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Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report

BY Jim Harris

ON 01-27-2022


Jan. 27, 2022

Jim Harris

Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Jan. 27, 2022. 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 11 a.m. the day of publication (Jan. 27).
****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:  Chris Allen from Memphis, covered up and masked while fishing the Spring River with guide Mark Crawford recently, got ahold of a big brown trout. Mark said, “His big hands make the fish looker smaller than it was! Honest” Photo provided by Mark Crawford.

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Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

(updated 1-27-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake clarity is the normal Lake Conway stain and the water level is normal as of Wednesday, but it’s been up and down. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good. Jigs that are 1.5-2 inches in Monkey Milk or white/chartreuse colors are really working well, along with minnows. Check out the north end of the lake for the best. Black bass are good. Give a spinnerbait a try, along with swimbaits in dark or green pumpkin colors, or anything resembling baitfish. Catfishing remains good. Nightcrawlers, dough bait, stink bait, bass minnows and trotline minnows are all being used with success.

Little Red River
(updated 1-27-2022) Mike Winkler, who operates Little Red River Guide Service (501-690-9166, 501-507-3688), said that for over a week on the Little Red River the Army Corps of Engineers has been running water over the floodgates equal to one unit of generation.
Fishing from a boat has been good nymphing San Juan worms in pink. Egg patterns have also been working well.
Streamer fishing has been productive throwing articulated streamer patterns.

(updated 1-20-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said that with both generators at the Greers Ferry Dam down for maintenance, the Army Corps of Engineers is using the spillway to release water into the Little Red. Currently the release is approximately equivalent to one generator water release. This water release could change any day. San Juan worms, weighted egg patterns and streamers are recommended for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, pink-colored body on chartreuse or gold jigheads is recommended. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website ( for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 1-20-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said trout are good on LiveScope and olive marabou jigs and Rooster Tail.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.00 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).

(updated 1-27-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Thursday the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 461.98 feet msl, 0.06 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet. The Army Corps of Engineers have closed all but two gates now; one gate is open 1 foot and one is open a half-foot to keep lake around normal pool until they can get generators back up and running.
Prespawn is here for some species and pre-pre-prespawn for others. Black bass are good on Wiggle Warts, Alabama rigs, Rock Crawlers, jigs, spinnerbaits, float and fly – a gauntlet of things, hair jigs, etc., they will bite right now if you stay around shad and close to shad. They are scattered from super shallow out to 80 feet. Crappie are eating and moving around a lot, especially if you are chasing them with forward sonar as they are getting spookier and spookier with all of the craze going on. Catching vertical is the best bet not to scare them, with small jigs or minnows in 25-45 feet around some timber.
No reports on bream, and no reports on catfish – just no one out doing it, but can be done especially around the shad. Walleye are staging. Some are up rivers and eating, while lake fish are still just moving up and down feeding. Crankbaits, jerkbaits and crawlers are working, as well as minnows. Hybrid and white bass are eating at will all over lake and rivers; stay around bait, 25-80 feet with spoons, inline spinners, live bait, Alabama rigs, hair jigs and swimbaits.

“Don’t forget to come out to the boat and tackle show at Statehouse Convention Center this Friday through Sunday, and be safe out there,” Tommy adds.

(updated 1-20-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said bass are good on Rat-L-Traps and Alabama rigs.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 1-27-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water had muddied some and the level has dropped below normal (some stumps are visible). Bream popped out to bite fair this week. Anglers were catching a few on minnows. Crappie are good in the mornings and in the evenings. Best success was coming on bites in 14 inches deep around the shoreline, and anglers were catching them in deeper areas in boats also. Use minnows and jigs. Black bass were fair but there were no specifics given. No reports on catfish.

Brewer Lake
(update 1-27-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) said the lake is still clear and is low by about 1 foot. Bream fishing has been fair with smaller bream going for the hook near the shoreline. Larger bream are being caught in deeper areas around brush. Redworms and crickets are best. Crappie are good and being caught in deeper water. Try minnows, jigs or live bait. Black bass are fair. They’re also active in deeper. The usual deep-diving bass lures and live bait are best. Catfishing is good using stink bait and live bait.

