Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
Feb. 10, 2022
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Feb. 10, 2022. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 (Feb. 10).
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Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
TOP AND LEFT: Spring River guide Mark Crawford says this time of year is a great opportunity to catch smallmouth bass on the Spring. His customer, Chuck Lajeunesse is shown in the photo with a nice smallie. Now, you’ll have to work at it, and they’re deep, and you may lose a bait along the way, Mark says, but it will be worth it.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 2-10-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake clarity is the normal Lake Conway stain and the water level is low. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie have become hard to find now, they report. Your best bet is using minnows or small jigs. Bass fishing is poor of late. Give a swimbait a try now. Catfishing is fair. Best baits are stink bait, nightcrawlers, big minnows and dough bait.
Little Red River
(updated 2-10-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the Army Corps of Engineers has both generators back up and operating at the Greers Ferry Dam. Current generation pattern includes several hours in the morning and additional hours late afternoon. San Juan worms, pheasant tails, hare’s ear and Woolly Buggers will work for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, pink and white-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold jigheads are 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 (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 2-10-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the water is fairly clear but is clearing up more as they are running a bit more water from the dam. Trout are really good. Angers are catching brown trout on jerkbaits and Shad Raps. They’re catching rainbows on Marabou jigs and Trout Magnets before or just below a shoal.
(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.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.39 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 2-10-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said Thursday that the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 461.39 feet msl, or 0.63 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. “The Army Corps of Engineers is trying to keep just under pool for spring rains, I am sure, as generators are back up and going and they are generating for 4 hours, then 4 hours later they are back generating again. That has been the schedule for the last week.”
All species are as deep as you will see them right now. As weather gets warmer and days get longer they will be moving shallower every day. Crappie are being caught in 15-40 feet according to weather for the day. Fish straight up and down or troll through them with crankbaits, jigs, live bait, etc. Jigs and minnows are working straight up and down. Remember to be courteous while on water as well be respectable of other fisherman’s space.
Walleye are scattered all over now. River walleye are ready; the lake fish are further behind. Use big crankbaits, live bait, etc. No reports on bream. No one is really fishing for catfish now, but a lot are coming in from people catching while fishing for other species under shad.
Hybrid and white bass are staging and eating and some are super shallow at present. They are active from super shallow out to 80 feet. Use Alabama rigs, swimbaits, hair jigs, spoons, inline spinners or live bait all over the lake and the rivers. Black bass are eating Wiggle Warts, jigs, spinnerbaits, drop-shots, Alabama rigs, Bubba Shots – a lot of different things are working super shallow and out to 80 feet.
(updated 2-10-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said water is clear and at a normal level. Bass are pretty good really shallow. Try crankbaits, Wiggle Wart, Rock Crawlers, Rat-L-Traps and Alabama rigs in 15-20 feet of water.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 2-10-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water is muddy and is low (a lot of stumps are visible). Bream are fair. Anglers are catching a few on minnows. Crappie are good (about 12 inches in size). They’re being caught around the docks on minnows and jigs (try Monkey Milk). The bass being caught now are small in size; catches are rated fair but no baits were suggested. No reports on catfish.
(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.
(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.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 13,999 cfs. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam was 9,537 cfs
Little Maumelle River
(updated 2-10-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the river is clear and at a normal level. Bream are good. Fish with redworms or cricket, and make sure to get those worms to the bottom for good bites. 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; crankbaits are still working best. 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 14,269 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 13,888 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 14,606 cfs.
(updated 2-10-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said water is muddy and at a normal level. Crappie are fair behind the jetties in 10-15 feet of water. They’re biting white/chartreuse, red/chartreuse and blue/chartreuse crappie jigs.
(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.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 2-10-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) has not heard in recent reports from here.
(update 2-10-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reports that the private lake with public pay access points has reopened for fishing. The clarity is “a little dingy” and the water is at a normal level. Crappie are hungry and the bite is good. Use minnows or jigs. Bass and catfish reports have been good, but that’s all she’s heard from that front; no baits suggested or hinted at. Bream aren’t biting now.
