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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 09-09-2021


Sept. 9, 2021

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Sept. 9, 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 10 a.m.  the day of publication (Sept. 9).
****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.

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: Four-year-old Greyson Manning, son of Justin Manning, has had a big summer getting to fish, and from the looks of that largemouth bass, it will be a memorable one as well. Greyson’s also caught some nice bream this summer, too (see below on Lake Cathering, where the bass was hooked as well). Alas, it’s back to Pre-K, kindergarten and elementary school and up for the kids now that September has arrived, but there’s still some great fishing weather awaiting on these upcoming fall weekends. Take advantage of the opportunities, folks, and take a kid fishing!

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Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 9-9-2021) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said Wednesday that the lake still has its usual stain, but the water remains low. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good, with catches coming early and then late in the day. The small minnows and small jigs remain the best way to land them. Black bass are good. A variety of baits will attract a bite: spinnerbaits, cranks, topwater lures and curly tail worms. Catfishing is good with stink bait, dough bait, trotline minnows, bream and goldfish.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 9-2-2021) Angler Dennis Charles said that there was no change in his reports from a week ago. “I again have visited many lakes in the past few weeks; all lakes and large ponds that are within an hour’s drive of Conway are getting my attention. I am disabled/retired and fish six days a week, so if you see me, stop me and tell me what you caught and how. I’m fishing Lake Beaverfork, Brewer Lake, Lake Cargill, Lake Conway, Lake Winona, Nimrod, Overcup, Harris Break, Galla, Kingfisher, and the Arkansas River west from Toad Suck to Cypress Creek Landing. The river is fun to fish this week with calm water and lots of fish.
“Here’s what I’m finding around these spots:

Crappie: Typical locations around the lakes, they are active around 10 feet, use normal stuff.
Bream: Look for their beds and try normal baits; they are being caught a bit away from their beds.
Bass: They are lurking IN THE GRASS; use weedless.
Cats: No reports.
Gar: These guys are fun, but I need to invent a way to clean them. They are the armadillo of the lakes.
Hybrids: Choctaw, they are being caught, go find them.
For more info specific to Beaverfork, check out
Also, visit Dennis’ Facebook page (Arkansas Fishing Adventures) for more information. Also, for anglers looking for additional information about bass fishing around the area, Dennis suggests checking out the Arkansas Bass Fishing Facebook page.

Little Red River
(updated 9-9-2021) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said, “We continue to see 4-6 hours of afternoon generation on weekdays and less generation on weekends. With hot air temps and limited generation, we are seeing warmer water temps, so be careful not to overstress the caught fish and get the fish back in the water quickly, spending a little extra time reviving when releasing.
“Midges, pheasant tails, sowbugs and Woolly Buggers are recommended for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, use pink and red-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold jig heads. 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 9-9-2021) Guide Mike Winkler, operating Little Red River Guide Service (501-690-9166, 501-507-3688), says Little Red River generation schedule has been consistent with Southwestern Power Administration and the Corps of Engineers running 4 hours a day, usually starting around 2 p.m. and running till 6 p.m. through the week. The weekend’s generation schedule has been minimal, creating excellent wading opportunities on the entire river. With the lower flows, concentrate fishing the deep holes and oxygenated shoals. Stripping olive Woolly Buggers or Cracklebacks in the deeper holes has been effective. And nymphing under an indicator with these flies: pheasant tails, size 14-16; hare’s ear, size 14-16; sowbugs, size 14-18; midges, size 18.

(updated 9-2-2021) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the Army Corps of Engineers is running more water from Greers Ferry Dam in the afternoon. Water is clear and low in mornings and up higher in afternoon from generation. Trout are good on Marabou Jigs, Trout Magnets, Rooster Tails and Rapala No. 5 Shad Raps.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.20 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).

(updated 9-9-2021) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.19 feet msl. it is 3.35 feet below normal pool for this time of year of 462.54 feet msl. Shad have been on the move and, of course, fish will follow. A lot of crappie are still deep. Overall most can be caught in 18-50 feet with some threadfinshad992021.jpg
exceptions, of course. Use minnow, or troll crankbaits. Some walleye are super deep and more hanging out in 40 feet; try dragging crawlers on a jighead or drop-shot. Spoons are working as well. Bream are fixing to spawn again and are eating super shallow out to 30 feet on crickets or crawler; also you can use a fly.
Catfishing is good, just not a lot of people out for them. Cut or live bait is working. Black bass are good top to bottom all over lake and rivers, and lots of baits are working. Hybrid and white bass are eating off and on all day and night. Spoons, inline spinners, topwater baits, and swimbaits at 25-65 feet. For all species just stay around the shad and you cannot go wrong.