Dad’s is a 24/7 self-serve bait shop.

Lake Maumelle
(updated 1-27-2022) WestRock Landing in Roland (501-658-5598) reported that water temperature has dropped into the upper 40s this week. The largemouth bass bite is good. Reports vary from the bass being found shallow to being scattered at all depths. Some reports have them deep. Try using crankbaits, spinnerbaits or drop-shots. Their black bass kin, the spotted bass (Kentucky bass) also are good. Some reports of them being found near drop-offs around 16-20 feet and off rocky banks and other reports of them being found on brushpiles. Try using a Texas rig on brush, or jigs.
Large stringers of black bass are being caught in the Saturday tournaments. In the Bass League tourney last Saturday, John and Mason Davis hauled in 17.33 pounds with a five-bass stringer. Jack Whitbeck and Grub caught 15.84 pound of bass, including a 6.46 Bib Bass. Eric Wallace on Sunday in the WestRock Winter Series bagged 12.79 pounds and a Big Bass of 4.16 pounds.

White bass provided no reports this week, but try swimbaits if you want to go for them.
Crappie fishing remains excellent. Reports this week of the crappie being found deep and stacking off the bottom around 30-35 feet in the channel. They were still deep this week over brush. Try using jigs and minnows.
Bream are fair. Reports of bream off the bottom in deep water around 30 feet. They were biting on minnows and jigs. No reports on catfish, but this time of year they should bite chicken liver, worms and crayfish.

(updated 1-13-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said crappie are good on Monkey Milk crappie jigs and Bobby Garland Jigs in 10-15 feet depth around underwater brushtops.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 13,907 cfs. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 9,544 cfs.

Little Maumelle River
(updated 1-27-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the river is clear and at a normal. Water level is normal. Fishing is as steady as it was last week. Bream are good. Fish with redworms or crickets. Bream are near the bottom. Crappie are good and being caught in 8-10 feet deep. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good, and like the crappie they are in 8-10 feet depth; crankbait has been the bait of choice of late. Still no reports on catfish.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 14,782 cfs.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 14,116 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 16,922 cfs.

(updated 1-27-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said crappie are good on the river on minnows and jigs at the ends of jetties.

(updated 1-20-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said bass are good in 4-6 feet depth on mid-diving crankbaits.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 1-27-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) says the water is so low that boats cannot get in the lake, and water is also muddy.

Peckerwood Lake
(update 1-27-2022) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) is closed for the season, as private Peckerwood Lake is turned over to waterfowl with the upcoming season. Herman’s will reopen in February.

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White River
(updated 1-27-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said that even with steady, daily releases, Bull Shoals Lake elevation remains very near the desired power pool level of 659 feet msl. The same holds true for all the lakes in the White River watershed, so be prepared for what seems to be erratic changes in the water level but trust that the lakes are being maintained well for flood control.
Looks like our daytime temps will remain above freezing for the next couple of weeks with a few days reaching a balmy low 50-plus degrees, but other days just barely thawing. Nighttime lows are still below freezing, calling for extra layers for early morning trips to the river. Bring live worms for those early rises and turn to sturdy stickbaits when the water reaches its zenith for the day (that’s been around 3 p.m. here in
Cotter.) Longtime favorites for mid-January/late spawn season: silver and black Rapala CD7s or Smithwick’s black-silver suspending rogues. Translucent orange egg patterns have been causing a stir among the rainbows.
Boat and wading traffic have been very light over the last few weeks and we expect that to continue for another week or two. That makes for a great time to visit the White and find all those trout just looking for an easy meal. Remember that the annual brown trout spawn restrictions end on Jan. 31; we’ll be waiting for those browns that haven’t already left the nests for their home territory.
Posted: Terrific fishing ahead!

