Biologists wrestle alligator weed
Biologists wrestle alligator weed
June 15, 2016
Alligator weed takes over a lake.
Biologists wrestle alligator weed on lakes
Each year, Arkansas Game and Fish biologists spend thousands of dollars trying to control nuisance aquatic plants. One species in particular, the non-native alligatorweed, has commanded the better part of biologists' attention and resources in central Arkansas lakes like Lake Conway for the past 15 years. When temperatures rise above 60 degrees, alligator weed flourishes, and that means it can be prevalent here for six to seven months each year. Floating mats of dense alligator weed can make it impossible to navigate through with boats. The plant can spread by seeds, but most often grows from buds and fragments of existing plants, which makes eliminating the nuisance plant extremely difficult. The combination of mechanical removal, chemical sprays and placing insects or fish in the area that will eat the vegetation works for some nuisance plants, but not alligator weed. So AGFC biologists have to attack it in other ways in places like Lake Conway, Lake Overcup and in Lake Cargile, the latest to show signs of alligator weed. Anglers can help in the fight, too.
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Arkansas 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  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
(updated 6-15-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water remained stained and at a normal level. No surface temperature report, though the previous week had reached as high as 80 degrees. Bream fishing  was excellent in 6-8 feet depth around the banks. Use worms and crickets. Crappie were fair in the 6-8-foot range and around the cypress on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good. The bite was good around lily pads on white spinnerbait and topwater frogs. Catfishing rated excellent on the limb lines and trotlines in the creek channels. Try using large minnows or goldfish.
(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported water level was normal, and the catfishing has been excellent. Use minnows, goldfish and shad. Crappie fishing was fair the past week in minnows and jigs. No reports came in on bream or bass.


(updated 6-8-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said they are seeing several hours of daily generation from the dam. This generation pattern is still providing wade and drift fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. For fly fishing, Myers suggest sowbugs, midges, Woolly Buggers  and micro-jigs. For Trout Magnet fishing, red and hot pink-colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads are working well. Always check before heading to the Little Red 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 Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation 
(updated 6-15-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said said the river remains clear and generation has been two units in the afternoon for about four hours. Fishing has been fair to good with the bite better in the late morning and afternoon hours in the mid- to lower river where he has been fishing. Morning fishing is better in the upper parts of the river and at the dam because of the generation pattern. The only insect activity is a small midge and blue-winged olive hatch. So nymphs, sowbugs and midge pupas are producing most of the fish. Small sizes seem to work best. The river clarity has improved and with this, so has the fishing.
(updated 6-15-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) reported the fishing on the Little Red has gotten substantially better over the last week. They are getting 4-6 hours of water release each evening. Wading on the upper river is best. The hot flies have been midges, pheasant tails, and pink San Juan worms. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.30 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 6-15-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 462.29 feet and falling from evaporation, and generation it is 0.25 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet. The bream fishing is good all over the lake in and around bedding areas; try crickets and crawlers from 1 foot out to 18 feet of water. The catfishing is good all over the lake as well on all three species. Rod and reels, jugs and trotlines are all working. Try using any cut or live bait for the best results. The crappie are pretty much done spawning now and can be caught around pole timber or in or around brush piles suspended or on the bottom. Try using jig or jigs tipped with minnows in 15-25 feet of water. The bass fishing is good on all four species on ledges, in and around brush piles or in the pole timber as well as humps and creek bends. Texas rigged worms, C-rigs, crankbaits and swimbaits are working as well as topwater baits. There are always fish shallow any time of year. Flip or pitch baits around bushes – topwater baits, or small crankbaits and, on some days, spinnerbaits. The walleye bite is steady on certain areas of the lake with the right combination of things together in the water. They will be hanging out in 22-28 feet of water. If they are on the bottom, drag crawlers around; if not, use crankbaits for when they are suspended. The hybrid and white bass are eating well on and off all day long. Some are schooling at different times as well. Use topwater baits for those and when they are down, concentrate in 25-40 feet of water using spoons, in-line spinners, swimbaits and live bait.


(updated 6-15-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said water was clear and the surface temperature was 78 degrees. The level was normal. Everything except crappie was good all week. Bream were good using crickets. Bass fishing was reported good with no other details. Nightcrawlers and liver were the bait choice for a good week of catfishing.
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said that crappie were biting and moving to the banks and in the creek biting on BBQ Chicken and Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and on Penny Back Shad, and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Crappie is biting at nighttime, too. Catfish are biting good on minnows, worms and shad. Bass are biting on buzzbaits, worms and minnows as well as topwater baits. White bass are hitting baby shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, Cajun Spin and silver minnows. Bream are biting great on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.