(updated 9-2-2021) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said water is clear and a little low. Fishing for bass is tough, but they are catching fish schooling on small swimbaits, CC Spoons and small topwater baits in the lower end of the lake. They’re also catching them in 10-12 feet of water on blue/white hair jigs.

About 1 million threadfin shad like those seen in the photo were released from the Greers Ferry Lake nursery pond into the main lake recently, in an effort to boost forage for the predator fish.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 9-9-2021) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake has turned dingy and the level is low. No surface temperature was reported. Bream fishing is good in the mornings still. The bream are shallow and biting redworms and crickets.

Crappie are still biting well in the deep areas of the lake on minnows and blue jigs. Black bass are good, with best fishing coming around the shoreline. Catfishing is good, with the focus on the evenings. Throw nightcrawlers or glow worms their way.

(updated 9-2-2021) See Angler Dennis Charles’ report under Lake Beaverfork.

Lake Overcup

(updated 9-9-2021) Phil Thomas at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the water level is high and the clarity is clear. The only news to come in from anglers is on black bass. The bite is good around the docks. Use rubber jigs. No other reports.

(updated 9-2-2021) See Angler Dennis Charles’ report under Lake Beaverfork.

Lake Maumelle
(updated 9-10-2021) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) said that fishing has been consistent, but mostly fair in all species, for the past few weeks. The only species coming in with good results from angles are the Kentucky bass (or spotted bass), with catches being made in 15-20 feet of water using jigs.
Largemouth bass are fair to good. They’re being found deep, still in their summer patterns, and anglers should try using drop-shotted soft plastics, heavy spinnerbaits along the grassline and swimbaits. White bass are fair with some sporadic surface schooling activity, but the fish aren’t staying at the surface long. Some anglers also are catching white bass along the sides of the river channel in 15-18 feet of water on swimbaits. Crappie are biting fairly well and are relating to the tops of brushpiles in 10-15 feet of water. Bream also are holding in brush in 10-15 feet of water. Minnows are working best for the crappie, while redworms and crickets are always a go-to for bream. Catfishing has been good, with many blue catfish being caught on trotlines in the approved trotline-fishing area.
The Arkansas High School Bassers tournament is scheduled for Saturday morning, Sept. 11, with 60 boats expected on the lake.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 20,978 cfs. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 292 cfs.

(updated 9-9-2021) Charlie Hoke at Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.

Little Maumelle River
(updated 9-2-2021) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the river remains clear and is at a normal level as of midweek. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Black bass are good, both early in the day and late in the evening, with best success coming on shad-colored crankbaits. Catfish remain hungry at night on the regular catfish baits. No reports still on crappie.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 21,098 cfs.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 20,004 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 22,459 cfs.

(updated 9-2-2021) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is stained and current is low, level is normal, like last week. Bass fishing is a little tough; anglers are chasing balls of shad on sandbars and isolated logs and ends of jetties with deep-diving crank bait in 10-12 feet depth. A little topwater (Spooks/Pop-Rs) is working in the early morning. Catfish are good below the dam and behind the jetties on the main river on nightcrawlers and stink bait.

(updated 9-2-2021) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop in Crystal Hill off I-40 (758-4958) said that the hydroelectric plant at Murray Lock and Dam “has been shut down, so not a lot of people are fishing.” They note the upcoming catfish tournament on the river set for Sept. 18. Call Hatchet Jacks’ for more information.

(updated 8-26-2021) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said bream are good on crickets and redworms around the rocks around Big Dam Bridge area (Murray) and Burns Park area on the river off the rocks. Bass are good early morning on topwater around the sandbar drops and rock jetties around the Willow Beach area on Pop-Rs and Zara Spooks. Late in the day the bite is good on Senkos at 10-15 feet deep. Crappie are being caught out deep off the end of the jetties around 18 feet depth on Bobby Garland Baby Shad in full moon color. Catfish are fair below the hydroelectric plant at Murray Lock and Dam on cut shad. The white bass are fair below Terry Lock and Dam on Vibric Rooster Tails.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 9-9-2021) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) heard some of the best reports from Clear Lake they’ve gotten in a while. They say the water is clear and the level is low. Bream are fair this week on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. No reports on catfish.

Peckerwood Lake
(update 9-9-2021) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) says the clarity had stayed pretty clear for a while now. The lake is low and stumps are starting to show, she notes. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are fair (she says the anglers aren’t forthcoming on baits to use). Catfishing is fair on worms and live bait.

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White River
(updated 9-9-2021) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525), channelling an old classic, said, “Try to remember the kind of September … The month of September is a good time to make new memories to sing about later (or crow about, depending on how successful the fishing is.) The best baits to be a successful trout-catcher this week were X-Factor scented worms, fluorescent orange or shrimp pink.
“Bull Shoals Lake is now 3 feet above power pool and dropping; generation from the dam is averaging around three units all day until a late afternoon rise. This may be the last good opportunity for experimenting with your larger Rogues and stick baits (orange bellies) as we expect generation to decrease in the next week or so. The browns are still biting at sculpins and soft-shell crawdads (keep the Rebel Wee Craw handy).

