(updated 10-5-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is stained and the water is at a normal level. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are good, especially around the brush piles; use minnows or jigs. Bass are biting fair; use white and chartreuse crankbaits. Catfish are biting fair on limb lines and trotlines. Use bream, large minnows and cut bait.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair on limb lines and trotlines. Use slicks, shad and skipjack. No other reports were available.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red is currently receiving several hours of weekday generation with less generation on weekends. For fly fishing, we recommend streamers, midges, pheasant tails and hare’s ear. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend cotton candy hot pink-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 10-5-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips
(501-690-9166) said cooler weather seems to be agreeing with the fishermen and the fish. The river remains clear with afternoon generation. Weekday generation has been about 5 hours in the afternoon starting at about 1 p.m., and weekends have been the minimum generation of one unit for one hour in the afternoon. The best flies for Seaton’s fishermen have been small midge pupas and small emergers. There has been a blue-winged olive hatch in the afternoons. Small beadhead mayfly nymphs such as a beadhead pheasant tail have also been producing.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.05 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 461.08 feet and falling. It is 1.43 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet. The surface temperature is in the high 70s to mid-80s. The hybrid and white bass are eating pretty good all day around 35 feet and some are blowing up on top from time to time. They are even eating with no wind, which is uncommon; try using in-line spinners for the suspended fish and spoons for the bottom feeders and, of course, topwater baits for the schoolers. Lots of black bass are in 35 feet and the rest are scattered to the bank; use C-rigs, topwater baits, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits. No reports on walleye. The bream action is good with them guarding fry; use crickets, crawlers and small crankbaits. The crappie fishing is getting better with the cooler water as well, with the fish eating in 10-18 feet of water on jigs and minnows. The catfishing is good all over the lake with a variety of baits.
(updated 9-28-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) said the fishing has been slow of late. There were good reports of bream catches on worms and crickets. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Nothing on crappie or catfish.
(updated10-5-2016) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is normal and clarity is excellent. Surface temperature is 76 in the morning and around 80 degrees in the afternoon. Bream are slow but still hitting on redworms and crickets in 3-4 feet of water. Bass are slow but anglers are catching smaller ones around the banks. Crappie are still slow, they are not there yet but people are still searching for them. Catfish are good on jugs using hot dogs and dough balls. Johnny caught a 36-pound blue Saturday morning on a trotline using black salties. Johnny reminds that “It's all about the fishing but catching is about the eating.” Overcup Bait Shop and RV Park is off Arkansas Highway 9.
(updated 10-5-2016) Fosters Four Seasons
(501-868-9061) said the lake is clear and the water surface temperature has been ranging 70-75 degrees, and the water appears to have turned over. The level is normal. There are a few bream and crappie around, leading to fair fishing for both. Bream are biting redworms or crickets. Crappie are hitting minnows and jigs in fair numbers. Bass are good and can be found about five feet out of the grass. Try tossing a spinnerbait, crankbait or topwater. Catfishing is good on blood bait, stink bait and chicken livers or chicken hearts. All the fish species have been chasing shad in the lake and seem to favor all colors of shad-like baits, walking baits and flukes, according to a local angler. Fosters has all anglers’ needs in the way of bait and food, and also sells non-ethanol gas.
(updated 10-5-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina
reported that the cool weather will change patterns, so expect movement to shallow water, which should be good! Black bass are excellent. The black bass are biting on wacky rig worms and spinnerbaits both early in the morning and late in the day. Black bass can be caught in 9-15 feet of water. The cooler weather has activated the bass, they would suggest trying shallow lures and spinnerbaits. Kentucky bass are good. Kentucky bass are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 9-15 feet of water. They are mixed in with the black bass. White bass fishing has been excellent. Use CC Spoons or deep-diving Bandits and Bombers; the fish are all over the lake. They are being caught in the main lake while schooling on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails. Rain did improve the crappie fishing in the last week to rate good. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs. Crappie are 20 feet deep; try the edges of the channels and on the old roadbeds. Bream are excellent and can be found 15 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good: The catfish are being caught in 15-20 feet of water and are being caught on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. Thirty-pounders are very common in this lake.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said lots of catfish are being caught on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp, due to the fact that it was stocked for a little derby two Saturdays ago. A few reports of crappie being caught on pink minnows. There are reports of some good-size ones, but not great in numbers. Bass have been hitting brooders and topwater scum frogs. Bream have been hitting on redworms and crickets.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said they need rain to get the level back up. A few people have been catching some catfish on trotlines with goldfish and black salties. Bream have been doing well on crickets. Bass are hitting bass minnows and brooders. No report on crappie. A few anglers have already been catching some nice walleye on brooders.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are still doing well on crickets. Bass are biting on bass minnows or plastics. Some nice crappie have been caught on size 6 crappie minnows and Kalin's 2-inch grubs in the Tennessee Shad color. Catfish are being caught using nightcrawlers and chicken livers.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said the slab crappie were doing great on size 6 crappie minnows, but for some reason they just slowed down recently. The bass have been doing great, though, on minnows. Some catfish being caught on bait shrimp and nightcrawlers. Bream are biting crickets.