(updated 2-10-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said that during this past week, “we wore heavy coats and slickers for snow with morning temperatures going into the single digits. Later in the week, we searched for our sunscreen when afternoon temps reached almost 65 degrees. Make sure you come equipped with a good selection of baits (as well as outerwear), especially in February and March with the wild changes in weather.”
The Bull Shoals tailwater has been fairly variable, too, going from high-and-fast to low-and-slow with one unit of generation – sometimes in the same day. The average has been one to two units (3,000-6,000 cfs) per day. Bull Shoals Lake is holding steady at 657.7 feet msl, which is just below desired power pool.
White streamers with some good weight to them and added flash were popular with the anglers this week. Shiny silver spinners with white skirts brought success on the sunny days, as well as fuzzy egg patterns of varying colors (try peach first). The usual soft, pliable egg pattern or a hard, bead just above the hook has done a good job mimicking the trout eggs after the spawn. Be creative in keeping your baits moving from near river bottom back up to top waters. To lure the browns, who are now moving away from spawning beds, alternate between a good-sized sculpin and a really big river minnow – red fins if you can find them. “Come on over and enjoy the river’s surprises. Happy Valentines Day.”
(updated 2-10-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said that due to last week’s winter storm there have not been many anglers on the river, although the warmer temperatures the last couple of days have brought a few fishermen out. With the river averaging between 4-6 feet and with clear water, sight baits such as bright-colored Power Eggs with shrimp, worms or corn have worked. Additionally, Rapala Countdowns and anything with a spinner creating a flash of light are attracting fish. When the water is at the lower levels, spoons have worked well.
(updated 2-10-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said that during the past week they have had rain, sleet, ice and snow, (8 or more inches of snow in Cotter) frigid temperatures (to include winter storm warnings) and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.1 foot to rest at 1.3 feet below power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 37.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 1.5 feet below power pool and 17.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 1.4 feet below power pool or 11 feet below the top of flood pool. The White has had no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 1.7 feet below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 28 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Dam tailwater has had wadable water.
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam, closed from Nov. 1-Jan. 31 for the brown trout spawn, has reopened to angling. This has been the hot spot on the White. Since reopening day, Feb. 1, some big browns have been caught. 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.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 657.80 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 913.66 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.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 552.26 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 2-10-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort says the lake level is 552.15 feet msl and has risen 1.75 inches in the last 24 hours with no generation. The White River at Newport is 9 feet. The surface water temperature was 46.5 degrees Tuesday afternoon and the water was stained a little green and you could see your lure down about 5 feet. Wind was brisk from the southwest but no whitecaps. “I have been mostly fishing for bass and crappie and have been out every day after it warms up in the afternoon. Spoons, grubs and jigs are my bait of choice and I fish brush until almost sundown and then move to windblown banks until dark.
“Some fish that are on brush during the day move to the bank at sunset and are biting the grub on a jighead. It is important to use clear light line with no hardware. Some walleye are biting on the bottom on the spoon in the same area as the hybrids and white bass in open water. Some small stripers in the 5- to 8-pound range are being caught, also. Shad are moving back in the creeks at night.
“Overall fishing is just fair but some good fish are being caught every day. The weekly cold fronts slow the fishing and then the high pressure moves in and the whole cycle starts again. The cloudy skies after several days of sunshine are the best times. It is typical winter fishing with bass and crappie being the best. The first sunny day after a cold front can be tough.” For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.
(updated 2-10-2022) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said, “Over the last week we saw a big cold front with a major winter storm come though. After the weather improved, I was able to get back on the lake and found that not much had changed except for a slight drop in water temperature. I have mainly fished for striped bass the last several days and found the bait and fish in the same areas as before the storm. There is a lot of bait near deep-water channels as well as right in the channel. When you find these massive schools of bait, you need to start looking with your depth finder until you locate the feeding fish. The fish are feeding anywhere from 20 feet down to 60 feet in 70-95 feet of water.
