(updated 11-16-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is at its winter pool and low. Most recent surface temperature reading showed 74 degrees. Crappie continue to produce good results, particularly around the Highway 89 bridge. Expect to find them in 6-8 feet or water and use minnows or jigs. Bream are fair about 20 feet off the shoreline in about 4-5 feet depth. Use worms or crickets. Bass fishing is fair; try the creek channels with a white spinnerbait or plastic worms. Catfishing is excellent. Good reports came in from Caney Creek and Adams Lake. Catfish are around cypress trees and are hitting limblines and yo-yos using large minnows or nightcrawlers.
(updated 11-16-2016) Gold Creek Landing
(501-607-0590) said the crappie are still biting pretty well. Use jigs or minnows, either one. They are being caught at various depths, shallow or deep, they're getting them both ways. Bass are still hitting fair on spinnerbaits. The water was dropped for the winter pool. Color looks fine. Water temperature has been below 70, averaging about 68 degrees.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said they are receiving small amounts of weekday generation and no generation on weekends. This schedule is providing excellent wade fishing opportunities along the Little Red River. Expect this generation schedule to continue until they receive a significant amount of rain. Fall fishing on the Little Red is happening and the brown trout are active. For fly fishing, Myers recommends midges, pheasant tails, sowbugs and streamers. For Trout Magnet fishing, he recommends white and cotton candy-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads. 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real=time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 11-16-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips
(501-690-9166) said the Little Red remains clear and the generation is hard to predict. On the colder mornings they are generating about 2 hours in the morning about 6 a.m. and again in the afternoon about 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for about 3-4 hours. This makes wading difficult on the shoals downstream from the dam. The park area at the dam is available during the midday hours. On the warmer days it is still afternoon generation with very little or no generation on the weekends. The browns are beginning to move and some spawning activity is taking place. Greg’s fishermen are catching both pre-spawn and spawned fish. Some redds are on the shoals, so be careful when wading. Avoid these since wading through them will dislodge the eggs and destroy them. You can identify these by an area on the gravel that is clean and the stones look as if they are polished. They vary in size.
(updated 11-9-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co. said the fishing has been on fire. They have had water releases from the dam most week days. Wade fishing has been possible up and down the entire river. Browns are slowly making their way onto the shoals to spawn. Wade carefully and don't disturb the reds. Egg patterns and midges have been producing great numbers of fish.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.80 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake was falling and almost 3 feet below normal pool for this time of year. The fishing is good overall as shad are moving and you have to stay close to them. The crappie are eating better with the cooler temps; try using minnows or jigs in and around pole timber or brush piles or try swimming a Road Runner in the pole timber real slow, sitting over deep water and fishing in 12-20 feet. The walleye are scattered like the shad and some are under whites and hybrids eating leftovers. There’s no real pattern other than trying to drag a minnow on a drop shot or a crankbait in 15-28 feet of water. The bream are finishing up on their last spawn and guarding fry. Most are deep. Use crickets and crawlers in 12-28 feet of water. Catfishing is still going well but not a lot of people fishing for them. It’s a great time of year for it on a variety of baits, on shallow flats close to deep water. The hybrid and white bass fishing is good all over the lake on top and on structure at various times throughout the day. Use topwater baits, spoons, in-line spinners, swimbaits, Rinky Dinks and just about any bait of your choice in and over 25-80 feet of water. The black bass fishing is good, with fall and winter fishing good and steady. Fish are all over the water column from 0-40 feet of water. Try topwater baits, spinnerbaits, cranksbaits, C-rigs, Texas rigs, football heads. Those are working as well as a lot of other baits.
(updated 11-16-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) said water is clear and low, and the surface temperature is 64 degrees. Bass are good on crankbaits. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bream are fair on worms or crickets. Catfishing is good at night using worms.
Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie is biting on BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets; Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and Penny Back Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms and shad. Bass are biting on buzzbait and minnows, or topwater baits. White bass are biting Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms and Rock Hopper.
(updated 11-9-2016) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is normal, clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 68 degrees. Bream are slow but anglers are still catching them on crickets around the shore. Bass are doing well around brush and shallow water using plastic worms and crankbaits. Catfish are doing well in shallow water and deeper water using minnows. Crappie are slow but starting to pick up. Mostly smaller ones are being caught around the pier and around the shoreline. Some people are catching some better size in 9 feet of water using jigs and minnows.
(updated 11-16-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina
reported fishing has remained consistent of late, but the good news is that crappy should be really good this winter. Right now, crappie fishing is excellent. Crappie are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs (chartreuse and white with a very light line). Crappie are in 12-18 feet of water, at the tops of structure near edges of the channels and on the old road beds. There are lots of 6- to 9-inch crappie being caught, so it should be great winter fishing. Good black bass are biting on wacky rig worms and spinnerbaits both early in the morning and late in the day. Blacks can be caught in 3-8 feet just off the weeds. The cooler weather has activated the bass. Roger suggests trying shallow lures and spinnerbaits. The Kentucky bass bite is excellent, and are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 4-9 feet of water mixed in with the black bass. White bass are good; use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons and deep diving Bandits and Bombers. They are all over the lake. They are being caught at the east end right off the point on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. Bream are good and can be found at 15 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good and the cats are being caught in 15-20 feet of water on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.