(updated 1-27-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, says that despite the cold weather the fishing has been good. The river level is averaging 5-9 feet. The water has been clear. Sunrise-colored Power Eggs with shrimp have been working well. If shrimp isn’t working, try corn or worms. Gold- and silver-colored spoons worked best when the water was lower. For bigger trout try catching some sculpins around rocks. Make sure the sculpin is dead before casting it out, otherwise the sculpin will disappear under a rock.

(updated 1-27-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they had a trace of rain in Cotter, frigid temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.5 foot to rest at a foot below power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 37 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 0.5 foot below power pool and 16.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 foot to rest at 0.4 foot below power pool or 10 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 0.5 foot to rest at 0.5 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork tailwater has had limited wadable water.
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam has been closed to accommodate the brown trout spawn but will reopen Tuesday, Feb. 1. The State Park was seasonal catch-and-release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released through Monday, Jan. 31 In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period through Jan. 31.

On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold ribbed hare’s ears and sowbugs. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise).
Remember that the White and North Fork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
John adds, “I recently got a new motor for my river boat, a Christmas present from my sister, Ernestine. It is a propeller-driven Honda outboard and requires a break-in period during which I must run it at slow speeds and gradually move it under more power. I have been waiting for lower water and pleasant weather to accomplish this.
“Last week I got my chance. We had a prediction for lower flows and sunny, warmer weather with little wind. My wife’s sister, Terri, and her husband, Larry, were visiting. We decided to go fishing, while I broke in the motor. I hooked up my boat to my Suburban and headed to Rim Shoals. Terri and Larry followed me in their car. My wife, Lori, stayed home to feed the dogs, planning to join us at Rim Shoals when she was finished.
“I launched the boat. Larry and Terri boarded and we began fishing. Terri was in the front and Larry in the back. We began drifting but the going was slow. A while later, Lori arrived ready to fish. That would mean three fly-anglers fishing from the boat, which would be a bit crowded. I like to limit my boat to two anglers fishing at the same time.
“To ease the crowding, Larry volunteered to put on his waders and wade fish. He quickly donned his waders and hopped in the boat. I ferried him up to Red Bud Shoals, which was shallow enough for him to wade. I agreed on a time to pick him up and decided to check on him at least once every 30 minutes. He was perfectly satisfied to be wade fishing on his own.
“As Lori got in the boat I asked Terri to move to the back of the boat. Lori tends to set the hook very exuberantly. If she is in the back of the boat (where I am running the engine and steering) she tends to scare me when she sets the hook. I see that double-fly rig zooming by my nose and it scares me. Since she is not likely to set the hook more gently, I ask her to fish in the front of the boat, as far from me as she can get.
“We settled down and began fishing. Terri got the first take. As previously noted, the going was slow. She was so excited to finally get a bite that she set the hook as hard as she could. The fish literally flew from the water, went over the boat, and splashed on the other side. It was quite a feat in water over 5 feet deep. I was amaze as the trout flew by my face with the dropper fly missing me by inches. Was she learning bad habits from Lori?
“Sometimes fish got to fly!”

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 657.90 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.0 feet msl). The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 914.12 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 915.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl).