“The Natural State has everything to offer the trout angler: clear, cold water; mellow weather; lots of river to spread out in; a great trout program maintained by our Game and Fish Commission; and a whole lot of Southern hospitality and friendly smiles to welcome you. Come see for yourself.”

(updated 9-9-2021) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said rainbow trout are doing well and are big in size in the catches this week. Tuesday, they say, over 100 fish were caught by anglers. The river level remains high and the Corps of Engineers is generating with 7-8 generators running at Bull Shoals. The overall trout bite is good. PowerBait is suggested, along with pink worms, stick baits, Rooster Tails in light green and brown, worms and shrimp.

(updated 9-9-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had a rain event with over a half of an inch in Cotter, hot temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 4.3 feet to land at 3.4 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 30.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.4 foot to rest at 0.9 foot below seasonal power pool and 14.9 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.5 foot to rest at 0.4 foot below seasonal power pool and 9 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 2.1 feet to rest at 1.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 23.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork has had some wadable water at night.
Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. The lakes are either at, below or nearly at power pool. All of the lakes will be below seasonable power pool in a week. Expect much lower water next week.
John says, “The hopper bite is a bit slower but there are still some good days. Bang the bank with a grasshopper. My favorite fly for this technique is a western pink lady in a size eight. Add a midge dropper to increase your catch.
“With higher flows, the fishing has slowed a bit. The top 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 (my current favorite combination is a San Juan Worm with a girdle bug dropper).”

John also said, “I was riding back from a dog show in Topeka, Kansas (my big, black, male Labrador Retriever, Ghillie, had a big win; my wife, Lori, was driving and I checked the water levels on my iPhone. I noticed that they had turned off the water at Bull Shoals and Norfork dams. I decided to monitor it closely and see if I could take advantage of the low water the next day and get in a little fishing. I asked Lori if she was interested in fishing and she said that she was worn out from the trip and would pass.
“I got up at 5 a.m. the next morning and checked the water flows. It was still down and I quickly hit the shower and prepared to go fishing. I loaded my boat and headed for the river. There was a dense fog and it was about 72 degrees. It promised to be a nice sunny day. My rods were still rigged for very deep water. I rerigged one with a flashback pheasant tail nymph and a ruby midge dropper. I added a small split shot and a strike indicator. I set the depth at around 4.5 feet, my usual depth for low water.
“I motored upstream and took a good look at the water. Not only was it gin clear, but it was lower than I had seen it in years. I slowed down and slid over a rock or two before I realized that the water level was below minimum flow. It was on the absolute bottom. It was quickly apparent to me that I should have brought my waders in lieu of my boat. Since minimum flow was started, I have been fishing more from the boat. On this day the river was so low that wading would be more effective.
“I was not going to let the low water stop me. I carefully set up my drifts and began fishing. I quickly hung up my fly and decided to adjust my strike indicator for lower water. That did the trick and the ruby midge began producing. I didn’t count but I caught plenty of trout. The largest was a fat 18-inch rainbow.
“I heard about another guide who canceled his trip on that day. He had only been guiding for a couple of years. We have had high water for three years and he had never fished low water here and did not know what to do. I guess that he did not want to mess up that nice new boat and he probably did not own a pair of waders. Unfortunately his client missed a great day of fishing.
“Fishing here is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. I saw an opportunity to fish some deliciously low water and took it. The trick is to be flexible.”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 663.31 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.0 feet msl), a drop of 3 feet from last week and a steady fall from the lake’s high this summer near 690 feet. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 916.59 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl).

(updated 9-9-2021) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Wednesday the lake level had dropped to 4.9 feet above normal and is still dropping. The clarity is good and surface water temperature is down to 84 degrees. He continues to urge anglers to get up early and beat the heat for bass fishing and use topwater baits, poppers and Zara Spooks in the creeks. Look for shad-surfacing action. Use a buzzbait or Whopper Plopper to cover water if it’s cloudy. Once the topwater bite slows down, use a Beaver-style bait and a big worm on ledges and channel swing banks. With water dropping, fish on the points in 15-25 feet depth. If it gets tough, use a drop-shot off the points, the bluffs and ledges in 20-35 feet depth. Shad are starting to group up a little better. Fish the conditions. Clarity is good, the surface temperature is hanging around 86 degrees and the lake is falling and at a little over 6 feet high at last check. Check out Del’s YouTube site (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for more information and tips on fishing Bull Shoals Lake.

Norfork Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 556.51 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl).