No report.
(updated 6-15-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said the lake was dingy with a water surface temperature of 75 degrees. Water level was normal. Bream fishing was excellent; use worms and crickets. Catfishing also was excellent the past week, with dough bait, chicken liver and nightcrawlers working best. Bass fishing was good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Crappie fishing was good on minnows and jigs. Foster’s is the only shop in the area selling non-ethanol gasoline, and also has bait, tackle and other supplies available. 
(updated 6-8-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported black bass fishing was good. Black bass are biting on Wacky Rig worms, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and just about everything else. They can be caught in 8-12 feet  of water. The temperature is about 80 degrees on the banks. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. The winning duo in Tuesday’s black bass tournament hauled in 8.42 pounds of fish, and even the fourth-place pair caught 6.8 pounds total. Biggest bass caught weighed 3.22 pounds. Kentucky bass fishing is good and they are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water. They are mixed in with the blacks. White bass fishing is good. Use deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. They’re all over the lake and are being caught in the main lake on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. They are mixed in with the crappie, which are also biting well. Crappie are being caught on minnows and jigs and are 15 feet deep. Try the edges of the channels. Bream fishing is excellent and the fish can be found 13 feet on the bottom using crickets or live worms. Catfishing is excellent. Cats are being caught in 15-20 feet depth on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. One catfish weighed in at 48 pounds this week; 30 is very common.
(updated 6-15-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported excellent fishing for both bass and catfish this week. Bass were working around the jetties, with squarebills, crankbait and jigs getting action, as well as spinnerbaits. Trotlines were pulling in catfish; use slipjacks, slicks and goldfish. Crappie fishing was fair. Try around brush piles with minnows and jigs. No reports on bream or white bass.
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Bobby Garland Baby Shad and minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting on Cajun Spin and silver minnow. Bass are biting on buzzbaits and topwater baits


(updated 6-15-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said customers have been catching catfish on stink baits, chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bream are hitting red worms and crickets. Some customers have been catching a few crappie on No. 6 minnows and pink minnows. Bass are hitting minnows and plastic worms and lizards.


(updated 6-15-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well for some trotliners using goldfish and black saltys. Bass fishing has been good with minnows, small plastic lizards, small spinner baits and crawdad colored crank baits. Crappie have been scattered but a few have been caught around brush and logs in the river and backwaters. The bream on the river will almost always bite a cricket or worm fished on a small hook, with light line. It's loads of fun and you'll catch a few keepers, too. Wherever you go and whatever you're fishing for, have fun and most importantly, be safe.


(updated 6-15-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing is good with crickets and redworms. The big ones seem to always be in deeper water on Norrell. Fish about 12-18 inches off the bottom with a tight line. Bass fishing has been fair for some at night using buzzbaits and dark-colored plastics. Catfish have been caught recently on trotlines and juglines baited with No. 12 minnows and black saltys. No recent reports of crappie being caught on the lake.


(updated 6-15-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a couple of customers provided proof with pictures of some very nice crappie caught on size 6 and size 12 minnows at Winona. Bass were hitting minnows as well. Catfish are biting chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bream are being caught on crickets and redworms.


(updated 6-15-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said the area has had high water for some time now. Temperatures ranged from low 70s to mid-80s the past week. Most fish were caught early and late as temperatures rose. When water levels reach the grass, bass move in early and late. Use Horny Toads, let it come from the grass and let it drop. Chatterbaits are working good to fair. Catfish are good early and late in 3-10 feet of water. Use live bream or large minnows. Bream are good around the grass line or around overhangs; use a black Rooster Tail. No report on crappie. Whites are spotty on and around backside of jetties, biting fair. Use a pearl or white crankbait. No report on stripers.


(updated 6-15-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley said the water color is still muddy on the main river with water temps in the upper 70s-lower 80s. Bass fishing is really starting to heat up as almost all of the fish have healed up and are really feeding. Look for areas close to the main river where you can throw crankbaits and spinnerbaits to fool those bass using the current to ambush prey. Squarebills and spinnerbaits with Colorado Blades seem to work well in the water with more color to it. Catfishing is also heating back up slowly. Deep drops and structure near the main river channel have been giving up a good fish when cut bait and live bait is presented. Bream are excellent and can be caught at will around any backwater weed bed on crickets. No reports on crappie or stripers. 


(updated 6-15-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water was clear and at a normal level. Surface temperature was at 80 degrees, and fishing was good all around. Bream were working well on worms and crickets. Crappie were good on minnows and jigs. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits were the way to go for good bass catches. Catfish were good on worms and blood bait. There were no reports on white bass.
(updated 6-15-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported water was normal. Crappie were biting fair around brush piles on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was excellent around the jettie points on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Use a squarebill or jig. Catfishing was excellent on the trotlines. Skipjacks, slicks and goldfish were the best bait.


(updated 6-15-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water clarity was muddy, with high water still near Terry Lock and Dam. Bream fishing was good on worms and crickets. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing rated fair; use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing was fair with chicken liver working best.
(updated 6-15-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water in his area as stained to muddy. Surface temperature was 74 degrees, but the level had returned to normal. Any bream were working well in the grassy areas on redworms and crickets. Crappie fishing was good around brush piles using minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good. Try a crankbait or a jig around the rocks. Catfish were fair, with worms working best.
(updated 6-15-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water level was back to normal near Terry Dam. Bream fishing was excellent in the backwater and around brush piles in 10-12 feet depth. Black and blue jigs worked best. Crappie fishing was good in the backwater. Try using Dana-Max jigs and crickets. No other fish were reported. In the upper pool, the report was that catfishing was good just below the Murray Dam. Try using skipjack. Snagging was also good.
(updated 6-15-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported normal water level near the Terry Dam. Catfishing was fair. Try skipjack and snagging. No reports on any other fish caught.