(updated 1-27-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said bass fishing has been fair. No need to get out early, especially if it’s cold. There’s been a good afternoon bite one-half to three-quarters of the way back, 75-90 feet into the guts of creeks. Graph to look for shad and look for loons. Active diving loons will trigger feeding activity. Offshore shade structure seems to be the predominant bite. The shad have moved even deeper as of late. Some of the fish have left the shad, so power fisherman can grind it out. Key in on windy ledges, transitions, channel swing banks with chunk rock. Jerkbait has started catching a few under a little sun and wind, and use the Rock Crawler or Wiggle Wart on windy days and cover water. You can always catch them on a jig. Fish the conditions. Clarity is good, the surface water temperature is 49 degrees. Water level is low.
See 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 552.68 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 1-27-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort reported Wednesday that the lake level is 552.86 feet msl and has dropped 4 inches in the last 24 hours with continuous generation since 7 p.m. Tuesday. The White River at Newport is 12-plus feet and still dropping. The surface water temperature was just under 48 degrees and the water is clearing both on the main lake and in the creeks. You can see your lure down 4-5 feet. The lake overall is in good condition for fishing and is at a good level. Crappie, bass and bluegill have been the best bite, with white bass picking up. A few stripers in the 5- to 8-pound range are being caught and are with the white bass. “I am using quarter-ounce spoons during the day on brush in about 25 feet of water and switching to 3-inch green stingray grubs on the bank from sunset to dark. Overall fishing is just fair but some nice fish are being caught every day. Cold fronts come through at least once per week, slowing the fishing, and then it gets better until the next one. Ambient temperatures vary from 60 degrees for a high one day to high 30s the next. The normal average high is now 45 degrees and rising. Just keep the storms and ice away and we will be fine.”
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.

(updated 1-20-2022) Lou Gabric, at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said, “Winter arrived in our area this week with a little of that white stuff and cooler weather, which has dropped the lake surface temperature a few degrees. The bait is starting to move out to deeper water due to the cooler water and has suspended 40-60 feet down in 70-100-plus feet of water. When the bait moves, so do the predator fish. The striped and hybrid bass are following suit. I have been finding quite a few striped bass in pairs, up to large schools. It appears the fish that have moved under the bait are not feeding, but the fish on top of the bait have been feeding aggressively. The areas to start finding them is anywhere from the mid-lake creeks around the Robinson area to the bridges, then farther north toward the 101 Boat Dock area and anywhere in between. Concentrate your search to areas close to the deep river channel, especially on channel swings. Live bait is working well set at about 38 feet. Artificial baits are working as well. Vertical-jigging a spoon, larger ice jigs and plastic jigs have been the best. Find the depth the stripers are feeding at and drop your bait to that level.
Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has been really good for me. My best areas have been bluff line points in 33-38 feet of water. The fish are hugging the bottom. I have been dropping a 1-ounce spoon to the bottom and slowly jigging it up and down just a little. When the jig is falling is the time when the bass have been sucking it in. Once you start to lift the bait off of the bottom, you feel the fish and the fight is on. With the cooler water temperature, the bass will also move into shallow water early and late in the day to feed. Use crankbaits for these shallow fish or jigs worked slowly along the bottom.”
Crappie fishing has stayed about the same. The best areas have been on brushpiles in 20-25 feet of water. The fish will typically be toward the tops of the brush. They may move inside the brush to shallower water early and late in the day. Jigging a spoon on top of the brush is working, or dropping a small soft plastic with a one-sixteenth or one-eighth-ounce jighead. You can also cast out the plastic jig to the shoreline and let it sink to your desired depth and reel it back to the boat, making sure the jig crosses over the top of the brushpile. Live bait is typically always a great way to catch crappie.
Norfork Lake level currently sits at 553.82 feet msl. The lake has risen roughly a half-foot since last week. The surface water temperature is around 48 degrees. The lake is slightly stained. “Happy Fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”

Norfork Tailwater
(updated 1-27-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.5 foot to rest at 0.5 foot below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 26.7 feet below the top of flood pool. There has been some wadable water on the Norfork and it fished well some days and poorly on others. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small-bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.
Dry Run Creek has fished well. School is back in session and now is a great time to fish it, particularly during the week. Weekends can get a bit crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective. Carry a large net, as most fish are lost at the net.

Remember that the White and North Fork rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 1-27-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are still navigable. With colder temperatures, the smallmouths are not active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown 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 1,119.68 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,120.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl).

