can pull up a map on any lake and get a pretty good idea where to start just using what you have learned on your home lake. You can also transform spring spawning areas into winter areas just by looking at your map to see where they may have gone. I can’t emphasize enough to use those maps and never lose sight of the food source.
Here’s another hint for the forward-looking sonar users: Do you often see fish following your bait but never committing? It seems like some crappie just enjoy the hunt. When this happens, we have a tendency to slow our bait down to help them out. It’s been my experience that this seldom works. Have you ever pulled a piece of string away from a cat? It reminds me of that a bunch sometimes. Instead of slowing down, try to take it away from them a little. Tease them, just like you would a cat. I’m not sure what it is. My only guess is they think it’s getting away and instinct kicks in. If it’s a good one, and it’s getting close to the boat, take it away completely. If you end up pulling it all the way to the boat, your chances of a successful follow-up pitch are going way down. Color does play an important role in one’s success. It’s my opinion that presentation is definitely more important, followed very closely by bait profile.
“I really do appreciate the emails I have received. I have gotten a chance to converse with some very nice folks and enjoy the conversation. This can be a dark world sometimes, but there is always some light if you look for it. As always, feel free to reach out at for more info. Good luck out there and be safe and be nice! Hope to see you on the water.”

De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.33 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 530.52 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).

(update 1-21-2021) Angler Charles Abernathy said, “I had a chance to visit this lake over the last week. The water was muddy and high but the crappie were biting. The majority of the fish I caught were suspended out in open water and were very scattered. Ninety-five percent of them were caught on a Mr Crappie Slab Slanger (black body with chartreuse tail). I paired it with a plain bright orange 1/16-ounce head. The crappie were suspended anywhere from 5 feet from surface to bottom, but the majority seemed to be around 15 feet or so. The larger fish were singled out or in groups of two or three. I did see a few good schools of smaller fish.”
Hint: I had never fished this lake much in the past and did not have a lot of information about it. Crappie seem to behave similarly from lake to lake. Take what you know from one lake and use it in the next. If you have followed my reports on Degray, you know I love standing timber. I pulled up my Navionics maps at home the night before and took note of where the timber was. This was going to be my starting point. When I got to the lake, I headed up the river channel until I hit timber. I set down and started looking for fish. It didn’t take long to find them. They were close to the river channel and some of them were hanging on timber but the majority were just out in open water in the mouths of pockets. These are the ones that I ended up targeting. You can find these with side scan but it is much easier to target these with a forward-looking sonar. When selecting a bait to use, I first looked at the water. It was really muddy due to all the rain that had hit the area, so I chose a bright head with dark body and chartreuse tail. This bait worked pretty much all day.
Arkansas is very blessed with a lot of little gems when it comes to crappie fishing and this one is no exception! What a pretty little lake. Reach out at for more info. Good luck out there and be safe and be nice!

White Oak Lake

No new reports.


No new reports.

Lake Atkins
(updated 2-4-2021) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake remains low by about 1 foot and clarity is clear. Crappie have moved to deeper water and the reports on catches is fair. Use minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair, and anglers are catching them with worms. No reports on bream 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 2-4-2021) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 45 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy has run a solid flow pattern of 7,000 cfs this past week in an effort to continue lowering Lake Ouachita and the passing of rainfall from recent days. This process has included the opening of a floodgate, which creates dangerous conditions for any boater or wade fisherman in the area. When a flood gate is opened, anyone on the water should immediately move downstream away from the dam until the flow has stabilized. While gates are open, fast flows will be the norm and caution is advised for everyone concerned. Area generation schedules are posted on the Entergy Arkansas website under the hydro/operations section every Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully, this fast flow pattern will change for Friday, Feb. 5. Little productive fishing has been seen below Carpenter Dam this past week because of the fast currents; however, rainbow trout have been caught in areas close to the bank out of the main current. Fly-fishermen have targeted these places and had success casting Woolly Buggers in black or green under a strike indicator. San Juan worms in hot pink have also caught fish along with egg patterns in white or yellow presented in the same manner. Bank anglers have caught a few limits of rainbows using Little Cleo’s and Super Dupers in silver or gold colors. Conditions have limited anglers from accessing areas that hold schools of trout, but opportunities for success are expected in the near future as weather patterns don’t forecast heavy rainfall amounts. The Game and Fish Commission has stated that trout stocking numbers have been delivered as scheduled for the last three months. Some public doubt had risen that the pandemic and flood conditions would affect the fish stocking numbers, but that has not been the case as the stocking program has and will continue as planned.
February marks the beginning of the walleye spawn on Lake Catherine. Normally, in the second week smaller male walleye migrate into the tailrace to prepare the spawning beds. These fish will be present near the dam until late April.
Remember to social distance in the park areas and always wear a mask as the pandemic rages on. Follow all rules and regulations and wear a life jacket while on the water.