(updated 6-15-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water clarity was clear, the level was normal and the surface temperature was hot. Bream fishing was good using worms and crickets. Bass were good on spinnerbait, crankbait and topwater lures. Catfishing was good using bloodbait and nightcrawlers. Crappie fishing was poor. 


(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent on the north side of the lake. Shrimp and chicken parts were working best. Water level is normal.


(updated 6-15-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bass fishing being fair this week around grass mats. Try spinnerbaits and jigs.


(updated 6-15-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported the water level normal. Catfishing was excellent. Use chicken hearts or nightcrawlers for bait.


(updated 6-15-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are biting crickets and worms. Catfish have been biting fair on chicken livers and bait shrimp. Bass have been biting minnows. No recent reports of crappie being caught.


(updated 6-15-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported water level normal on the Maumelle. Bass fishing was excellent on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and squarebill bait around the jetty points. Catfishing was excellent on trotlines. Use large goldfish, chicken liver, slipjacks. 
(updated 6-15-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said water level and the clarity was normal for this time of year. Bass fishing was excellent; try using a white spinnerbait. Crappie were biting well in 8-10 feet of water on minnows. In the backwater, bream fishing was good. Try waxworms.



(updated 6-8-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501 -889-2011) said catfish  are biting  on minnows and worms. Bream are biting  great on crickets and worms and Rock Hoppers. Bass are biting  on buzzbaits and topwater baits.