(updated 11-16-2016) Fosters Four Seasons
(501-868-9061) had no reports this week, saying everyone was hunting. For last week, however, bass reports were good, with spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures working best. Bream were good on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was good using minnows and jigs. Catfishing was good; use worms or blood bait. White bass reports were good. Fosters has all anglers’ needs in the way of bait and food, and also sells non-ethanol gas.
Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Baby Shad and minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting on Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said catfish have been slow but some have been caught on chicken livers and minnows. Bass are biting fair on minnows and small plastics. Bream are biting crickets and redworms. Crappie have been biting slow on pink minnows.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said the catfish bite is good on trotlines baited with minnows and black salties. Bass fishing has been fair with large minnows and plastic worms and lizards. Crappie are biting good on size 6 minnows and some jigs and grubs. Bream fishing is always fun on the river with cricket or redworms.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are biting well at night on black salties, minnows and gold fish. Bass fishing has been slow but a few have been biting minnows and small artificial baits. Bream are slowing down some but some good ones are still coming out of deep water on crickets and redworms. No recent reports of crappie caught.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said crappie are still biting well for some customers using size 6 and size 12 minnows. Bass are biting minnows and some artificial baits. Bream fishing has been fair with crickets and worms. Catfish are biting minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken livers.
(updated 11-16-2016)Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said few people have been fishing, apparently due to deer season. The ones who are fishing are getting a lot of black bass in the 10-18-inch size range. These are some of the fish the AGFC has been putting into the river the past three years. Fish a blade with a blue frog attached, and also a 2-inch Firetiger-colored crankbait. Also fish a CC Spoon on points; the flow is down to 10,000 cfs. Catfish are on the front side of jetties and points. Use bass minnows in 10-20 feet of water. Catfish reports have been good. Whites are fair in late afternoon around rocks where you find shad. Use a Firetiger crankbait.
(updated 11-16-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley had no report.
(updated 11-9-2016) River Valley Marina
(501-517-1250) said water was clear and surface temperature was at 70 degrees. Level and current were normal. Bass fishing was excellent using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Bream bite was good on worms and crickets. Crappie were good on minnows and jigs. Catfishing was good using worms, blood bait and shad. White bass fishing, like that of largemouth bass, was excellent.
(updated 11-16-2016)Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said water was at a normal level and current and was stained. Surface temperature was 60 degrees. The bass bite was good in the backwaters in about 2-5 feet of water using spinnerbaits and topwater baits. Crappie reports were good. Use dark-colored jigs around brush piles. The only reports on bream or catfish were poor.
(updated 11-16-2016)McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water was fairly clear in the pool and at a normal level. No temperature reading was reported. In the Clear Lake area, bass are good; use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. The crappie bite is good on minnows and jigs. Bream are biting fair on worms and crickets. Catfishing reports from near the Terry Lock and Dam were good, with cut bait being used. Bass were slower near the dam, as were crappie. Bream were fair near the dam. Water is muddy on that end.
(updated 11-16-2016)Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported water being dingy. Crappie were biting in 5-6 feet of water on pink minnows. Bass were fair with soft plastic worms getting bites. Catfishing was good near Murray Dam on cut bait. Bream reports were poor. At Terry Lock and Dam, crappie reports were fair with fish in about 6 feet depth and around the rocks and jetties. Minnows and red jigs were working. Bass reports from there were excellent. Anglers were using spinnerbaits, topwaters and other baits.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said fishing was fair near Murray Lock and Dam. Crappie were fair using Mid-South Super Jigs. Bass were biting fair on spinnerbaits, topwater lures and Twister Tails. Catfishing was fair; use slicks or skipjack.
(updated 11-9-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) will be closed until Feb. 6.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is excellent. Use chicken liver, chicken hearts, nightcrawlers or hot dogs.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported excellent catfishing in the past week. Nightcrawlers and chicken hearts were the baits of choice.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been biting fair on pink minnows. Bream have been hitting crickets. Catfish have been biting minnows and nightcrawlers. Bass are biting minnows and small grubs and lizards.
(updated 11-16-2016)Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported water being dingy. Crappie were biting in 5-6 feet of water on pink minnows. Bass were fair with soft plastic worms getting bites. Catfishing was good near Murray Dam on cut bait. Bream reports were poor.
Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900), now run by Larry and Shirley Walters, said water is clear and the surface temperature was 69 degrees. Water is low, about 7 or 8 feet at the dock. Farther out in the water, crappie are suspended at about 18-20 feet and the bite is good. They’re around brush piles and are biting minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good in the creek area. Topwater baits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits all are working nicely. Catfishing is fair on worms and blood bait. Bream reports were poor.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 651.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 11-16-2016) Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock
reported weather in the 70s, been hot for this time of year. The temperature is beginning to come down, it's been mid 60s in the morning. Back in the creeks, they cool off at night. Water is coming down and they pretty much have got the lake to themselves. Couple of different patterns are working. Early in morning a bit of a topwater bite is working, on points with wind, the gravel points with deep water nearby. Throw a Sammie or a Zara Spook. That bite will go on and off throughout the day, if you’re at the right place it will go on all day pushing the baitfish up. They are using the channels to go back to the creeks following the baitfish. Pay attention to your graph, pay attention to the birds. They've got a lot of seagulls and loons on the lake now. They’re not going to get too far away from the baitfish. If you start graphing fish if you come along the channel swing going back into the creeks, you can pick up a few spooning or dropshottng. That bite is anywhere from 20-45 feet. Lot of Kentuckies, some largemouth mixed in, some smallmouth. They're all in there feeding on those baits. The big fish bite has been on the jig. A perch-colored jig, jewel jig, Green Pumpkin, orange, those are primarily what’s been working. For a trailer, use a Aoom trailer or Camper Crawl. If the conditions are right and you get in the back of the creeks, you have to have a couple of things -- baitfish and a little bit of dirty water helps. Very back In the flats, the baits are going to change up a little bit. Wouldn't even pick up a spinner up until you see the water’s dirty. The War Eagle Sexy Mouth is working well. In the back there too, a squarebill’s working. This is shallow, 6 inches of water to 5 feet, anything in that range is what you're looking for. They are either right up there in the backs or right out or it. As you’re moving out, the first channel swing or first steep back, they’re going to be stacked up there if they’re not on the flat. If they aren't there, keep moving. If conditions are right, the Rock Crawler is starting to come into play. Keep it parallel along the shoreline. You want to have a little bit of wind and keep the boat in 8-10 feet of water and make that long parallel cast down the shoreline. If it gets a little tough out there, go back to the ol’ Shaky Head. If you’re into clear water, get a watermelon red Zoom Trick Worm. In dirty water go with a Green Pumpkin. You’ll pick up a lot of fish throwing the Shaky Head right now. With the water temperature cooling down, those fish are starting to move back up and fishing is good. You just gotta keep going. Still catching a few on the Whopper Plopper, that’s kind of been sporadic, but that’s another big fish bait. If you get back in there you’ll see those big gizzard shads swimming in there. Just get back there and cover ground, and that can pay off with a big fish.
K Dock Marina reported that very warm water temperature has not helped the bite. Had 71 degrees surface temperature last Thursday afternoon at the dock, and temps have ranged 68-71. Water is clear to stained. Water level is almost back to the old power pool normal level of 654 feet msl. All species are slow. They were hoping for great weekend temps for fishermen, though – still in shorts and a T-Shirt for Halloween! Showing 83-85 degrees this week. Hit the lake early before the sun bakes the surface of the water. Fish slow and off the banks. Crappie and walleye should start hitting soon when the cold snap comes. Live minnows on crappie, spoons on walleye and small plastics on bass. Been getting some good reports on catfish. They are feeding on live bluegills, nightcrawlers and crawdads.
Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock
said traffic on the river has slowed some but the rainbow catch has not. There's been a good number of cutthroat trout sighted this season and, with most folks releasing the ones they catch, they're getting pretty big. Ron says they saw two or three 18-plus-inch cutthroats in the last two weeks. The Blue Fox Vibrax has been a favorite for catching trout this past week. Small pieces of shrimp and a nice sculpin placed near a calm resting spot will often prove successful. Water levels have remained fairly consistent – no traumatic extremes – at about 2800 cfs/cubic feet per second (a little less than what we're used to seeing as a full unit from Bull Shoals Dam) with a rise in the afternoon.
(updated 11-16-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported clear water conditions and the river and current normal. There are 2-3 generators running on the White. Rainbows are plentiful and the bite is good. Use PowerBait. Nothing on brown trout.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) reported that during the past week, they had a minor rain event (0.1 feet in Cotter), cool temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.2 feet to rest at 6.1 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is 41.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.1 feet to rest at 5.8 feet below seasonal power pool and 19.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 feet to rest at 6.1 feet below seasonal power pool and 15.7 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, they had moderate generation in the afternoon with lower generation in the morning and no wadable water. The catch and release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The state park will be seasonal catch and release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, #12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (Berry's current favorite is a cerise San Juan worm with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it).