(updated 1-27-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is at a steady level. Lake temperature really dropped last week and ranges anywhere from the 40s to 37 up in river arms. Fishing has been slow for most species. The bright spot is, the crappie bite is still good. Look in and around 17-25 feet on brush.
“We have been fishing the White River arm with good numbers and size lately. Stripers are a tough get right now. Fish have been caught around Horseshoe Bend and Monte Ne. Point 12 should be an area where they may show up soon. Lots of shad up in that area. Fish should respond as water clears.
“It has been fairly muddy up until yesterday. Weatherman is hinting towards a big winter storm next week but as we all know they are only right a small percentage of the time. Just kidding, but not really. Anyways, I am hoping they are wrong because I am ready for some spring fishing. Good luck and stay safe!”

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

(updated 1-27-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported the lake is a little murky and low. Walleye are spotty. Stripers are really good right now on minnows, spoons and soft jerkbaits. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs; work the brushpiles. Black bass are good, with crankbaits and worms working best. No reports on catfish.

Beaver Tailwater
(updated 1-13-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said fishing has been hit or miss this past week, but if you can drift the flowing water, you should do pretty well. Most trout are being caught between Parker Bottoms and Spider Creek. “We have had great success with quarter-ounce spoons coated in Fire gel. Light terminal tackle, fished with various PowerBaits, has also done nicely as well. You will need to cover water to stay on the bite.
“This past week we only focused on the trout. In about a month, I will have a better idea how them walleye are doing! Try to stay in the deep pockets and you should do just fine! This weekend might have some winter weather, so try to get out Friday. Good luck and catch some fish!”

Visit Austin’s fishing Facebook Page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for fishing videos and tips on the tailwater.

Lake Fayetteville
(updated 1-27-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no reports.

Lake Sequoyah
(updated 1-27-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that the water is “beautiful” but they have had no anglers this week. The lake is clear and is 1 foot low.

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Lake Charles
(updated 1-13-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water at Lake Charles is back up to normal (Lake Charles water is used to help flood the nearby Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA for waterfowl season) but the fish bite is not normal. There was no bite this week, she reports. Nothing from any species, or at least no reports from any anglers. The water temperature Monday afternoon was 47.1 degrees. Clarity is murky. Based on moon times, though, there should be good fishing through Jan. 17, she notes, if the weather holds up.

Lake Poinsett
(updated 1-27-2022) Lake Poinsett is in the process of refilling, but is rainfall dependent and the region hasn’t had a lot of rainfall lately. The fishing now is predominantly catch-and-release for bream. They seem to be biting on crickets and worms. Small boats, kayaks or canoes are the only watercraft that can launch at this time.
The gate at the dam at Lake Poinsett was closed a year ago, 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 this year.

Crown Lake
(updated 1-27-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) has closed for the season and will reopen in mid-February.

Spring River
(updated 1-20-2022) Mark Crawford with (870-955-8300) said water levels are at 340 cfs at the Spring and water clarity has been clear. The river has been looking great for the last few weeks. Just below average flows.
The trout have been slow on the bite, hitting Woollies and Y2ks on good days and nymphs on slow days. This is the time to catch big rainbows and browns on the Spring River. On the cloudy overcast days, streamer fishing with a olive Woolly or white Woolly can be a lot of fun. Most days tight-lining has been most productive, hitting the bite at the end of the swing. “Make sure and let the fly swing out!” Mark says. “We caught the brown with this report on a white lightning fly sold in the fly shop. It has been very hot for bigger trout this year.”
With spin fishing a hot pink or white Trout Magnet has been hot. Got to get that Trout Magnet just off the bottom of the river and they will eat it up. Trout cranks on the bitter overcast days might produce a walleye this time of year, too!
“The only problem lately has been freezing temps on the water,” Mark added. “Got to be safe out there! If you get wet, find a dry warm place immediately! The Spring River has a very slick rock bottom that will help you go for a swim whether you want to or not. Be safe!”

(updated 1-27-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. Canoe season is over and the canoes are mostly gone. Fish the upper river at the Lassiter Access to avoid them or fish Dam 3 late in the afternoon, after they have left the area. 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, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.