(updated 9-9-2021) Steve “Scuba” Street from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental reported the lake level is 557.16 and as of Labor Day had dropped 3-plus inches in the last 24-hours with 1½ generators running most of the time. It is taking about four days to drop a foot. The surface water temperature is 86 degrees and the main lake is clear from the surface but cloudy down to the 30-plus-feet thermocline. The creeks are stained just a bit but are a good color for fishing. Get out early, at about 6:30 a.m., and fish until about 10 a.m. on main lake points in 32-35 feet of water on brushpiles. Use a three-eighth-ounce jigging spoon and tap bottom. The walleye are on the edge of the brush near the bottom and the crappie and bass are suspended in the brush and hit the spoon on the drop. There are a few fish coming up back in the creeks in the evening but most are small bass. There are a lot of baitfish near the bank in the evening and can be caught on creature baits and worms. Trollers are catching a few stripers but they are small. The lake is churned up with the holiday boat traffic but will clear quickly and fishing will get better and better as we get into October. Walleye, bass, crappie and bluegill are the best bite with a few catfish thrown in. For a daily lake condition and fishing report go to and click on Scuba Steve’s blog.

Norfork Tailwater
(updated 9-9-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 2.1 feet to rest at 1.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 23.1 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork has had some wadable water at night.
Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. The lakes are either at, below or nearly at power pool. All of the lakes will be below seasonable power pool in a week. Expect much lower water next week.
John says, “The hopper bite is a bit slower but there are still some good days. Bang the bank with a grasshopper. My favorite fly for this technique is a western pink lady in a size eight. Add a midge dropper to increase your catch.
The Norfork is fishing moderately. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during flooding over the past couple of 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 John says his current favorite combination is a San Juan worm with an egg dropper.

Dry Run Creek is fishing poorly. The heavy pressure it received when school was out should be relieved now that school in back in session. Fish early or late to avoid the weekend crowds (the creek is open to fishing from sunrise to sundown). 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.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 9-9-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek remain low and clear. With the warm temperatures, the bite is better. 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.

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Beaver Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.80 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl).

(updated 9-9-2021) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said, “Well, finally, Beaver Lake is at or a little below normal level and the water temperature is in the lower 80s. Fishing has stalled and is in the fair category for most all species. Striper are a real early and late-day proposition. Fish are being caught from Prairie Creek down to the dam. They are moving daily and so should you. Trolled baits are still your best option. The walleye are on main and secondary points. They will hit trolled crawlers and deep-diving cranks. Lot of shorts being caught, and keepers, which in this lake must be 18 inches to keep, are hard to find.
Bass fishing is hit and miss. Look for humps and points to produce. Crappie are still suspended in the thermocline, but this last week I have started to pick them off of brush in 20 to 25 feet depth. This will start to be more the norm as the lake will start to cool with cooler and longer nights.
Catfish are the only fish in the lake that have had an uptick. I ran a crappie trip the other day and we hammered catfish on trolled cranks. Many other guides have been catching cats as a secondary catch while targeting other fish. One thing I can say is the catfish on this clearer lake are awesome table fare when they are in the 3- to 5-pound range. Bream are good as you might expect.
“Fall is approaching! Look for some great fishing just around the corner.”

Visit Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.

(updated 9-9-2021) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reports that walleye are pretty good downlake off the long points in deep water, and their biting spoons and worm rigs. Bream are fair using redworms or crickets. Crappie are “tough right now,” with fair results. Trolling around the brushpiles is working best. Black bass are fair; try a plastic worm or jig. Catfish also are fair, with the catches coming on jugs. The lake is clear and the water level is normal.

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 9-9-2021) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the bite this past week has been all over the place, literally! Chasing the trout, you can find them between Bertrand and Parkers bottom. The most productive tactic has been light terminal tackle, with various Fire baits, (Atomic Garlic) produced the best results. Throwing 1/4 spoons, coated with Fire Gel in shad scent has done great as well. For those of you still wanting to look for Walleyes, try looking towards Beaver Town. Most are going caught in 12-15 FOW, fishing humps and points. Also try looking for them around weed likes. Jigging live minnows has been the preferred method for these fish. The weather is starting to cool and soon we will have some excellent days of fishing ahead. I hope your able to get out and catch some fish!

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 9-9-2021) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported that the lake is still murky and is at a normal level. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are getting more active, and anglers had good results; use minnows or jigs. Black bass picked back up this week; anglers were doing “OK, fair, but the fish are small in size.” No baits were suggested. Catfish are good using live bait.

Lake Sequoyah
(updated 9-9-2021) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said fishing this week has been much better than last week. Bream were biting well on redworms and crickets. Most of the catches were coming during the day on flats. Crappie are fair. They’re best around structure and timber and in 6 feet of water. Use minnows or jigs. Trolling is also working. Black bass are good both early in the day and late in the evening on topwater baits as well as flukes. Catfishing is good using chicken liver, and they’re being caught in shallow water on nightcrawlers. The lake clarity has cleared, and the lake level rose back up to normal level this week.