Berry also said, "As many of you know, the most important fly fishing event of the year is the Sowbug Roundup (the Friday night Shindig has also become the fly fishing social event of the year). It is a three-day celebration of fly tying that is scheduled for March 23-25, 2017, at the Baxter County Fairgrounds. Fly tyers from throughout the United States will be there and we usually draw a tyer or two from abroad. I am on the Sowbug committee and I believe that the next Sowbug Roundup will be the best one ever. It is our 20th anniversary and we are pulling out all of the stops. My job on the committee is chairman of the Fly Tying Contest. This has become an integral part of the show and I really enjoy doing it. I invite each of you to enter the contest. There are nine categories: nymph, dry fly, wet fly, streamer, smallmouth bass, bass, warm water, salmon/steelhead and salt water. In addition there is a best in show. The winners of each category and the best in show will receive a plaque (the perfect thing to hang over your tying desk). The real prize is the bragging rights for winning. Rules have been kept to a minimum. The entrant must tie the fly submitted for judging. Each entry must include the name, address, phone number and email address along with two flies for each pattern submitted (they must be exactly the same size, color, etc). You need to include the recipe for the fly and instructions on how to fish it. You may submit as many patterns for as many categories as you want. All flies submitted will become the property of the contest and will not be returned. Any fly that contains insect parts (legs wings, etc.) will be eliminated from the competition. Commercially tied patterns will not be accepted. The decision of the judges is final. Committee members and judges are not eligible to participate in the contest. To participate, all you have to do is send your flies, recipes and fishing instructions to me, John Berry, at 408 Combs Ave., Cotter, AR 72626 or you can drop your entries off at Blue Ribbon Fly Shop at 1343 East Ninth St. in Mountain Home by Wednesday Feb. 15, 2017. The winners will be announced at the Sowbug Roundup Shindig, which will be held at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church beginning at 6 p.m. This event has become the top fly fishing social event of the year. The idea behind the fly tying contest is to identify and acknowledge those talented tyers among us that nobody knows about. In the past, we have discovered talented local tyers like Chad Johnson, who is now a judge. Last year’s discovery was Tradd Little, who won five categories at the age of 13. He is returning this year. My only regret is that, as a committee member and judge, I cannot enter the contest. I hope you enter and join me at Sowbug."
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.66 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).(updated 11-16-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
said the cooler nights have finally made the water cold enough to have a lake turnover. It takes about a week for the lake to settle down and the fish get active so by the middle of this week you should lots of top water activity all over the lake. Look on the flats and up the major creek arms for schooling fish. The stripers are still heavily at first light up and past the state line. If it’s foggy, expect lots of action until the fog lifts, then the bite dies. If there is no fog, then the bite is consistent all morning most days. The best bite continues to be the flat next to the river channel in 25 feet of water. There are huge schools of shad roaming the river. Just keep moving up and down the channel. We are catching stripers using down lines, weighted floats, and planner boards, the lines are set at 16 feet. My son Sean took out a couple Jeff and Christy that wanted to try striper fishing for the first time. They met at the dock and were fishing in 10 minutes and had strikes right away. It was a foggy morning and the bite was on, they caught four with the biggest being 17 pounds which they released. Once the sun came out it sure slowed down. Sean saw more and bigger schools of stripers but just would not hit. They had a few more bites but all the fun and action was in the fog. Jeff and Christy had a great first time experience and plan on another trip to Norfork. The winter bite will start soon so make your plans on the web with www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! Be sure to read our Fall Striper tactics, the article can be found on the www.NorforkLakeChamber.com website.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort
said Norfork Lake level is holding fairly stable and currently sits at 552.68. The water is cooling slowly and was 67 degrees Tuesday morning. The creeks, coves and part of the main lake are still stained and will stay this way until the lake finishes its turnover and cools off more. The striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass fishing all are finally acting like they should for the fall fishing period. (About one month late due to abnormally warm water temperature) Over the last several days these species have moved out of the 30-40 foot water depth into 40-50 feet of water. The reason for this is that the bait has moved out to this depth range. I am finding large schools of fish on large flats from the 62 bridge area and heading up north. Look at the flat areas around the 101 bridge, Mallard Point, Cranfield area, Steward Point, and Briar Creek area. I haven't had time to check yet but the Robinson flat and the Fout area flats should also be holding some nice fish. The striped bass bite is still good upriver on the Arkansas/Missouri border. These fish up river will stick around there until the water cools off. The fish will then take off to find water more in their comfort zone.Lou has mainly been vertical jigging a spoon, but trolling swim baits and umbrella rigs should work as long as you get the bait down in the 30-40 foot range. Live bait should also work set at 35 and 40 feet deep, but stay in the 45-55 foot water depth area. Lou said he hasn't been out fishing after dark, but a few others have tried it and the stripers and the bait are not moving up to the shoreline at this time. Once the water cools off a little more and gets closer to 60 degrees he believes there will be a good night bite using suspending stick baits. He has not noticed any topwater action for stripers yet, but it will happen any time now. Largemouth bass are at all depths at this time. You can find fish up close to the shore, suspended along the bluffs and also out feeding in the same water depth as the stripers. Yesterday Lou jigged up two nice 3.5-pound largemouth bass in 50 feet of water on the bottom. If you are a bass fisherman you have a lot of choices. The topwater bite for largemouth has been sporadic buthe has found some nice fish surfacing in the morning around the bridge columns as well as on bluff line points. He is finding a few nice walleye in the same 45- to 50-foot water depth while fishing for stripers. You should also be able to find them near 40 feet deep brush as well as in shallower water on the flats early and late in the day. Crappie are on 30-40 feet deep brush piles. But the best advice he says he can give is that after you catch a few on a brush pile the bite seems to stop. This is time to move to another brush pile and catch a few and then move on. They seem to spook easily in the cooler clearer water. You can return to a brush after you give it some time to rest. For daily fishing information and tips on Norfork Lake follow Hummingbird Hideaway Resort's Facebook page.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake rose 0.1 feet to rest at 1.1 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and 27.3 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation late in the afternoon with wadable water every day. There has been wadable water every morning on the Norfork. The lake has turned over and there is a sulfur smell on the upper river and with lower dissolved oxygen, in that area, the bite has been slow there. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a 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 size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite fly has been the orange egg. Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with school in session. A large number of brown trout have moved into the creek. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).