(updated 10-5-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said black bass were good the past few days. Some families camped out near Charley that were first-timers from Harrison and Marshall, and they caught a 5-pounder and two 3-pounders using 2-inch Mepps minnows. White bass schooling on top and the fishing is good on the Lazer Blade and in-liner spinners. Charley says to then go to the hot spots where they go down. Fish mainly morning and late afternoon for best success. Catfish are moving shallow late in the evening on secondary drops in 3-7 feet depth. Use shad. Midmorning is tough fishing, but late afternoons you need to drift fish in 15-25 feet water for success. Use shad/worm combination for good results. Bream are running in the grass when the water is up, so float a cricket for good results there. Stripers are in shallow water up around Grandma’s Campground and are and running the riprap. Use shallow-running shad or white crankbait. The drum are still going crazy on crawfish and the jig-n-pigs.
(updated 9-28-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley reported that the cooler weather definitely has the bass fired up! The average size of the baitfish is smaller this time of year, so use smaller crankbaits.Cody said he really likes using 1-inch square bills this time of year. Numbers of fish can be easily caught this way. With the backwaters cooling off, be sure to check those areas for quality fish following the bait. Remember, this is the time of year to "junk fish." Throw everything and anything that replicates a small baitfish and stay on the move! As for catfish, Cody said he has personally not gone after cats lately, but reports from other anglers are coming in saying that it is fair to good.
(updated 10-5-2016) River Valley Marina
(501-517-1250) said water clarity was clear and the surface temperature was 78 degrees. Level and current is normal. The bass bite is good. Bass are hitting spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is good using blood bait and chicken liver. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. White bass reports were good.
(updated10-5-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water was stained this week. There were no level readings or temperature recorded. Crappy are in very few numbers, as the anglers have been slowing catching them. Bass were fair off the jetties with best results using a white spinnerbait or black and blue jigs. Catfish are good and biting below the banks on stink bait. No reports on bream.
(updated 10-5-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said reports of fair catches came in. Bream were fair using redworms or crickets. Crappie seemed to be starting up again, and fair to good results were reported using minnows. Catfishing was fair on cut bait. There were no reports on bass. On the southern end of the pool, the reports mirrored the rest of the area with fair bream catches on redworms, fair to good on crappie with minnows and the catfish biting cut bait.
(updated 10-5-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported the surface temperature was in the mid-70s. The water is dingy but at a normal level. Bass fishing was excellent the past several days. Bass are in about 6-8 feet depth, and anglers were catching them on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Shakey Head Worms. Catfishing is good below the dam on stink bait and cut shad; several good reports came from below the dam. White bass reports were excellent with 3 1/8-ounce Vibric Rooster Tails in white. There were no reports on bream or crappie.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfish reports from the David D. Terry Lock and Dam were good, with shad and skipjack working best. Largemouth and white bass both were good. Anglers are using crankbaits, topwater lures and chartreuse twin tail jigs. Crappie fishing near the dam is fair; try using an orange and white chartreuse bait, preferably a jig. Nothing reported on bream.
(updated 10-5-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said river conditions were clear, and the lake was at normal to full level in the past week. Bass fishing has been good on crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good using stink bait and hot dogs. Bream fishing and crappie were poor.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass are picking up on the stumpy side of the lake, with fair reports using topwater lures like Zara Spooks and buzzbaits. Try the levee side for catfish, where there were fair reports on catches. Baits used were chicken liver, nightcrawlers, shad and chicken hearts.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported crappie fishing has picked up, with crappie around the piers and fair catches reported. Use pink or regular minnows and white twister tails. Bass fishing has been fair, with still most of the catches coming either early in the day or late in the evening. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and black buzzbait seem to work best.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported excellent catfishing in the past week. Nightcrawlers and chicken hearts were the baits of choice.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the back pond that is called Lake Charles was stocked two Fridays ago with catfish for a fishing derby. And people are still doing great on catching them on chicken livers. Bream are biting on redworms and crickets. Bass are hitting bass minnows and brooders. Haven't had any crappie reports from there lately.
(updated 10-5-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said water was dingy and the surface temperature was in the mid-70s. Water is normal. Bass are on the bite. Reports were excellent, with bass being caught in about 6-8 feet of water. Spinnerbaits, topwater lures and Shakey Head Worms were reported getting lots of action. Catfishing is good on cut shad. White bass appear to be very active and some excellent catches were reported. Nothing was heard on bream or crappie.