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Lake Charles
(updated 9-9-2021) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said fishing tailed off for the most part this past week. Bream continue to bite well. Anglers had good results using worms, crickets and jibs. But there were no reports coming in on crappie, black bass, catfish or white bass. Water surface temperature was 80 degrees on Sunday, and the lake level is normal. Clarity remains murky.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 9-9-2021) Seth Boone, park superintendent at Lake Poinsett State Park, says that while Lake Poinsett is still refilling, you can catch and release bream. Kayaks and canoes are recommended at this time, as the lake is still 8-8.5 feet from being at full pool. Poinsett is rainfall-dependent when it comes to refilling.
The gate at the dam at Lake Poinsett was closed last Dec. 1, following the completion of a three-year renovation projection, and the lake began to refilling. The lake has been undergoing an extensive 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.
Other forage species that were stocked this spring include fathead minnows, golden shiners and threadfin shad have been added in huge numbers to the lake to build up the food supply for the predators, which will be stocked in 2022.

Crown Lake
(updated 9-9-2021) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reports that water temperature continues to tumble week to week, with a 4-degree drop to 81 degrees this week, as of Wednesday afternoon. Lake clarity remains clear and water level is low. Black bass catches look good, they say, but they got no other information on baits used. No other species catches were reported this week.

Spring River
(updated 9-2-2021) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 350 cfs and the water clarity is clear. The river looks great. Low and clear for easier wading. But be careful on the slick rocks.
“Over the last few months the catching has been excellent! Hopper dropper action on the fly with browns and extra rainbows being stocked from the AGFC’s Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery over the last few months. Groundbreaking is scheduled for renovations in Jim Hinkle hatchery on Sept. 23. This is gonna be a big deal for helping the Spring River be an even better fishery in the future.
“A big stocking above Dam 3 in the town area and Cold Springs area of golden rainbow and extra rainbow trout has been a great boost to that area. It has been a great time to be fishing the Spring River. Streamers on cloudy days and hopper droppers on sunny days has been working well lately. Olive and black Woollies and prince nymphs and hare’s ear for droppers can work well. My personal favorite is the El Diablo for a dropper and Y2K on the tough days.
“The smallmouth bass are hitting well on sculpin and crawfish patterns. (Wednesday) on the river we caught a nice smallie on a black Woolly. There are a lot of leeches in the river and can be a good thing to imitate.
“Cooler temps will get the bite on, so get out and have a safe and good time!”

(updated 9-9-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. The canoe season is upon us. Look out for the aluminum hatch! 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 9.46 feet, more than 5 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was at 11.93, well below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta is slightly up at 24.03, nearly 2 feet below flood stage of 26.00 feet

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Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 9-9-2021) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no new report.

Lake Monticello
(updated 9-9-2021) Dam repair work has been underway by the city of Monticello’s contractor, while the AGFC has been rebuilding the lake bottom and areas near where the shoreline will be for fish habitat when the lake is refilled. Many artificial fish habitat structures have been created and put in place, awaiting the refilling of the lake when dam repair work is done.

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Millwood Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.41 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl).

NOTICE: The Army Corps of Engineers at Millwood Lake recently completed adding an additional 25-plus river buoys along the Little River main lake channel last week to improve navigation.

Also: The Corps says a 2-feet drawdown of Millwood Lake recently was approved beginning Sept. 15 and running until at least Oct. 1, dependent on rainfall and concrete repair. Use extreme causion while navigating the lake during the drawdown pool elevations, as stumps and obstacles will be near or at surface pool. Boat lanes on open water may be dry ground or mere inches in depth with stumps and hazards. Drawdown work includes boat ramp repair near Beards Bluff, shoreline abatement/erosion replacement, and other related maintenance. For more information, call the Army Corps of Engineers Tri-Lakes office at 870-898-3343.