Lake Dardanelle
(updated 2-4-2021) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.

(updated 2-4-2021) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), had no report. For questions contact our visitor center at (479) 967-5516.

Lake Hamilton
(updated 2-4-2021) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton water levels slowly on the rise with temps in the high 40s in most areas. Water clarity is fair to good with visibility of 5 feet in most areas. The water color is a bit foggy, so keep this in mind on your color choices. Bass (especially spotted) have been doing very well in 25-32 feet of water and typically in or over brushpiles. Using a vertical presentation like a Ned rig or a Damiki rig really gets them fired up! Drop it straight down, let it hit the bottom and lift it up 2 feet. Twitch-Twitch-Bite.
Green pumpkin or black and blue are the go-to colors on everything right now. The Drop-shot is still working pretty well, but being that the water temp is up a little bit consider throwing ShadRaps and suspending (deep-diving) jerkbaits in shad/chartreuse or Craw colors. Largemouth bass have been very lethargic due to cold night temps, but they can still be caught by dragging black and blue jigs through brush at 18-25 feet. The Slycked Back Hammer Slammer in a ¾-ounce football head is a good choice, but sometimes it’s as simple as a Texas-rigged soft plastic Craw. Both work! Crappie have been doing well in the very early mornings on minnows and jigs over the tops of push or suspended in the middle of nowhere in 20 feet of water, but the brush is usually at 40-30 feet. Rain or overcast calm days are also great times to get out there if you aren’t an early riser. Bream and sunfish have been very good in and over brush in 20 feet of water. You can clean up with a bobber and a worm! No catfish report. “Good luck, wear those life Jackets! Go Greeson!”

Lake Nimrod
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.59 feet msl (normal pool: 342.0 feet msl).

(updated 2-4-2021) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the lake is stained. Surface temperature is ranging 38-42 degrees. Water level is normal. Crappie are biting excellent. They’re still around 7-10 feet depth and are biting minnows and jigs around brushpiles. Black bass are good up in the river. Try spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. Catfishing is good; chicken liver baited on trotlines is the best way to go.

Lake Ouachita
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 574.69 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 2-4-2021) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) had no new reports. 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 Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.78 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No reports.

White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge at 24.85 feet, a little more than a foot below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.

Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 1-28-2021) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says anglers have reported catching large numbers of crappie at Bear Creek Lake. Anglers have had success in using artificial baits such as jigs to catch these great tasting fish! Fish have been caught in depths of 6-15 feet depending on the temperature of the water. The water temperature hasn’t been consistent due to the drastic change in weather, so it’s hard to tell at what depth they bite the best. Tuesday this week it was very warm with temperatures in the 70s, which pushed the fish into that 6-to-7-feet range.
Construction at the spillway is still waiting to be coordinated by the U.S Forest Service.

As for Storm Creek Lake, very little fishing activity has been reported. We are expecting a better outcome in the next couple of months.

Cook’s Lake
(updated 2-4-2021) Fishing is closed at Cook’s Lake during waterfowl season while it serves as a waterfowl rest area through February. It will reopen to fishing in March if the water level permits. For more information please call the center at 870-241-3373.

Horseshoe Lake
No reports. The AGFC is in search of a new supplier of information from Horseshoe Lake and the region. Any interested parties wishing to provide a weekly fishing report from here should contact


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