White River
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was at 9.10 feet, well below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was at 12.26 feet, down almost 10 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta has dropped to 24.41 feet which is more than 1.5 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.

(updated 1-27-2022) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville had no reports. Water is high.

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Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Emmett Sanders Lock and Dam at Pine Bluff was 41 cfs. Further upriver at the Maynard Lock and Dam near Redfield, the flow was 374 cfs.

(updated 1-27-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no new reports.

Lake Monticello
(updated 1-27-2022) Dam repair work has been completed 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, which will mostly be done by rainfall collection. The gates on the dam are now closed and the lake refilling is underway. Many artificial fish habitat structures have been created and put in place, and the AGFC has pumped several of the small ponds and has added rotenone to those areas for the elimination of unwanted species (i.e. grass carp, yellow bass), before the refilling of the lake began.

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Millwood Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.44 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl).

(updated 1-27-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Tuesday, Millwood Lake was near normal pool, at 259.4 feet msl and steady, and clarity is good to fair stain in a few areas, the same as last week. Surface temps dropped again this week to range 40-44 degrees depending on location and the day. River discharge, current and lake elevation is about the same as a week ago.
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.
Mike says, as far as fishing specifics:
* Not much change over the past several weeks, with the largemouth bass being hit or miss depending on daily conditions. The largemouth activities slowed with the colder water temperatures; best feeding cycles shifted to midday and afternoon. Threadfin shad were still roaming in and out of the shallow flats with any remaining lily pads, other times over drops from 9 feet to around 15 feet of depth. The black bass appear suspended near large pods of threadfin shad in the oxbows along Little River and in mouths of the creeks that junction and dump into the river. Keep an eye peeled for egrets and herons feeding on the shad. Bass will continue to suspend with current water temperatures, roaming shallow on warm afternoons up onto flats for a few hours, albeit sluggish with the cooler water temperatures. The shad schools have moved onto primary and secondary points and into the deeper depths of creek channels. Their feeding cycles have seemed to fluctuate widely over the past several weeks.

Warmer days with blue skies have been best near vertical structure and deeper drops with 6-9 feet deep flats in close range. Over the past couple weeks, bass were fair on swim jigs with thumper-tail trailers, Chatterbaits, jigs and heavy thumping 1-Knocker Rat-L-Traps. Most bass we are finding continue randomly roaming shallow on full sun and bright skies into the 6-10 foot depths of flats adjacent to deeper drops into 9-15 feet depth ranges. The largemouths, have continue randomly turning on during the heat of the day, better on bright, sunny, clear days when water temps will rise a few degrees in mid-day. Square-bill crankbaits, Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits will randomly connecting with the shallow roaming Bass. MR-6, Echo 1.75, and Little John cranks, have been getting fair 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 creek mouths drop, have held some decent sized bass over the past week. The best bite continues during heat of the day from noon-3pm.
Before the last cold snap and frontal passages, the past few weeks, we were finding schools of shad staging on creek channel points and in deeper creek channels that began moving deeper into creeks that junction Little River and the oxbows. Watch your electronics for huge shad pods ranging 6-14 feet deep on primary or secondary points. The screen will go completely solid mass when you locate the shad schools. Bass are holding and suspending near and underneath these huge shad schools. Some days with lots of wind gusts, the shad will drop vertically into the 10-15 foot depths, and the surface activity will diminish. Other days, it’s like the bass are flipping a switch on and off again when it’s time to feed. The feeding binges can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes. Snake Creek, Hurricane Creek, White Cliffs Creek, all the way up to Brown’s Slough have been holding shad schools over the past several weeks.
Swim jigs with a Bang Die Dapper, and vertical-jigging Cordell or Kastmaster spoons, are finding vertical suspended bass from 10-15 feet on ledges or deep creek, outside bends, with stumps present.