(updated 9-9-2021) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood Lake is near normal, currently about 2 inches above normal conservation pool. The lake on Tuesday was at 259.4 feet msl and falling; the oxbows’ water clarity stained. Little River clarity was stained with current discharge this week. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 226 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 450 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels. Surface temps remain stable this week, ranging 82-88 degrees depending on location. Current along Little River decreased this week with discharge release at the dam, and river clarity ranging 3-5 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of oxbows is ranging 10-14 inches depending on location. Mud lines last week that were observed flowing into Horseshoe Oxbow are dissipating, and oxbows began clearing. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain conditions. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, gate discharge, rain or thunderstorms. Clarity at Saratoga and Okay area has improved drastically.
As for the fishing specifics this week:
* For the past several weeks, various largemouth and other black bass have been randomly schooling at daybreak in the oxbows up Little River for a few hours in early mornings. The best feeding periods have been from daylight to around 8-9 a.m., slowing in the heat of the day. Random schooling slowed somewhat this week, with fewer schools seen surface breaking. When schools of shad are broken up by juvenile and adolescent-sized bass, the melee can be awesome for several minutes. “When good schools break, we were getting decent reactions using the Bill Lewis Stuttersteps, Cordell Boy Howdy’s, Clear Baby Torpedoes, Heddon Dying Flutters and Cordell Crazy Shads in chrome/black back. Blowup reactions randomly continue in the lily pads, early on plastic frogs in black, white or pumpkinseed/pearl belly, near pads and grass. The schooling bass are chasing large pods of threadfin shad to the surface and blowing them out of the water at daylight in the oxbows near vertical structure where the flats drop off into 8-15 feet of depth,” Mike said.
Reaction strikes are fair during the mornings until around 10 a.m. on Arbogast Jitterbugs and jointed Jitterbugs in Cricket Frog, Coach Dog and Perch colors. Moss Bosses in white, and rattling Zara Mouses in gray, are working randomly in the lily pads. Johnson chrome Silver Minnow Spoons with a white 3-inch curly tail grub trailer are getting reactions in the pads by rumbling over and pausing in gaps between lily pads. “Be advised, you need 30-pound or more braided line to hoss the bigger bass out of the salad and pads,” Mike said.
H&H tandem spinners in chartreuse/white and bream colors, Little John custom shad painted crankbaits, Bill Lewis square-bill SB-57 and MR-6 Crankbaits in Chartreuse Shad, Tennessee Shad, Millwood Magic colors, 3/4-ounce 1-knocker Rat-L-Traps and Tandem Bass Assassin Rigs are also catching these surface schooling 3- to 4-pound fish. Ten-inch bulky worms in Blue Fleck, Black Grape and Peanut Butter ‘n Jelly colors continue working for a few bass up to 4 pounds when the surface commotion subsides.
Where the creek mouths dump into Little River, near Snake Creek, Jacks’ Isle and White Cliffs Creek, the Kentucky bass were found inside the main creek channels just out of river current over the past few weeks, hitting hammered chrome Cordell Spoons with white/red bucktail, custom painted Little John Cranks and Fat Free Shads, and behind points extending into Little River above Jack’s Isle. Vertical-jigging of the spoons near standing timber and stumps continues working for some 2- to 3-pound largemouth and white bass.
Bass Assassin Shad jerkbaits continue randomly working in the oxbows — the same flats and stumps with lily pads as the topwater frogs — early in the morning. Best colors over the past few weeks have been Salt & Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini and Bluegill Flash in the 5-inch sizes seemed to draw best reactions.
If you can find drops and vertical structure where the alligatorweed and lily pads converge on receding flats or deeper drops on secondary points, from 5-6 feet deep tapering out to 8-9 feet deep, the custom painted S-Cranks and Little John Cranks in bream and shad patterns are still getting random reactions. Bandit 200 Cranks in Splatterback, LA Shad, Chartreuse Rootbeer and Citrus Shad colors have been randomly working for several weeks for largemouth and white bass.
* Millwood had another mayfly hatch over the past two weeks, and have the bream active again under willow trees. Bream were fair to good at Millwood State Park and Jack’s Isle over the past week on redworms, crickets and mayflies.
* White bass have been roaming Little River over the past few weeks, but have been random in locations. Last week, two anglers found large schools of whites in McGuire Oxbow, schooling with the largemouths near vertical structure, and in creek channel dumps into the oxbow near back of McGuire in front of standing timber. Random schooling was taking place from daylight until around 9 a.m. with shad pods breaking as the whites were pushing them to the surface. Johnson Beetle Spins, Hammered Cordell Chrome Spoons with a red bucktail, Rocket Shads, 3/4-ounce Rat-L-Traps and Little Cleo’s were all randomly catching whites over last couple weeks in McGuire.
* Crappie over the past week were random in strikes — on a solid bite one day, and flip-a-switch off the next day.
The best bite seems to have shifted from jigs and Mizmo tubes to minnows, in planted brushpiles in the oxbows up Little River and on main lake from 8-12 feet of depth. Vertical-jigging seemed to work best for jigs a week or so ago, but minnows seemed to work best over the past week, randomly for crappie early and slow in the afternoon.
* Catfish improved on the main lake using King’s Punch Bait, minnows, Catfish Charlie and hot dogs. Blues and channel cats up to around 4 pounds were fair and slightly more active this week.

In the photo, a Texas angler named Tommy caught a nice Millwood slab crappie fishing with the “crappie guru” guide, Mackey Harvin.

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 536.55 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).