(updated 11-16-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Buffalo is navigable. The smallmouths are still active. His favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the Buffalo River. There are no dams, it has large drainages and is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
(updated 11-16-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the water is navigable. The smallmouths are still active. His favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek. There are no dams, it has large drainages and is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,114.17 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 11-16-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said water was low and clear. No surface temperature was recorded. Crappie were biting fair in 8-14 feet depth around wood cover. Use minnows. Bass were found in 10 feet or water or less and the bite was fair. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits or topwater lures. No reports on bream or catfish.
(updated 11-16-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) said that with the lake turnover, stripers are on the move using the main lake structures, mouths of coves, etc. The key to success is to cover lots of water to locate roaming fish. Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, tree tops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fish weighted downlines to definitely get you some fish. There has been lots of topwater activity from stripers and white bass. Fishing will be good for striper using live shad fished on free and downlines from the surface to 30 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs for stained water, while clear water would call for plugs like a Rapala No. 14 husky jerk in black back or purple back colors, or Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in the 5-6-inch model on downriggers. Jerkbaits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. Topwaters like 7-inch Redfins, Spooks and Pencil Poppers are good choices, too. Check the daily lake level and flow data link on Mike Bailey’s website. Water surface temperatures are in the mid-60s; try these mid-and lower section areas: Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris and Shaddox Hollow. In the upper section, these areas are hot spots: Highway 12 bridge, Prairie Creek. White bass have been surfacing at Prairie Creek, as well as at Horseshoe Bend, Mont Ne, Hickory Creek, War Eagle and the War Eagle/White River Junction (point 12). Walleye are being caught in good numbers on the upper end in those spots. Walleye are making their way out of the main lake in numbers in fall migration mode but can be found scattered still around the lake and are on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-30 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Use three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try Rapala tail dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker Shad and Bandit 300 series in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.
(updated 11-16-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy
(479-244-0039) said trout fishing has been great in the tailwaters this week. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started generation early this week, but it slacks off toward the afternoon. Trout are biting on various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. Various Rapalas and Spoons are also producing some nice numbers. A few nice browns have been caught between Parkers Bottom and Spider Creek using floating Rapalas. Remember, if you are fly fishing or fishing from the bank, if you hear the dam horn, you need to exit the water to safety.
(updated 11-16-2016) Beaver Dam Store
reported the Browns are about done spawning. Please be respective of the redds that are being laid. Be aware of rising water levels as water flow (off schedule) fluctuations continue to occur with minimal warnings. There are many areas to fish now that water levels are down. Boaters beware of the low water conditions. Many new gravel bars have exposed themselves causing dangerous conditions. Trout can be caught using midges, streamers, Y2Ks and San Juan worms. Try drifting zebra midges, nymphing and swinging small soft hackles, scuds, cracklebacks. Good lures are gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series No. 4’s and 5’s. Try PowerBait in white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive, hare’s ear, tungsten copper Johns, WD40s, Trout Magnets and San Juan worms. Catfish are biting on wicked sticky catfish bait along with Magic Bait crawfish/chicken blood bait.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat has closed his bait shop the remainder of the year.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported that water is murky and the water surface temperature is ranging 50-60 degrees. Water level is low. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie bite is good on minnows and jigs. Bass are working well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is good using goldfish or glowworms.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the water as clear and 8 inches below normal level. Water surface temperature was 57 degrees. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. The bass bite was good on spinnerbaits. Catfishing was good, with cats going for chicken liver or shad. There were no reports of bream.
Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park
said Lake Poinsett is still low but the weather is still right. So the crappie fisherman and bream fishermen are having fun bringing in the fish. Coleman says he hasn’t heard anything about the bass and catfish, but he is sure they are being caught.
(updated 11-16-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water was 1 foot lower than last week and the clarity was clear, with a surface temperature of 60 degrees. Bram were good using redworms or crickets. Crappie were in shallow water and rated good, with minnows, jigs and Rooster Tails working well. Bass bite was good on almost anything thrown at them. Good reports came in from using spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater lures like Zara Spooks, and plastic worms. Catfishing was fair.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are running at 289 cfs and water clarity is clear. The river is getting really low and clear. Olive Woolly Buggers, Guppies and smaller nymphs have been very productive. Cooler weather has helped get the bite on. Heavy daily hatches of caddis and mayflies have been a lot of fun and some dry fly action can be had imitating the various hatches. Hot pink and chartreuse Trout Magnets are working great below an indicator. With the low water conditions and clear water clarity, sight fishing has been excellent. It has also made the trout spooky.
(updated 11-9-2016) John Berry in Cotter
said the river is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 11-16-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report on fishing in the past week, saying all fishermen were out hunting. Recently, bream had been fair around brush piles on crickets. Crappie were fair on minnows.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team reported water temperatures are around 70 degrees and visibility is about 1 foot. Black bass are biting fairly well now that the water is cooling a bit and there is less fishing pressure. Both small and larger fish are being caught on wind-blown banks in Lake Langhofer that have baitfish activity. Anglers are having best success with squarebill crankbaits and small-bladed spinnerbaits in shad colors. Good-sized fish are also being caught with jigs worked around and in woody cover and brush.
(updated 11-16-16) Jennifer Albertson at Cane Creek State Park said bass are fair right now, but catfish are beginning to pick up. Crappie are moderate lately and biting on minnows. The lake level is low right now, and the water is cooling off at the surface. Fishing off the two piers has been moderately successful.
(updated 11-2-16) Matthew C. Gillum, the ranger at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705), said catfish can be caught using nightcrawlers. Bream are biting waxworms better than crickets. Bass can be found in shallow water and caught using chartreuse and black crankbaits as well as purple shad spinnerbaits. Watermelon-red Zoom Baby Brush Hogs can be used when fishing in thick cover.
(updated 11-2-16) Pine Haven Bait and Tackle (870-367-4303) said catfish reports were fair, with no other information. Fishing appeared to be slow at the lake. Anglers were purchasing bait to fish nearby Cane Creek.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.31 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.32 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said that as of Monday (Nov. 14), the lake level was near normal conservation pool and steady. There was decreased Little River current from last week, with the gates releasing around 169 cfs as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week and averaged about 63 degrees early to 70 degrees by afternoon. Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure. Tailwater level is down from last week, as of Monday at 223.7 feet msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. Bass remain good from 2-3 pounds on Bass Assassin Shads, soft plastic frogs, spoons, Stuttersteps, Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits. The largemouth feeding moods continue to improve with the cooler daytime temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week, and are best from 2-3 pounds on topwaters early, along points, creek junctions and creek mouths dumping into Little River. Most bass continue their seasonal nomadic roaming over the past few weeks, following huge shad schools in and out of creek channels and up and down Little River. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows are good starting locations. Huge schools of shad are roaming in and out of creeks and points, and the largemouths are following them on a daily basis. One day they maybe in the mouth of the creek dumping into Little River, the next day gone or moved to backs of creeks, depending on surface temps overnight. Lots of migration and nomadic activity this time of year on Millwood. Chrome/black Cordell Crazy Shads, Clear Baby Torpedoes, Heddon Spit'n Images in threadfin shad patterns, and Sexy Ghost or Ghost-colored Stuttersteps are working. Bass Assassin Shads continue to be a good topwater choice early. Working topwaters around grass beds, and vegetation, along points extending from creek channels into Little River, will draw good reactions at dawn. Grass beds located along Little River are good locations with a bulky 10" Berkley Power worm, Rat-L-Traps worked parallel. Bass Assassin Shads continue working well in the thick stuff. Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound largemouths in creeks, with the chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic and Tennessee Shad colors. The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels dumping into Little River. Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad and Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by largemouths and white bass alike. These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day. Berkley 10" worms continue working for Largemouths randomly in Black, Plum, Black Grape, or Red Bug. Best target areas are working along grass beds in Little River starting in the grass in 1-2 feet and working outward into 8-12 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River.