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 663.38 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 6-15-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said the lake rose a few feet earlier in the month. There is a lot of brush in the water up to 5 feet around the shoreline. The water temperature is higher then normal. It is in the low 70s to mid-80s around the lake depending on where you take it. That is a little higher then normal. The water is still fairly clear. There seems to be a thermocline forming around the 18-22-foot level, which is normal for this time of year. Bass fishing is still great. Most of the reports are good with topwater bite the most reported. Then weedless plastics in and around the brush in shallow water. This should change to deeper fishing fairly soon during the day with the water temperatures rising. Walleye fishing hasn't been the best. They have not seen many caught or at least getting reports of many. Not sure why either, because it is usually very good this time of year. It was good March, April and the first two weeks of May but has slowed down since the middle of May. The patterns that follow are still catching some. Not much else to report. For bass, use crankbaits, Swimming Minnow plastics, spinnerbaits, jigs, french fry worms, Carolina rigged plastics, stick baits and topwater. Yes thats right! Just about anything you want to throw. For walleye, trolling deep-diving baits is working in 15-20 feet of water, bottom bouncing with nightcrawlers, slow retrieval of a spoon, slow retrieval of a split shot and nightcrawler. To catch white bass, troll with crankbaits, cast with swimbaits and small jigs or try night fishing with lights. They are seeing lots of crappie being caught. The main pattern being reported is swimming an 1/8-ounce to 1/64-ounce jig just off the bottom along the shoreline. They are spawning so they are not grouped up. You might have to fish a lot of shoreline to catch a bunch. 
(updated 6-1-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said the lake is on a steady rise with the recent rains but is still mostly free of debris. Will continue to rise until the elevation reaches 662.00 ft msl. This is now the new power pool set by the Corps. (Pool was raised to 659.00 from 654.00 to accommodate the new Minimum Flow Act set by Congress. That has now been changed for a summer seasonal pool, adding 3 more feet.) Neadless to say, the boat launch at the end of K Highway will have limited access. Lower road access was lost when we hit 660.00. But, the fishing is great! Bass and walleye are the hot species right now. Water temperature is 74 degrees and the water is stained. Black bass are good on topwater Spooks, buzzbaits and other plugs. Also good on Ned Rigs, 1/2-ounce jigs and small to medium plastics. Crappie are biting fair on live minnows; it's hot and cold from day to day. There aresStill reports of Crappie in 8 to 10 feet, but have had some hitting around trees in 15 to 20 feet. Swimming minnow color has been pear and glitter. Walleye fishing is good dragging nightcrawlers on the flats, about 15-20 feet. Also hitting on medium-size crankbaits.
(updated 6-15-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported low water with eight generators running. Rainbow and brown trout rated good. 
(updated 6-15-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said Zig Jigs were one of the best trout baits this week; the copper/gold Colorado and the old reliable red/gold Thomas Buoyant spoons did well. A number 5 Rainbow Countdown brought some nice fish to the boat. Sculpins continue to lure some nice size browns. Try your luck with barbless hooks when fishing for browns – can be a very rewarding catch. It's heating up, so keep plenty of water with you; dip a hand towel in the river and wrap it around your neck – stay cool. 
(updated 6-15-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) ) said said rain last week combined for three-quarters of an inch in Cotter, with warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 1.6 feet to rest at 1.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 662 feet. This is 31.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.3 feet to rest at 0.2 feet below seasonal power pool and 14.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at 0.2 feet below seasonal power pool and 8.8 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had moderate generation last week with wade-able water most days. The bite on the White remains erratic depending on the day, but they’ve seen low wade-able water that has fished well. The hot flies have been 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 (sizes 16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a pink San Juan worm with a ruby midge (size 18) suspended below it). When he sees topwater activity but no insects, he fishes with a partridge and orange. When Berry sees trout taking adult insects from the top, he switches over to a sulphur parachute.
There is more to fishing than just catching fish. For Berry a big part of the experience is to observe nature up close and personal. He said he loves to watch for changes in the weather and the seasons. Wild flowers and blooming trees are always special, and he especially enjoys observing wildlife. He has seen a herd of no less than 17 deer swim the river in front of his boat. He has watched a family of otters play before me and has observed woodchucks, mink, beaver and muskrat on numerous occasions. There is an abundance of birdlife on the river with wild turkey, kingfishers, pileated woodpeckers, cliff swallows and other birds on a continual basis. There are two species of birds that are of particular interest, to me, that I observe, on almost a daily basis, the great blue herons and the bald eagles. These are two magnificent birds of prey and as such both are protected species.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 557.05 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 6-15-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort saidstriped bass fishing continues to be very good. They have migrated to their beginning-of-summer pattern. The striped bass are deeper and are being caught 30-50 feet down in all different water depths. Lou has caught them on the bottom in 40 feet of water and also suspended in 100 feet of water. Early one morning this week he fished with his daughter and oldest granddaughter. They ended up landing eight striped and hybrid bass in two different types of areas. One area was partway back in a creek and the second was on a main lake point. The two biggest fish were 23-pound and 16-pound striped bass, with hybrids up to 9 pounds and other stripers up to 10 pounds. All but three fish were released, as three would not swim away. Live bait is working the best for, but he’s fishing with his grandkids and artificial bait makes fishing a little more difficult. All sizes of live bait are working from 3-inch threadfin shad on up to 9-inch gizzards. Vertical jigging with a spoon is also starting to work. Find the stripers on your electronics and drop a spoon to the fish and start jigging up and down. If you get into a large school of fish and they don't hit it while jigging, drop it through them, then reel up though the school and be ready for a fish to attack the bait. But in his experience they typically hit it on the fall. Trollers are also doing good dragging umbrella rigs or swim baits. The main thing is to make sure your bait is 25-45 feet deep or just above the fish you are marking on your graph. 
Topwater for striped bass has stopped, but hybrid bass are still coming up early in the morning close to points partway back into creeks. He’s finding hybrids in the same locations as the stripers but they are feeding much higher in the water column, from the surface down to 20 feet deep. Topwater baits and swimbaits are working well for artificial baits. Live bait is also very good by pitching them free-line, meaning with no weight. Best places to fish for stripers and hybrids are from the mouths of Big Creek and Brushy Creek to the dam as well as from the Bidwell area to the dam. Yes, they are scattered throughout the entire lake.
Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has also been good. You will find topwater action early in the morning until sunrise in the same locations as the stripers, then again in the late afternoon right before sunset. In the morning, once the sun gets above the tree line they will go down, so start working the bottom from 10 feet out to 30 feet deep with your plastics or jigs. You can also work bush piles in the 20-30 feet depth and catch some quality fish.
Lou says he’s been having too much fun striper fishing to go out crappie fishing, but anglers have been told him you can find some nice fish on brush in 20-30 feet of water back in the creeks. If you are staying at an area with a large boat dock that has some brush under it you can catch some really nice crappie pretty much all day long, when they decide to feed. His dock is producing some good fish in the 13-16-inch range.
The lake level continues to rise slowly and currently sits at 556.98 feet msl. Minimal power generation is occurring during the day and evening. The lake surface water temperature is in low to mid-80s, but varies depending on the location in the lake. The main lake is clear on the surface and the creeks and coves are stained but appear to be trying to clear. He’s heard a thermocline is forming, but he’s not seen evidence of it. If it hasn’t formed, he said, it will shortly with the warm temperatures.(updated 6-15-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the lake is in its summer pattern for striper fishing. Stripers are being caught at the Hwy 62 bridge. Once they are there it will not be long before they show up at Robinson Point and Diamond Bay. On the south end of the lake the stripers are appearing on the deep side of the points; they are also in the deep channels and bays that butt a bluff. He’s have been catching most fish in 80 feet of water with lines set between 25-30 feet. I’m still using gizzard shad that range in length from 5-10 inches. The stripers are also feeding on crawdads. I have caught a few fish in the 40-foot range on the bottom; that is usually a late morning bite. Meanwhile persistence finally paid off for a pair of anglers, Gary and Steve. Tom had taken them out three times and they did not catch a limit of stripers. Each time they caught five stripers. Steve did catch a 25-pound striper last summer. Every time we went out we had 10-15 bites but could never catch No. 6. Finally on the fourth trip they had a great morning. We have been leaving the dock at 4:45 a.m. It’s a 20-minute run to the southeast part of the lake Tom had been fishing. They were fishing in 80 feet of water. In the first 1½ hour they caught three stripers and missed six or seven. It was getting to very light and so Tom moved thinking they were not going to get a limit. He spotted an acre of stripers on top and down under. They immediately caught a short striper and then caught two more keepers. It was not until 9 a.m. that they caught one more striper that finally brought the total to six for a limit. So when you striper fishing, it’s easy to give up when the bite slows and try for other species, but if you stay at it persistence will pay off.  Be sure to read Reynolds’ Summer Striper tactics; the article can be found on the NorforkLakeChamber.com website.
(updated 6-8-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said  the lake level was 555.4 with the water temperature in the mid-70s. There are a few things floating in the lake with the rain from this past week, so keep an eye out. Bass are coming up early; mainly look for them on points. They are also hitting jigs, worms and a drop shot with a small worm. Look for stripers and hybrids suspended in 30-40 feet in deep water or they can be hugging the bottom 30-40 feet. Whites can be in the schools too. Get your bait down to where you mark the fish. I just drop a jigging spoon and when they are in a feeding mood they will hit the spoon on the way down. They usually hit it when it’s dropping back down.
(updated 6-15-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the water has cleared somewhat and has fished better lately. Norfork Lake rose 1.5 feet last week to rest at 0.3 feet below seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet and 25.5 feet below the top of flood pool. They saw wade-able water most days. 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 eighteen 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 and late afternoon and tapers off midday. His favorite fly has been the green butt.
Dry Run Creek will be very busy, with summer vacation, in full swing. It is cleared some and fished well. There is another phase of the project to repair the Norfork National Fish Hatchery now going on. Access to the creek is not impaired. 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). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. Remember the Arkansas White River Chapter of Trout Unlimited No. 698’s “Generations Camp” June 18-19 at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. Youth ages 10-15 can fish but must be accompanied by a Generations Mentor – parent, brother, sister, grandparent, uncle, aunt or guardian -- who must be over 21 years of age. The mentor attends all sessions of the camp and all classes and learns along with the youth stream explorer. This is an incredible opportunity for the mentor and explorer to bond. Berry says he wishes they had something like this when his daughter was that age. The highlight of the camp is fishing on Dry Run Creek. Contact Michael or Dawn Schraeder at (870) 421-1432 or michaelschraeder@gmail.com. To participate, but space is limited.