DeGray Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 399.14 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-9-2021) John Duncan of at Iron Mountain Marina says, “It’s here! Summer slow down. It’s pretty short and sweet right now. Water level is down and still lowering. Water level is 399.14 feet msl. Water temperature has started to lower with these cooler nights to lower 80s. Yeah!! Little change in the pattern right now. Schooling fish are pretty well everywhere. Use topwaters for surfacing fish (Whopper Plopper, Spook, poppers), then crankbaits or A-rigs. Don’t forget, you can troll the A-rigs, also. Spoons are always a top producer and give you long casting distance because it is called “chasing schooling fish.” Go early and watch for boats or breakers.
Crappie are next. Wow, are they sluggish yet. You can find them in about 22 feet of water in brushpiles. Lots are on the bottom around the piles. They are also schooled up in the timber at the same depth. They are slow to hit a jig but will take minnows somewhat. They are just sluggish. May want to think about night fishing. The last option is sniping them with LiveScope.
“Cooler nights means change coming. Good fishing.”

(updated 9-2-2021) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) says, “We’ve been catching fair amounts of white bass trolling crankbaits. Watch for the schooling shad and surface activity of feeding fish. Be ready to cast spoons at the surface feeding schools.”

De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.06 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 525.75 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).

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White Oak Lake Area
(updated 9-2-2021) Curtis Willingham of River Rat Bait (870-231-3831) says that crappie are good in the Ouachita River on minnows and jigs. Also in the river, anglers can find a good bite from the bass. Clarity is muddy and the water level is low.

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Lake Atkins
(updated 9-9-2021) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the fishing has perked up some on the lake. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass are deep, but there is a fair bite. Anglers report best success on worms. Catfish are biting well on jugs. No reports on bream. Lake level remains low as of Wednesday afternoon, and the clarity is clear. No water temperature was recorded.

Lake Catherine
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

(updated 9-9-2021) Slycked Back Fishing LLC in Hot Springs, producers of the finest and toughest fishing products hand-crafted in Hot Springs by fishermen, reports that Lake Catherine is in the initial onsets of fall transition. It happens to Catherine before other lakes simply because it’s a river and the water temps stay down in comparison to the chain of lakes that feed it. Surface temps are beginning to dip into the low 80s with the 70s just around the corner.
As these changes start to take place, bass will begin to feed heavily again on large bait presentations. Large worms Texas-rigged, jigs, deep-diving and mid-range crankbaits and even floating worms will begin to be deadly effective much like the springtime. Colorings should include Junebug and Watermelon almost exclusively except for the shad colorings of the crankbaits. Right now, we are still having good luck on topwater presentations in shaded areas and at night with largemouth. Spotted bass can be caught in large numbers on the drop-shot rig with a watermelon seed Trick Worm or drop-shot worm in deeper areas like points and the moving current that runs down submerged rock bluffs. Lake Catherine bass seem to be night owls in the summer, so keep this in mind when the frustration sets in during the day. Bream are excellent using worms and crickets on lake points with docks and sheer rock faces that drop 20-30 feet straight down. No crappie report. Walleye are still being caught well on live nightcrawlers in the breaks of the main channels, and they will improve as the fall sets in.
“Check us out and like us on Facebook (Slycked Back Fishing LLC) for more pointers and tips!”

IN THE PHOTO: Greyson Manning, our 4-year-old subject in the lead photo atop this week’s report, also caught a big stringer of bream at Lake Catherine recently. Photo provided by Justin Manning.

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

(updated 9-9-2021) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 64 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Heavy afternoon and evening generation flows this past week have cooled down the tailrace, and boaters and wade fishermen are urged to use caution when out on the water. Entergy has posted a special generation schedule starting Friday, Sept. 10 that extends through Thursday, Sept. 16. Anyone planning on navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is urged to view these flow releases and plan accordingly. This schedule is posted weekly on the Entergy website for public viewing normally on Wednesday evening.
Now that Lake Ouachita has been lowered over 8 feet below flood pool, weekly flows from area dams are at a level where fishing and boating are safe, but fast flows have been the norm.
Catfish have been caught below the bridge in the main channel and below the dam on cut bait and live minnows as these fish have completed the end of their spawning cycle. The majority of fish caught have been in the 4- to 8-pound range. Blue catfish are the dominant species in the tailrace area. White bass have been observed breaking in the early morning hours chasing threadfin shad. Huge schools of threadfin shad can be observed moving in and out of the tailrace. Casting spinnerbaits and jigs in eighth-ounce weights has been the best presentation to catch these fish the past several weeks. Hybrid bass school alongside white bass and are being caught on the same techniques. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current has been productive catching white bass and hybrids, as well as walleye in the 3-pound class. Walleye thrive in the tailrace in the summer months as these fish prefer colder water temperatures than other area game fish. The summer dominated by these fish species with migration in and out of the tailrace a weekly event. This pattern will be repeated almost every week until the summer heat is replaced by fall temperatures.