“I mainly have been vertical-jigging with a 1-ounce white spoon. I keep my bait at 30-40 feet down, and when fish come though at a different depth I either reel up or drop the spoon down. You will need to figure out how many feet of line per crank of your particular reel to get the bait to right depth. When trying to go deeper, figure out how fast your lure drops so you can count down to get to the proper depth.
“Live bait is also working very well. I have also trolled Berkley Flicker Minnows set at 30-40 feet down and have picked up some nice fish. My fishing area has not changed. I am finding fish from the Cranfield area down to the 101 Boat Dock area. Find the bait and the stripers should be nearby.”
Norfork Lake surface water temperature is holding in the 44- to 46-degree range, but may start to rise slowly with the spring-type weather we are having. The lake level is fluctuating a little up, then down, with intermittent power generation. The current lake level sits at 552.19 feet msl. The lake remains slightly stained.
“I post almost daily on Facebook. If you want more frequent information, please visit and like Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page. Happy fishing and enjoy Norfork Lake.”
(updated 2-10-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.6 foot to rest at 1.7 feet below power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 28 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork Dam tailwater has had wadable water.
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 particularly 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 2-10-2022) 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.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,118.82 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,120.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl).
(updated 2-10-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver Lake is sitting at 1,118.35 as of earlier this week. That’s 3 feet below normal pool level. Water temps are ranging from low 40s to the upper 30s in the river arms. “Due to the latest winter storm, fishing was put on hold for a few days. I went out last two days and found the crappie were still just as good. These fish are in prespawn mode. They are stacking up off of main river channels in brush around 15 feet deep. Stripers are still playing cat-and-mouse, and if you find the right school, they will bite. Walleye are still not in the river arms in any numbers. That should change in the next few weeks. The lake is lower than it has been, so watch out for hazards. Good luck and stay safe.”
Check out Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 2-10-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported that the walleye bite is fair. Anglers are catching a few in the river arms. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good. They’re best around cover along the creek edges. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are fair. No reports on crappie. Beaver Lake is clear and at a normal level.
(updated 2-14-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said this past week’s bite has been great, even though the river level is a little low. Most trout are being caught with light terminal tackle fished with various PowerBaits. Spoons in the quarter-ounce range, coated with Fire gel, are still pulling some nice numbers. This week’s hot spot has been between the U.S. Highway 62 bridge and Spider Creek. Remember, hitting those deeper holes will put you on the bite a little quicker. As the water starts to warm, you can expect some of the other species of fish to start making their run up the river. If I were a betting man, I would say if you were to go down towards Holiday Island, you may even find them hanging out in the deeper water. Deep-diving crankbaits would be the method of choice. Try to fish drop-offs and ledges when looking for these fish. Things are about to start getting hot in the tailwater, and you do not want to miss it.
Visit Austin’s fishing Facebook Page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for fishing videos and tips on the tailwater.
(updated 2-10-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no reports.
(updated 2-10-2022) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that fishing here is really slow. The lake is clearing up and the surface temperature is ranging 40-41 degrees. The level is normal. Anglers are catching a few crappie by the old bridge. Expect fair catches. Use minnows or jigs. No reports on bream, bass or catfish.
(updated 2-3-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water at Lake Charles is back up to high now (Lake Charles water is used to help flood the nearby Shirey Bay Rainey Brake WMA for waterfowl season) but there hasn’t been any fishing for her to gauge the bite. There were a lot of boats on the lake, though, Shelly said. Based on moon times, she said, the best fishing should be through Friday this week, and good days should be expected Feb. 13-19. Surface water temperature on Monday afternoon was 48.9 degrees. The clarity is the usual murky.
(updated 2-10-2022) 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.
(updated 2-10-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) has been closed for the season but is looking to open next week.
(updated 2-10-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels have been just below average, at 340 cfs this week. Water clarity is perfect. The water has just a slight green tint to it; just enough rain and snow lately to keep the river from getting too low.