Siefert also said whites and hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus-, Chartreuse Shad- or Tennessee Shad-colored crankbaits. Over the past few weeks the white bass, Kentucky bass and largemouths all were surface-breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire up Little River. Those fish were hitting small topwater Crazy Shads, tail-spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and small Pop-Rs early in the mornings. Crappie continue to bite well on Blakemore Roadrunners and vertical jigging jigs in planted brush piles from 8-12 feet of depth. Be sure to get out of any remaining current of Little River and find the planted brush. Blues and channel cats were biting well this week on trotlines from 12-18 feet deep along Little River using cut baits, homemade blood bait and livers.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 538.28 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 11-9-2016) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported surface temperature is in the lower to mid-70s. Water is clear throughout most of the lake. Crappie are good on brush piles in 10-15 feet. Try fishing 2-inch twister tail grubs in a shad color using a slow retrieve or live minnows fished vertically. A few bass are still roaming the banks and are hitting topwater plugs and buzzbaits. Schooling activity has slowed down over the past few days.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said a fall feeding frenzy with the spotted bass and crappie is underway. He said Greeson has had plenty of crappie biting in 10-15 feet of water on brush piles. They’re biting jigs fair but the best bet is to go with live bait.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 397.86 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 11-16-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 60s and the lake is clear throughout. If you haven't been on the lake lately, be careful because the water level is getting very low and those lower-unit-eating reefs are becoming exposed. Bass fishing has slowed with very few reports. The best bet is probably Kentucky bass, which are now plentiful throughout the lake. Look for fish along bluff banks in 10-20 feet of water. Try a Texas rigged finesse worm in green pumpkin/red glitter or red shad. Some of the better areas are the big coves between points 2 and 4, the state park marina cove and the bluffs at point 28. Crappie fishing is good with the guides showing outstanding catches. The fish are coming from manmade attractors in 18-25 feet of water. Look for attractors on points in major coves. When searching for attractors, use the lower frequency on your dual frequency sonar because it presents a much wider beam width. Drop 2-inch curly tail grubs or tubes on 1/16-ounce jigheads to just above the brush. Best colors are natural shad in clear water and something with chartreuse in stained water. Try the Shouse Ford area for both white and black crappie. Hybrid fishing is very slow. The fish have pretty much vacated their deep summer haunts and are now scattered all over the lake with virtually no schooling activity. When the water cools into the low 60s the fish will concentrate in the upper end of the lake at point 15 and Shouse Ford. No reports on catfish or bream.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
reported crappie are biting exceptionally well on live bait 8-12 feet deep in 18-24 feet of water on brush piles where much deeper water is nearby.
Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting on spinnerbaits. Crappie starting to bite on the upper side. A few bream being caught. No report on catfish.
(updated 11-2-16) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said there was a report on a few crappie and bass being caught.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 337.07 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl).
(updated 11-16-2016) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported water as clear and the level normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Reports were scant except for bass, which were good. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures were working. No reports and bream, crappie, catfish or white bass.
(updated 11-9-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said all its potential, usual fishermen were hunting and there was no fishing there.
Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported crappie biting on BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and Penny Back Baby Shad Slab Slay’r and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms and shad. Bream are biting on crickets and worms and Rock Hoppers. Bass are liking the buzzbaits and topwater baits.
(updated 11-16-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615)
said the water was clear and at a low level. No temperature was recorded. Fishing has been very slow, with poor to fair results coming in. Fish are being caught, but nobody has really been to the lake in the past week. Bream reports ranged poor to fair on worms and crickets. Crappie ranged fair to good on minnows and jigs. Bass were poor to fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing reports were fair at best.
(updated 11-16-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 570.43 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
Phillip Kastner at Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports
said on US97
said the recent cold nights and early mornings haven’t adversely affected fishing. Pay attention to what’s going with the early morning fog. That’s the tattle tale, where the fog line is in the creek. Because if you pull up and there is a heavy fog line in the very back of it and not much at the mouth of it that tells you that the warmer water is in the back of the creek. If you go into it and it’s foggy on the main lake and not as foggy in the back, that tells you there is colder water going into the back of the creek and the warmer water is still on the main channel, so you’ve got to fish the fog. That’s what the old-timers said, don’t leave the fog because the fog is the warmer water. There are plenty of shad moving around and if you go to into any of these creeks, it’s going to tattle on exactly what’s going on. The shad are what you’re chasing because that’s what the fish are chasing, that’s their food source. Crawfish have begun their migration and you can find crawfish to use as bait for Kentucky bass. Turn the rocks over, they’re green. Until we get the muddy, muddy water, they’re going to continue to be green. You want the green ones or the brown ones, you just don’t want the black ones to fish with. That’s what the Kentucky’s want. You want to imitate what they want. A light green crankbait would be a good color. As long as it continues to be this clear, longer into the winter, that’s going to make a jig and frog bite better. Lot of guys are catching crappie right now fishing in brush. If you’re going after bass, you’ve got to focus on shad, that’s what they’re eating. Keep your eye on the shad. Main thing that guys are talking about is chasing those shad balls around the lake. If you go out right now you have to have an Alabama rig tied on. You’ve got to have a spoon tied on. And everything you throw really hinges on that shad chase.