(updated 6-15-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) saidthat with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the river. There are no dams and the river is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


(updated 6-15-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. Try his favorite lure for smallmouths, the Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering. There are no dams, there are large drainages and the creek prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.



Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,121.09 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 6-15-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported the water at a mid-70s temperature. Clarity was good, and the level is normal. Catfishing is good using goldfish or other live bait on trotlines and limblines. Bream fishing is good in the shallow spots; use worms, crickets and wax worms. Crappie were working fair in 10-15 feet water around brush piles on jigs. Bass fishing was fair; spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures all were working.
(updated 6-15-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said the water surface temperature is in the low 80s and the striper activity forecast for the week is good. The stripers are making their way back out of the river/creek arms feeding on bait. There has been some nice topwater action. Some Beaver Lake stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Try lightly weighted lines, free lines, balloons and planer boards in presenting your baits and it will definitely get you some fish. Make sure you do not keep striper under 20 inches and not more than three striper or hybrid or combination; walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of four. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad fished on free lines and down lines from surface to about 20 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs, flat lines or slightly weighted lines like Rapala No. 14, Husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model. Jerkbaits like flukes will also produce. Also, live shad is always a go-to approach for trophy stripers. In the mid- and lower lake sections, check out these hot spots: Beaver Dam cove, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, Point 5. Also, walleye are now back down on the main lake in numbers and on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-20 feet deep. Use three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chart combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.


(updated 6-15-2016) Beaver Dam Store said fly fishing below the dam has been on and off. Norfork Hatchery trucks are dumping at Bertrand Boat Launch when water is low. There have been walleye being caught in the Bertrand Launch Area when water is flowing. There are a lot of shad in this area along with predator fish feeding on them. The white bass and stripers are hitting really well at White Bass Cove. The Zara Spook in fin/pearl with red head color is the hot ticket along with pearl. Jerkbaits are also producing numbers of fish. Good reports have come from using these lures: gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold bouyant spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series No. 4s and 5s. Good colors in power baits are white, red, orange, yellow and chartreuse. Good flies have been pheasant tails, midges in blue Dunn, black, olive, hares ear, tungsten copper Johns, WD 40's, Trout Magnets. Catfish are biting on Wicked Sticky catfish bait along with Magic Bait Crawfish/chicken blood bait.


(updated 6-15-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said that health issues are forcing him to close the bait shop the remainder of the year. However, Lucky will be in attendance at the June 25 Federation of Police Fishing Derby, to be held on Lake Elmdale at the public access parking lot and dock. The event will be held by the Tontitown and Elm Springs police departments and is open to children 15 years old and younger. The derby is from 8 a.m. to noon. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own equipment, and a license is not required for a parent to assist a child during the derby. Lucky urges people to support the event and help teach youth in the area that there's more to life than texting and playing computer games. “It’s been great, and thank you for fishing Lake Elmdale,” Key said.


(updated 6-15-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported water level at normal with a surface temperature of mid-70s. Fishing overall has been good. Bream were biting worms or crickets around stumps. Crappie fishing was good around brush piles on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing rated good; use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing was good on worms.


(updated 6-15-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the water surface temperature reached 80 degrees. Water was dingy to normal at a normal level. Crappie fishing has fallen off but everything else has been good. Bream were good using worms and crickets. Bass are biting well using plastic worms and topwater lures. Catfish are hitting chicken liver as well as shad. What crappie did bite were in 6 feet of water, reacting to minnows and jigs.