(updated 9-28-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported tthat crappie were fair in the Maumelle River and throughout the pool, and the catches were deep. Baits used were pink and regular minnows, as well as various colors of tubes and jigs. Catfishing was reported fair on trotlines baited with chicken hearts, skipjack, shad and slicks.
Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900), now run by new owners Larry and Shirley Walters, said water is clear but it’s down to 2 feet at the shop. Bream have been spotty but anglers report some good catches. They’re here and there in the lake, mostly close to the bank. Try using worms. Crappie are in the deeper parts in about 10 feet of water, and reports were good. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and topwaters, and there were reports of good catches around the creek. Also use shad or Road Runners for good response. No reports on catfish or white bass.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 657.16 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 9-21-2016) K Dock Marina
reported the lake level has dropped enough to get the lower road above water for access. The courtesy ramp is also out of the water and is usable. Current level is 659 feet msl. K Dock has two more bass tournaments scheduled for this fall: a benefit for Chadwich (Mo.) High School on Saturday, Oct. 15 and the 3rd annual K Dock Fall Bass Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 23. Call the marina for more details (417-334-2880).
(updated 10-5-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported another week of perfect water conditions with normal level and just two or three generators running. Trout bite is excellent overall, according to the resort. Specifically, rainbows were hitting good to excellent. Brown trout rated fair. Use PowerBaits or wax worms.
Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock
said they’re starting to see some nip in the air – autumn's finally popping out. Cool mornings, warm days, perfect weather for float fishing on the White for trout. The rainbow catch has been fabulous; they're snapping up the shrimp and worm combo. Good sizes among the catch, too; there were several rainbows measured at 16 inches or above. Catch-and-release certificates are being rewarded and soon the new pins will be available to show off on your favorite good-luck fishing cap. Ron is seeing grasshoppers out there now, so they know the hopper patterns and baits should lure some trout to the fishers; good for a try anyway. Ron says come out and spend some time with us on the river – you won't regret it.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) reported a trace of rain last week in Cotter along with cooler temperatures and more wind. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell a foot to rest at 3.2 feet below seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 37.2 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.1 feet to rest at 6.3 feet below seasonal power pool and 20.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 1.2 feet to rest at 5.5 feet below seasonal power pool and 12.9 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation in the afternoon last week with lower generation in the morning and no wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With cooler fall weather and lower lake levels, we should see more wadable water. On the White, the bite has been excellent. 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 (my current favorite is a size 14 hare and copper nymph with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it). The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy 24-30-foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier) on bigger water. You will need an 8- or 9-weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great. Remember that the White River is infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
Berry reminds: “This Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, the Southern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers will put on its annual Fly Fishing Fair. This is its big show and fundraiser for the year. For those of us who have been around for a while, this show was previously known as Conclave. I still find myself calling it that. This will be the 32nd straight year that I have attended this show. The majority of my attendances were as a fly tyer, program presenter, vendor or all three. The big change for this year is the venue. The fly fishing fair that has previously been held at the Baxter County Fair Grounds will now be held at the Vada Sheid Convention Center on the Arkansas State University Mountain Home campus. This is a big improvement. I have attended several events at the Sheid Center and consider it to be a first-rate facility. There is plenty of space to accommodate the legion of fly tyers, an increased number of vendors and plenty of attendees. There are also some first-rate rooms for seminars. This is where my wife, Lori, and I teach our fly fishing class. This year they are adding a new event, the Fly Fishing Film Tour. This is the first and most prestigious cinema experience designed by and for fly fishers. This marks the tour’s 10th season in North America and its first visit to Mountain Home. It is an unprecedented opportunity to see some of the best films dedicated to fly fishing in this country and around the world. The tour will be shown on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Sheid Center. There will be a live auction preceding the event at 6 p.m. There will be typical movie concessions.