The best reaction bites over the past few weeks continue to be on custom painted Little John Crankbaits in shad colors, Bomber Flat-A’s in Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad, and H&H Spinnerbaits in yellow/black, white/green or white/chartreuse continue drawing a few random reactions on flats with the remaining lily pads.
When fishing the points dumping into Little River, the Rat-L-Trap 1-Knockers in three-quarter-ounce size will get down deeper on the points with stumps present, and drop off into the river with a different vibration and presentation than the smaller Rat-L-Traps, and connect with larger schools. One point may hold all largemouth bass, the next point may hold all white bass. Both species are following the shad all along Little River and they are staging on the points, with some of the largemouth bass pulling into the creek channels where deep access to the river, stumps and points, are attracting the shad.

* The white bass continue roaming all along Little River and have been heavily schooled up all along Little River for several weeks now, found from White Cliffs campground all the way up to U.S. Highway 71 bridge, and where the Cossatot River intersects and dumps into Little River. Hammered Cordell Chrome Spoons with a red bucktail, Rocket Shads, Fat Free Shads in Tennessee Shad and Citrus Shad, half-ounce Rat-L-Traps, Bill Lewis’ MR-6 Crankbaits and Spin Traps in chrome/blue, Millwood Magic, Tennessee Shad and Threadfin Shad colors all have been working catching whites over the past several weeks.
* Crappie have been slow for us, as well as everyone we spoke with on the lake, for the past 3-4 weeks, with nothing consistent to report. Scattered and random bites on jigs in black/chartreuse, or Southern Pro Little Hustler tubes in Cajun Cricket or Tennessee Shad with Chartreuse tail.
* Catfish are good to fair, over the past couple weeks with an increase in current along Little River. Trotlines, yo-yos and limb lines were working randomly, slow one day and good the next over the past few weeks, with best results from using Punch Bait, chicken hearts, livers, and cottonseed mill dough cake. Trotlines seemed to be working best, along Little River set from 14-18 feet deep in remaining river current.

Lake Erling
(updated 1-27-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reports that the lake remains low by 7 feet, while the lake clarity is clear. Surface water temperature is in the mid-40s. Crappie have been fair this week. The fishing slowed down a little and anglers are fishing closer to the creek channel to find the crappie. Use minnows, regular jigs and hand-tied jigs. The bite for catfish continues to be excellent. They’ll take any kind of bait.

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

DeGray Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.63 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).

(updated 1-27-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said he had no updated fishing report as he’s preparing for the spring. “I’m ready for the crappie to come out of the deep channels and start stacking up on my brushpiles.”

De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.23 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.19 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).

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White Oak Lake Area
(update 1-27-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) had no report.

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Lake Atkins
(updated 1-27-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said that currently the lake has a bad pelican problem. Clarity is clear and the lake is at a normal level.

The only real successful fishing is coming on crappie, with fair results this week. Look for crappie in 3-4 feet depth. Use minnows and jigs. No reports on bream, bass or catfish.