“The caddis have been hatching heavy and caddis dries have been working. Nymphs in sizes 6-14 bead heads have been very productive. And, yes, I said a size 6 nymph. I tie a bead chain eye pheasant tail/bobcat nymph that is very hot. Lots of big nymphs in the spring; hexagenia and hellgrammites are huge bugs.
“The smallies are biting but they have been down deep in the deeper pools. Gotta work the bottom slow with a sink tip or heavy fly. Gonna hang up a lot, so bring plenty of flies. The winter time can be the best time to catch a big smallie.”
Crankbaits have been hot lately for spin-fishing. Trout cranks and Berkley Flicker Shad have been working great. They’re perfect for getting down deep and float up after snagging on bottom. Hot pink Trout Magnets remain the go-to for catching the rainbows with a float. Use a split shot and get it to the bottom. The Trout Magnet should tick off the bottom occasionally.
Check out Mark’s blog at springriverfliesandguides.com/blog. “We still having some cold days out there so be safe, if you fall in and get wet, find a warm place fast. The Spring River is very slick!”
(updated 2-10-2022) 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.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was at 7.28 feet, well below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was at 8.78 feet, down more than 17 feet below the flood stage of 26.0 feet. The stage at Augusta has dropped to 21.06 feet which is almost 5 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 2-10-2022) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) in Batesville reported that anglers have returned to this area on the White. Anglers are catching a few walleye on crankbaits, jigs and minnows. The river is clear and at a normal level.
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 2-10-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no new reports.
(updated 2-10-2022) 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.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.87 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl).
(updated 2-10-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Tuesday, Millwood Lake was 7 inches above normal pool, at 259.9 feet msl and rising, and clarity was good-to-fair stain in a few areas. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation was near 229 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 4,000 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday. 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 are stable this week, ranging in 42-47 degrees depending on location and the day. Lots of Little River buoy markers along the main lake channel MAY HAVE MOVED with recent gate changes at the Millwood Dam and high wind. Use caution in navigation on main lake river channels where river buoys may be out of channel from recent high winds. Current along Little River improved this week with discharge release at the dam, and river clarity is ranging 5-10 inches visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility of oxbows is 10-20 inches depending on location. 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. Use caution navigating Millwood.
As for fishing details, Mike reported:
* Not much change over the past several weeks with the largemouth bass. They’re hit or miss depending on daily conditions. The largemouth activities slowed with the colder water temperatures. Best feeding cycles shifted to midday and afternoon. The bass have been suspended as of late and in deeper depths of creek channels or drop-off structures. Their feeding cycles have fluctuated wildly over the past several weeks. Rat-L-Traps in Red Chrome, Burnt Orange Crawdad, Toledo Gold and Red Shad in the three-quarter-ounce sizes have been connecting with a few random largemouths over the past week.
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 under full sun and bright skies into the 6-10 foot depths of flats adjacent to deeper drops into 9-15 feet depth ranges. The 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 midday. Square bill crankbaits, Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits will randomly connecting with the shallow-roaming bass. MR-6, Echo 1.75 and Little John Cranks will draw a few random reactions from the bass. 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 to 3 p.m.”
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 have been 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. 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 any remaining shad all along Little River and they are staging on the points, with some of the largemouths 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 heavily schooled up all along Little River for several weeks now. They’ve been 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 and everyone else we spoke with on the lake over the past couple weeks. Nothing consistent to update.
* Catfish improved on limblines over the past week, with the lines set from 8-12 feet deep. Catfishing are biting well on redworms, Charlie, cottonseed mill cake, and chicken hearts and gizzards. Cut bait was working a couple days, also. Trotlines, yo-yos and limblines have been slow one day and good the next over the past few weeks. Trotlines set 12-14 feet deep in river current seemed to have the best responses.
(updated 2-10-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reports that the lake is 6.5 feet low and the clarity is clear. Crappie are good in the channels. Minnows, jigs and hand-tied jigs are all good bait choices. Erling is your destination, too, if you want an excellent day with catfish. They’ll take any kind of bait. Erling has channel, flathead and blue catfish.