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 for out of state) said the water temperature has ranged 68-72 degrees. Water is clear with a level of 570.43 feet msl. Black bass are good and being caught with spybaits and topwaters fished over main lake and secondary points. Walleye are still fair and are being caught jigging CC Spoons. Stripers are fair on live bait. The central area of the lake is the best area for these fish. Bream are slow. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 20-25 feet deep. Crappie are very good. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 15-20 feet deep fished near brush. No report on catfish. Call Mountain Harbor guides Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104 to set up a trip or for more information.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
reported crappie are biting exceptionally well on live bait 8-12 feet deep in 18-24 feet of water on brush piles where much deeper water is nearby.
(updated 11-16-2016) Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports
said the recent cold nights and early mornings haven’t adversely affected fishing. Pay attention to what’s going with the early morning fog. That’s the tattle tale, where the fog line is in the creek. Because, if you pull up and there is a heavy fog line in the very back of it and not much at the mouth of it that tells you that the warmer water is in the back of the creek. If you go into it and it’s foggy on the main lake and not as foggy in the back, that tells you there is colder water going into the back of the creek and the warmer water is still on the main channel, so you’ve got to fish the fog. That’s what the old-timers said, don’t leave the fog because the fog is the warmer water. There are plenty of shad moving around and if you go to into any of these creeks, it’s going to tattle on exactly what’s going on. The shad are what you’re chasing because that’s what the fish are chasing, that’s their food source. Lot of guys are catching crappie right now fishing in brush. If you’re going after bass, you’ve got to focus on shad, that’s what they’re eating. Keep your eye on the shad. Main thing that guys are talking about is chasing those shad balls around the lake. If you go out right now you have to have an Alabama rig tied on. You’ve got to have a spoon tied on. And everything you throw really hinges on that shad chase; the other thing going on is that crawfish migration. Anytime on Hamilton you’ve got to have an Alabama rig tied on.
(updated 11-16-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
, reports that the winter drawdown for Lake Catherine was completed Nov. 10. A five-foot draw has been scheduled and will be in place until early March 2017. Water temperature is 63 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. Boaters need to use extreme caution when navigating the area since the low water conditions have exposed many underwater hazards. Rock and sandbar dangers are numerous and made more life threatening by fast water conditions. Life jackets should always be worn by boaters and waders alike when on the water. The rainbow trout season is about to begin again with the Game and Fish Commission stocking trout in Lake Catherine by the week of Thanksgiving. Rainbow's have been absent in the lake for months and this influx of fish always jump starts the fall fishing below Carpenter Dam. Bank fishermen can use wax or meal worms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Redworms and nightcrawlers also well work when using this same technique. Live bait presentations give anglers the best opportunity to catch trout as artificial lures are often ignored by finicky trout. Spin fishermen will have success casting Rooster Tails in 1/16 or 1/8 ounce weights over sandbars and exposed rock structure. Brown or white colors are best and most effective during periods of generation. Trout adapt quickly to feeding on available forage and will begin feeding heavily on the shad population. Small jigs in grey or white will draw strikes from hungry trout along with small silver spoons fished in the current. Fly fishermen can easily access areas that hold numbers of trout. Shoals are a target area with the head and tail regions normally holding the most fish. Micro-jigs in black or white casted with a strike indicator will catch trout holding in and around current flow searching for prey San Juan worms in hot pink or red will also work well along with small streamer in sliver. Baitfish provide a huge part of the diet of rainbow trout below Carpenter Dam so matching the forage is critical to fishing success in Lake Catherine. Stripers will move into the tailrace as the rainbow trout stockings become more regular. Alabama rigs, C-10 Redfins, and heavy jigs are deadly lures to use when attempting to catch these large predators. Heavy rods and lines are recommended. Topwater activity will increase with the presence of trout and fishermen need to watch and react quickly when feeding begins.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 383.40 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.
Natalie Carter, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040)
, said activity has dropped on crappie and bream of late. The fish are responding to live bait (minnows), but that bite has significantly fallen off. Bass, though, have been mild to moderate the last week, reported from fishermen using both worms and artificial lures. The main activity seems to be found from fishermen taking boats up into the recesses of both Bear Creek and Storm Creek lakes. Limited activity from fishing docks and boat ramps. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center located in Marianna, off of Hwy 44 is selling bait and is open 8-5 every day. The park has redworms, nightcrawlers, shad and crickets along with a wide variety of jigs and artificial baits. Call with any questions or to book a campsite.
(updated 11-9-16) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said that as with Bear Creek in the park, Storm Creek has seen a falloff of activity from crappie and bream. Live minnows are getting some response. Fisherman are trying the recesses of the lake, and there is limited activity from fishing the docks and boat ramps.
(updated 11-16-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported clear water, with the water level low. Bream were fair on worms and crickets. Crappie were good on minnows and jigs. Bass were good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing was fair on worms and blood bait.