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

(updated 1-27-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 48 degrees with slightly stained conditions in the tailrace. Entergy has posted the weekly generation schedule starting Friday, Jan. 28, that extends through Thursday, Feb. 3. 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. The 5-foot winter drawdown for both lakes Hamilton and Catherine will remain at that level until March 1. The Carpenter Dam tailrace is very dangerous to navigate now with numerous underway obstructions exposed. Wade anglers and boaters alike must use extreme caution when attempting to use the area. Flow from the dam hides many of the shallow-water dangers so boating becomes increasingly more treacherous as anglers approach the dam. Extremely slick rock structure all over the tailrace further complicates matters.
Rainbow trout are everywhere in the Carpenter Dam tailrace and thriving in the nutrient-rich waters of Lake Catherine. It is important to remember that while trout numbers are in the many thousands, the bite can be unpredictable and always subject to rapid change due to weather and lake conditions. A very good bite pattern can disappear in a matter of hours, so anglers should be aware of this potential problem and have an alternative plan of action. Bank anglers should stick to basic patterns of live bait such as waxworms or mealworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Nightcrawlers will also work when cut into 2-inch sections presented in the same manner. PowerBaits can save a fishing trip due to the fact that these presentations are designed to capitalize on a trout’s inborn instinct to feed on fish eggs. Fly-fishermen casting egg patterns in white or yellow under a strike indicator have caught and released scores of rainbow trout in the tailrace where current is present. Micro-jigs and Woolly Buggers have taken trout over 15 inches this week, although there has been a huge influx of smaller trout. The San Juan worm in hot pink has accounted for nice catches of trout, especially when the fish are in a slower bite pattern.
White bass have been observed breaking in the early morning hours chasing threadfin shad below the bridge. Casting spinnerbaits and jigs in one-eighth-ounce weights has been the best presentation to catch these fish. Hybrid bass often school alongside white bass and can be 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 now as these fish prefer colder water temperatures than other area game fish. The walleye spawn below Carpenter Dam should begin in the next week to 10 days with smaller males moving up first to prepare the beds for spawning females.
Finally, it cannot be stressed enough that anglers will experience dramatic changes in bite patterns as cold fronts move in and out of our area. Temperature can change as much as 30 degrees or more in less than a day. Rapid temperature change shuts down many fish species until consistent weather resumes.
The arrival of rainbow trout to Lake Catherine in November and December has brought life to the Carpenter Dam tailrace and kicks off the trout fishing season. Quality fishing for rainbow trout is now happening and anglers should take advantage while the bite is solid. Always wear a life jacket when on the water and continue to follow park rules and regulations. The daily possession limit for rainbow trout is five fish per person. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to keep more than the legal limit of any fish species from Arkansas waters. Always have your fishing license up-to-date and be ready to cooperate with our game officials when asked.

Lake Dardanelle
As of Thursday at noon, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 9,544 cfs. Elevation was 337.21 feet msl, with the tailwater at 285.17 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.)

No reports.

Lake Hamilton
(updated 1-13-2022) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s water temps right at 50 degrees and water clarity stained in all areas north of the Highway 7 South bridges. All species are turned off due to the heavy rains, cold temperatures and bluebird clear skies.
The fish will normalize by next week, but right now they are messed up and have lockjaw. Fish are scattered at all depths. This would be a good week to clean the boat or do something else. Eight hours on the water and one tiny bite – no report!

Lake Nimrod
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.28 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).

(updated 1-27-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that the lake is clear and at a normal level, with a surface water temperature of 41-42 degrees. Crappie fishing is good. Crappie are being found in 3-5 feet depth over brushpiles and below the dam. Use minnows or jigs (red/chartreuse were working in previous weeks). Focus on the brushpiles, in and over brush. Black bass are good. They’re shallow and hitting crankbaits and jerkbaits. Catfish are fair in 8-12 feet of water on the bottom. They’ll go for dead minnows and small bream. Bream fishing are poor.

Lake Ouachita
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 569.94 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 1-27-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still fair. Try a three-quarter-ounce CC Spoon or a jig for these fish. No reports on walleye, bream or catfish. Stripers are still fair on live bait or trolling an Alabama rig. Crappie are good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush piles in the 20-40 foot depth range. The water temperature is ranging 46-50 degrees. Water clarity is clear. Lake level is 569.91 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 1-27-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said he had no updated fishing report as he’s preparing for the spring. “I’m ready for the crappie to come out of the deep channels and start stacking up on my brushpiles.”

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.36 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).

No reports.

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White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge was slightly up from last week to 26.55 feet, a half-foot above the flood stage of 26.00 feet.

Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 1-20-2022) Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said anglers are Bear Creek report having success catching crappie at depths of 12-18 feet using mainly artificial bait. At Storm Creek on the south end of the park, very little fishing activity is going on.

Cook’s Lake
(updated 1-27-2022) The lake at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) is closed November through February to serve as a waterfowl rest area, and will reopen in the spring when the water levels permit.

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