Lake Greeson Tailwater
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 536.82 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 399.07 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 437.40 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.87 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
(update 2-10-2022) Curtis Willingham at River Rat Bait in Camden (870-231-3831) said the water is clear and the level is low. Crappie are biting fair on minnows and jigs.
(updated 2-10-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said that the lake is clear but choppy. The level is normal. Crappie are fair on minnows and on Bobby Garland Jigs in a chartreuse color. Bass were reported as fair, but no baits were suggested. No reports on bream or catfish.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 2-10-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 47 degrees with slightly stained conditions in the tailrace. Entergy has posted the weekly generation schedule starting Friday, Feb. 11, that extends through Thursday, Feb. 17. 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 is in effect until March 1. The Carpenter Dam tailrace is very dangerous to navigate with numerous underway obstructions now exposed. Wading 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 it becomes increasingly more treacherous as boaters approach the dam. Extremely slick rock structure all of over the tailrace further complicates matters for anglers.
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 fishermen 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. PowerBait can save a fishing trip due to the fact that this presentation is 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 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. The 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 happening and anglers need to 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.
As of Thursday at noon, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 9,537 cfs. Elevation was 337.79 feet msl, with the tailwater at 286.18 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.)
(updated 2-10-2022) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s water temps in the mid-40s throughout the lake at the surface. Water clarity is slightly off-color and hazy. Bass, especially largemouth, have been caught well deep using a white jigging spoon and fished vertically in depths of 42-55 feet. With the onset of stable cold temperatures, the fishing has normalized, and bass are back to feeding during the first part of the day, and early afternoon. When 4 p.m. rolls around its time to go home as the fish in all species simply turn off.
Bass are going to transition to crawfish imitations due to the decline in baitfish present at the depths they typically hold. Craw Drop shot patterns and craw crankbait and jigs are going to become more the staple, so keep that in mind and fish some rocky, shallower points as a fallback plan.
Crappie have been caught over brush piles in 40-55 feet and several have been caught accidentally roaming under vertical-jigging bass anglers. Many fish are roaming around looking for baitfish that are no longer present in the areas that they have been and the predators attack anything dropped in their general area for this reason. Walleye have still been very good in deep drop-off areas where they can transition from 30-60 feet quickly to intercept bait balls of skip jack. There are few areas that meet these criteria from the Highway 7 South bridge north, so if its walleye you are after, then fish the bottom end of the lake.
“Wear those life jackets, folks! The water temps can kill, and we all think we are good swimmers until we aren’t. Good luck and Go Greeson!”
(updated 2-10-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) has been fishing Hamilton and Lake Ouachita, and said crappie are biting well on deep structure in the channels 35-45 feet deep. Watch though, at different times of the day they may rise up and suspended 15-18 feet deep over the same deep channel structure.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.70 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 2-10-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the lake is clear and at a normal level. No surface water temperature was reported. Head to Nimrod for some good crappie fishing, but none of the other species were reported to Andrews this week. Crappie fishing is good. They’ve moved a lot deeper than where they were biting before all the ice and cold weather. Anglers are finding them now in 15-18 feet of water. The usual minnows and jigs are working, but anglers are also having success with Redneck Rubber Beaver Bottom Tails as well as Bink’s three-quarter-ounce jigging spoons.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 570.42 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 2-10-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are fair. Try a three-quarter-ounce CC Spoon, Alabama rig or a jig for these fish. No reports for walleye, bream and catfish. Stripers are fair on live bait or trolling an Alabama rig. Crappie are still good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush piles in the 20-40 foot depth range. Lake level is clear, and the level is 570.39 feet msl. Water temperature is ranging 46-50 degrees. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
(updated 2-10-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said crappie are biting well on deep structure in the channels 35-45 feet deep. Watch though, at different times of the day they may rise up and suspended 15-18 feet deep over the same deep channel structure.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.60 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge has dropped to 21.06 feet, almost 5 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake
(updated 1-27-2022) 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.
(updated 2-10-2022) 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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