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 6-15-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park reported that the fishing has fallen off with the recent heat. They haven't heard any reports of catches and bait sales have slowed. The crickets have been the biggest seller recently. Although the bream are a bony fish, they are delicious.  Minnow sales are slow, but they are buying a lot of goldfish for line and jug fishing. They are having some calls for nightcrawlers and redworms.


(updated 6-15-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water level had dropped to normal. Surface temperature was 76 degrees, and the water was dingy. Bream fishing was excellent on crickets. Bass fishing was good in the early morning and late evening. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Spooks were working best. Catfishing was good using chicken liver and nightcrawlers. Crappie fishing rebounded a little, rating fair. Use minnows and jigs.


(updated 6-15-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 490 cfs and water clarity is mostly clear. For the first time in over a month the river is clearing up and looking good. So much rain over the last month has had the river off-color. The river is still higher than normal and the wading can be tough. Wading staffs are a must and extra care should be used. Hot flies over the last week has been mostly Woolly Buggers of different colors. Hot pink Trout Magnets and orange Rooster Tails have worked well with spin fishers. The river is full of trout of all sizes. Catching high numbers with a big one rolling up every once in a while. The heat has been an issue. It is hot outside. The river is cold; wet wading is the way to go this time of year. For the most current update check Marks blog on his website (click link above).
(updated 6-15-2016) 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 fishing is better. 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 6-15-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water was clear and at a normal level. Bream were biting fair about 8½ feet depth in the creek using crickets. Crappie were poor. Bass were fair on plastic worms, mainly Hulu grubs. 



Southeast Arkansas

No report.


(updated 6-8-2016) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said bream are biting well on crickets. The bass are biting well on green and white frogs off of the lily pads. The catfish are biting well on bream. Crappie are lying low for now.


No report.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.19 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 6-15-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Monday the lake level is about 3.25 inches above normal conservation pool and falling. There is decreased current from Little River with the gates releasing around 4,100 cfs as of Monday. Water temps were stable over the past week. Lake level has risen and dropped again dramatically with all the thunderstorms over the past week. Navigation is improving for Little River, as of Monday, but caution still is urged with the debris, limbs, logs and broken vegetation in the river with current. Surface temps as of Monday were ranging 74-82 degrees depending on location. Clarity and visibility is improved compared to last week in most areas on main lake and Little River. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranges about 5-10 inches. Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains heavy stained to muddy. Little River's visibility ranges 8-12 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranges 15-20 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Little River above McGuire oxbow is heavy stain with swift water. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain or thunderstorms.
Largemouth bass are good between 2-4 pounds on topwaters early and late. Most bass are aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands and vegetation shallow. Buzzbaits, Cordell Crazy Shads, Baby Torpedoes, various frogs and Arborghast Jitterbugs are best bets, early and late. Buzzbaits in ghost, black or Texas Craw colors are working around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels. Finding clearer water areas away from current in Little River get the best bites. Best colors of Crazy Shad are chrome/black back and Torpedoes are Leopard Frog. Good bites continue on soft plastic frogs around pads in any clear water you can find. The further from Little River current will produce best activity and aggressive bites. Bass Assassin Shads in salt and pepper or crystal shad colors continue working around vegetation, and Rat-L-Traps are working around deeper drops into the creek channels. Magnum sized, 4-inch salty tubes in pumpkinseed, black/blue tail, or Appleseed colors were working last week.
Lots of topwater action continued away from current of Little River on Zara Spooks, Jitterbugs and Moss Bosses around pads and vegetation. It was good early at dawn, and they continued working at daylight. Ten-inch bulky worms are working after the topwater bite subsides. Best colors have been black, black grape, june bug or peanut butter 'n jelly. Bass Assassin Shads are working around lily pads and hydrilla under shade of cypress tree overhangs and trees along the channel swings. Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini and Grey Ghost are drawing good reactions from 2-5 pounders. Bang Die Dappers are also working in these same areas on a swimbait worked slow and erratic over and through the pads and grass. Best colors of Rat-L-Traps over the past week or so have been red shad, chrome/green, and Millwood Magic. Echo 1.75 squarebills in gold, Millwood Magic and Stumpknocker colors; and deep-diving crankbaits in Tennessee Shad or Citruse colors continue working over the past week away from any remaining current, far from river current and in the clearing water, around 4-8 feet deep flats near creek channel swings, deflecting off stumps in the clearest water you can locate.
Whites and hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on jigging spoons behind primary points in the river, just out of the current. High current in Little River still has the crappie pushed deep and back into the creek channels dumping into the river. No consistent pattern this week. Blues and channel cats continue biting good in the current in Little River over the past week on trotlines set slightly deeper this week, about 12-15 feet, in creek mouths and outer bends of the river. Best trotline baits have been buffalo, chicken gizzards and hearts.  