Rainbow trout fishing below Carpenter Dam is over as the season was marred by flooding. Very small numbers of rainbows remain in the tailrace currently, which is the norm for this time of year. The past three years have been adversely affected by high water as trout despise muddy conditions. The trout season on Lake Catherine won’t resume until the AGFC stocking program begins again in mid-November.
Always wear a life jacket when on the water and continue to follow park rules and regulations.

Lake Dardanelle
(updated 9-9-2021) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.

Lake Hamilton
(updated 9-9-2021) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton at full pool with lake surface temps in the mid-80s except for the river channel below Blakely Dam. It has been very tough on anglers over the last week due to the amount of pleasure boat traffic on the lake. “We were crazy enough to try and fish. It was impossible to fish any of the main channels but we were able to slip into some creek fingers and get some fish in the boat.
Bass are really starting to get active now that the water temps are starting to come down. Topwater baits thrown in shaded or dense grassy areas have done well. Whopper Ploppers, and especially Spooks and frogs in white or silver color variations are getting hit aggressively in shallow water and under and beside structures (mainly docks) and the occasional downed tree. The old, reliable drop-shot rig tipped with a smack silver fluke or drop-shot worm in Watermelon Seed or Tequila Sunrise still is very effective for spotted bass on docks, pilings and points in 15-25 feet of water. Again, it is important to try and find shaded areas. Keep in mind, shade can be below the surface, also.
Bream have been such too much fun this summer! A worm or cricket on a slip cork set to 15 feet and thrown just off docks in deeper water easily puts good pan-sized fish in the bucket quickly. Catfish have also been excellent on cut bait and cheese on creek channel drop-offs in 15-25 feet of water. Night is the time to go, but its not uncommon to catch a nice channel cat in the daylight. No crappie report

“Please continue to use caution on Lake Hamilton as there are plenty of pleasure boaters out. We fisherman will retake what is rightfully ours around the first weekend of October (smiley face). Good luck, and Go Greeson!”

Lake Nimrod
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.96 feet msl (normal pool: 343.93 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).

(updated 9-9-2021) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the lake has returned to a “pretty clear” clarity with a surface water temperature of 87 degrees, a couple of degrees lower than last week. Water level is normal. Bream again were poor this week. Crappie are good; the crappie are still being caught mostly at 8-10 feet depth on minnows or jigs. The preference has been Beaver Bottom jigs and eyehole jigs in pink and white. Black bass are better, with good results on buzzbaits and Chatterbait. Bass are shallow. Catfishing is fair on yo-yos and limblines.

Lake Ouachita
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 569.79 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 9-9-2021) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are good. Topwater bite is working and a drop-shot rig is working well for spots. Walleye are still fair and being caught on spoons and drop-shot nightcrawlers near brush on points. No report on stripers. Bream are good and can be caught on worms and crickets. These fish are 15-20 feet deep on brush. No report on crappie. Catfish are still good and being caught on rod-and-reel using nightcrawlers for bait near brush. Water temperature is ranging 84-88 degrees. Lake level is 569.79 feet msl. Clarity is clear. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 9-2-2021) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) says, “We’ve been catching ample numbers of catfish on the drop-off near deep water channels. Fish the bottom with worms, cutbait or shrimp.”

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.93 feet msl (full pool: 386.36 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).

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White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge was holding steady at 20.35 feet, still almost 6 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.

Cook’s Lake
(updated 9-9-2021) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said the White River is on a slight rise; however, bass fishing remains excellent. Anglers are reporting success flipping tubes and creature baits, as well as throwing white spinnerbaits near the bank. The lake will remain open for youth and mobility-impaired fishing through October.

Cook’s Lake is a 2-mile long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Due to current guidelines, Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing during normal business hours Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat. To comply with current guidelines, please call ahead at least a day in advance to register to fish. Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center, and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, call the center at 870-241-3373.

Horseshoe Lake
(updated 9-9-2021) Kent Williams of Oxbow Guide Service (870-278-7978) said the past couple of weeks has found Horseshoe with a definite thermocline set up. The fish have reacted as they do in late summer with warmer water and a thermocline at 10-12 feet.
Crappie are slow at best. “There are some still being caught but not like the bite we have enjoyed up until mid-August. Check the shady area around the piers and some fish can still be caught in the pads. Fish slow as the fish are slow to bite.” No reports on black bass, catfish or bream.
“We are going to take the next couple of weeks off and get our duck blinds ready for our guests that will hunt with us in the upcoming duck season and get some jig orders filled,” Kent said. “Give me a call for some fall fishing in October.”

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