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.07 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) Dustin Holmes of Action Fishing Trips reports the water level is 545.67, which is 2.33 feet below normal pool. The water temp is 78 degrees at the surface. Crappie are being caught in brush piles with the top of the brush being 10-15 feet down and the brush piles setting in 15-25 feet of water. He's doing the best with live minnows and Tennessee shad crappie jigs. You can jig the brush or cast around the brush piles and do quite well. Bass are mostly being caught on points from 5-20 feet deep.The bass are being caught on a Carolina rig, a shad colored crankbait running 12-15 feet deep, and spinnerbaits. Catfish are being caught on chicken liver and worms on north end of the lake from 10-25 feet of water. Bream are being caught on crickets and worms up next to the bank by the buckbrush.
(updated 6-1-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said black and white bass are starting to school up. Rooster Tails and silver spoons are landing fish. Crappie on minnows or jigs 8-12 feet deep on brush piles. Since the water temp is entering the 70s, catfish and bream are starting to spawn.
(updated 6-15-2016) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said reported surface temperature is 78 degrees. Water is clear throughout the lake. Crappie are good on brush piles in 10-15 feet. Bass are roaming the banks and are hitting buzzbaits and topwater plugs like Chugbugs and Pop R’s. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.62 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 6-15-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is only fair with a few decent catches reported early in the morning. Look for some surface activity off the long main lake points. Throw a topwater plug or swimbait. Try to hit the "break" as close as possible because the fish will not hang around long. Also try fishing deeper on the same points with a Texas or Carolina rigged worm or lizard. Try an 11- or 12-inch worm in red shad. Best areas have been between Edgewood and Shouse Ford. A few crappies coming from the deeper attractors in 18-25 feet of water. Drop a 2-inch curly tail grub on a 1/16-ounce jighead to just above the brush. In clear water most any natural shad colors work best. Look for attractors on the main lake between Caddo Bend and Shouse Ford. Hybrid fishing is still good with quite a few catches reported coming from the south side between the mouth of Brushy Creek and Iron Mountain. Look for surface feeding fish early in the big coves. Throw small topwaters or swimbaits. When the fish go down, try a big spoon or in-line spinner. Another good pattern is trolling the small 5-arm umbrella loaded with 4-inch swimbaits. White is the best color. Not much doing on bream as they remain rather scarce. Catfish are pretty good, especially on trotlines. Load the lines with either cut shad, nightcrawlers, chicken livers, hot dogs or prepared blood baits. Also try live big minnows or small bream. The big flats at Point 10 and Brushy Creek have been producing.
(updated 6-15-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said water temperature is 86 degrees mid-lake. Pool level is 406.63. Reports from Corp of Engineers are that the hybrids are schooling around Point 4, Iron Mountain Marina and Caddo Bend. Schooling fish are a mixture of whites, blacks and hybrids. Topwater baits like Zara Spook are a good choice. Shallow-diving crankbaits are producing, too. Shad color is the key. Bream are biting in brush and rocky points. Finding big fish is the challenge. Bream bedding is picking up all over the lake. Crappies are still being caught on brush piles anywhere from 7-15 feet deep. They are ranging from Shouse Ford to Arlie Moore. Look for brush piles with your electronics and fish over the top of them. Minnows with the slip corks are the best bet for brush piles. Jigs with chartreuse or pink heads with Tennessee shad or baby bass are good colors. Tip jigs with minnows for the bigger bite. Catfishing reports are good in the Shouse Ford area. Live bait is the bait of choice. Noodling is slow. No report on black bass for this week. Heat will soon move crappie to deeper water. Stay cool, hydrate and fish early and late.



South-Central Arkansas

(updated 5-25-2016) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said that on Lower White Oak Lake, regulations state that catfish daily limit is 5, bream daily limit is 50, and bass must be at over 16 inches. Crappie is still catch-and-release only. Bass are hitting on crankbaits, brush-hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live bait and catfish baits, and tightlining using worms and catfish baits. Bream are starting to bite well in the mornings and evenings on crickets. On Upper White Oak Lake, bass are hitting on crankbaits, brush-hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live bait, catfish baits and tightlining using worms and catfish baits. Crappie are biting on minnows and jigs. Bream are starting to bite well in the mornings and evenings on crickets.   


(updated 6-8-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bream are biting well on worms or crickets. Bass are hitting on spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Crappie and catfish are a little slow but a few are still being caught.


(updated 6-8-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bream are biting well. Crappie are being caught at night under lanterns. No reports on bass or catfish.


(updated 6-15-2016) No report. Torrential rains hit the area earlier this week.



West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 339.97 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 6-15-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported water being clear and hot, around 83 degrees at the surface, and the level is shallow. Bream are bedding and the fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good; try using a gold and white spinnerbait for the best action. Catfishing rated poor. But overall the fish bite is good, Jerry Anderson reported, with three anglers catching 108 total bream one day.
(updated 6-15-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said water was extremely low and there were no reports of fishing. 
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie is biting and moving to the banks and in creeks, biting on  BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, Penny Back Baby Whad, Slab Slay’r  and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. Live minnows are working as well, and crappie are biting at nighttime, too. Catfish are biting Yo-Yo’s with minnows and shad. Bream are biting great on crickets, worms and Rock Hoppers. Bassare working buzzbaits and topwater bait.


​(updated 6-15-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported an 11-pound bass was weighed in on Sunday (June 12). The lake is murky and the surface temperature has reached 82 degrees. Overall, bass fishing was excellent. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater lures and worms are the baits of choice. Crappie fishing is good out in deep water on minnows and jigs. Bream fishing is good; try worms and crickets. Catfishing was fair, mostly around the banks; use nightcrawlers. White bass rated excellent. 


(updated 6-15-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature was 87 degrees warming to 90. Clarity is beginning to improve on the river. Creeks are clear with dingy backwater. Bass fishing has been excellent, with many different ways to catch them; perch jigs around low-hanging trees that has mayflies in them has been a good technique. Casting frogs around the shad spawn has been an excellent technique. Crankbaits off of drops and points have been working well, also. Buzzbaits around the jetties have been working well, too. Stripers and white bass have been good at the heads of the creeks on topwater popbaits and swimbaits. No word on crappie, but have been seeing a lot on the graph around 11 feet. Bream has been excellent on worms and crickets and mayflies around low-hanging trees and on rocks with grass. Flathead has been good on small perch along jetties and bluffs. Channel cats have been good in the creeks on minnows. Blues have been excellent in the mouth of the creeks on cut shad and skipjack.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.33 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
​(updated 6-15-2016) David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association said water is clear and the white bass are spot-breaking, as are the striper. Surface temperature was 84 degrees and the fish are moving down, but you will see the occasional spot-breaker. He reports he didn't catch anything Saturday, but he saw fish in the areas of Crystal Chute, around points 6, 7, 12, 13 and 28. The thermocline was between 58 and 780 feet, and that’s where he saw most of the fish. The lake is getting very busy with boats, so be careful. Check out the link above to the association, which will also take you to the association’s Facebook page.


(updated 6-1-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported black and white bass are starting to school up. Rooster Tails and silver spoons are landing fish. Crappie on minnows or jigs 8-12 feet deep on brush piles. Since the water temperature is entering the 70s, catfish and bream are starting to spawn.


(updated 6-15-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 58 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Catherine is now at normal summertime pool and will remain at this level until late November. Rainbow trout are present in good numbers below the dam and thriving in the nutrient-rich water. The bite has slowed considerably now that a summer pattern has emerged and five-fish limits are considered a good day on the water.
Trout in the 12-16-inch range are present and roaming the shallow waters searching for prey. Bank fishermen are doing well during slack water periods with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Wax or meal worms are also effective presented in the same manner. Corn closely resembles fish eggs and will draw strikes from hungry rainbows in calm water or current flow. Using live minnows floated under a bobber has accounted for the largest trout this week as these fish tend to feed on larger prey items. Fly fishermen can still access areas that hold schools of trout, but must use extreme caution when the turbines are running. Micro-jigs in white or black casted with a strike indicator is a consistent technique because the tailrace holds thousands of shad that rainbow trout feed on daily. San Juan worms in red or hot pink give an angler a nice change of pace when the bite is slow. Egg patterns in yellow or white are always the bait of choice when conditions are tough and the fish are finicky. Boaters trolling shallow running crankbaits against the current are recording limits of quality catches with most of the action best below the bridge. Anchoring behind rocks and fishing the current breaks with small jigs and jerkbaits have caught trout in the 18-inch class by experienced guides. Overall, trout fishing is excellent and will remain good until the middle of June.
White bass are making a strong spawning run toward the dam from the main body of the
lake. Little fishing pressure due to high water has allowed these fish to gather in big numbers on both sides of the tailrace. Current flow drives white bass to feed heavier than slackwater and trolling crankbaits and casting Alabama rigs over sands bars and rock structure will produce good catches. Jerkbaits in bright yellow have been the ticket in the stained waters of last week, but now a silver-and-black pattern has proved to be more effective of late. Live minnows tightlined over deep water around the dam has targeted bass that moved up earlier in the flood. A few hybrid bass have been caught on the same lures with better numbers migrating in the area in June. Some striper activity has been observed this week but no big fish hooked or caught. Freshwater drum continue to spawn the tailrace with fish over 20 pounds caught and larger fish lost. Nightcrawlers and live shad are the best baits to use to entice these fish, which give fishermen a hard fight test tackle to the limit. Carolina rigs tipped with either bait can draw vicious strikes so rods should never be set aside in a boat or the bank and left unattended.
Never navigate the waters below Carpenter Dam without wearing a life jacket and without a good knowledge of the bottom structure below the dam.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.50 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.



East Arkansas

(updated 6-8-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said bream are on their beds and responding heavily to crickets. Crappie are off their beds and biting at moderate depths. Bass have been hitting heavily on topwater poppers and some crankbaits, mainly at 10 feet or deeper and around underwater structure. No reports on catfish activity. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center, located in Marianna off of state Highway 44, is selling bait (minnows, redworms, nightcrawlers, shad and crickets, along with a variety of jigs and artificial baits) and is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. every day. Call 870-295-4040 for more info or to book a campsite. 


(updated 6-8-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported crappie are off their beds and responding well to live bait, including both crickets and worms. Moderate bream activity off of the bank and fishing pier, responding to crickets. Smallmouth bass responding to worms and crankbaits. Mild catfish activity in coves. 


(updated 6-15-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said water level remained high. Surface team reached 80 degrees and the clarity was dingy. There were no reports on bream or crappie catches. Bass fishing was good, however, as was catfishing.



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