“The big draw for me has always been the fly tyers and vendors. As an avid fly tyer myself, I appreciate the artists that we have working with fur and feathers. I have tied at this show for a number of years and I am always amazed with the overall quality of the tyers and their flies. There are several topnotch vendors signed up for this year’s fair. Most of the local fly shops will be there, namely Wishes and Fishes, Dally’s Ozark Angler, Two Rivers Fly Shop, and Blue Ribbon Fly Shop where I work. In addition the Golden Rule Fly Shop will return. I often find things there that I cannot find elsewhere. There is also Temple Fork Outfitters Fly Rods, Fayette Chill, Duane Hada and Berry Brothers Guide Service (my guide company), to name a few. Then there are the seminars. You can learn a lot by attending them and there are plenty, to choose from. I will be teaching on selecting and operating White River Jon Boats. Lori will be addressing “Why Do Some Anglers Catch More Fish Than Others.” There are lots of classes on fly tying, how to fish certain streams and how to improve your cast. If all of this sounds like something that you would be interested in, join me at the Fly Fishing Fair and let me tie you a fly. Don’t forget to sign up for my fly fishing class at ASU also starting next week, at https://asumh.edu/services/community-education.html.”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 553.25 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).(updated 10-5-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
said the fall bite has finally started on the upper end of Norfork Lake. The colder nights and cool days lowered the river section temperature of Norfork to the low 70s. The river turned over last week. Tom says they started fishing the area above Calamity Beach on Thursday; they caught one that day but started seeing lots of bait. On Friday they again only caught one but saw more stripers and bait. On Saturday they had more bites and caught three; Sunday, Tom caught a limit and started seeing schools of stripers that were very active. The fish are shallow and he’s catching them using gizzard shad with baits set at 13-15 feet. One word of caution, if you plan on fishing the upper end of Norfork, make sure you have a good GPS system. Tom run trails on his Lowrance unit that shows where he has been. He follows the trail so the only thing he has to worry about is floating debris and boats. While he’s driving he is always staying alert for waves. If he feels one he slows way down since he knows a boat is around. He goes slowly until he can figure out where it is and he’s safe. The white bass and largemouth are feeding around Cranfield Island and up toward Red Bank. Tom has been getting calls daily to go fishing the past week and half. He canceled four trips because they could not find any stripers that they could catch. Tom says his story has been, “Wait a week and the fish will start biting.” Mike has been one of many clients that kept calling about fishing. The bite started so they scheduled a trip for Sunday. The fog was bad it took longer to get up the river. They set up and had one strike right away, then they had to wait until the sun burned the fog off. It seems the fish do not get active until the sun comes over the hills. They caught two, and about 10:15 they ran into a school and caught two. Mike had his limit and saw a lot of action. This bite will last until late November, and then the stripers will move down toward the bridges.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort
said Norfork Lake fishing has been a little tough the last couple of weeks, but there are bright spots. The lake is finally starting to cool off and is currently in the upper 70s, but still warm for this time of year. The panfish have moved back to the brush and the largemouth bass are starting to move in tighter to the shoreline. Fishing for crappie and bluegill is one of the better bites on the lake. The panfish are on 30-feet-deep brush piles. The crappie will be at all depths, but most will be 15-25 feet down. Vertical jigging a small spoon and jigging a grub are working very well. Live bait is also a very good choice. The bluegills are also 20-25 down over and around the brush. Crickets are one of the better baits to use to catch big numbers of bluegill.
Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are also a good bite. Lou says the main lake deep points have been among the best areas for him over the last couple of days. You will find these species at all depths down to 30 feet. There has been a little topwater action at sunrise and again at sunset, but they are still coming up for a Zara Spook even if you don't see them surfacing. Most of the bigger fish are suspended 10-20 feet down, and a few of them are lying on the bottom. A variety of baits have been working over the last week: deep-diving crankbaits, jig and pigs, and vertical jigging a spoon. Walleye are biting fairly well. Lou said he has caught walleye in almost all types of areas. You will find them in 25-35 feet of water on the bottom. Lou’s favorite bait has been a 1-ounce spoon jigged off the bottom. Lou has been catching walleye along the deep bluff lines, especially close to a point, on big flats and also on points on the shallow side of the lake. They are all over the place, but all at the same depth.
White bass are starting to school up. Lou has found small- to medium-sized schools of white bass in coves at sunrise and sunset. He has found these fish in 18-25 feet of water. Vertical jigging a spoon has been working well. These schools are moving and chasing shad, so you have to do a lot of looking, but when you find them you catch several. The striped bass and hybrid bass bite is still off. These fish moved from the dam area in the later part of September and have been very difficult to find, and when you do find them, they are unwilling to bite. They have scattered out but should start to school up very soon. As the water temperature continues to fall, the striper bite will continually get better. The Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and is at 553.31. The surface water temperature is 77-78 degrees and falling very slowly. The creeks and coves are stained and the main lake is clear.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake rose 0.4 feet to rest at 2.2 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 26.4 feet below the top of flood pool. The tailwater had reliable wadable water every morning last week, with moderate generation in the afternoon. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With cooler fall weather and lower lake levels we should see more wadable water. The Norfork has fished better on the lower water but has been crowded with no wadable water on the White. 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 Green Butt.
Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with school back in session. It has fished a bit better and is yielding some trophy trout. 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). Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
(updated 10-5-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Buffalo is navigable. The smallmouths are still active. John Berry's 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 10-5-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,115.66 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 10-5-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) saidwater is down about 3 feet, but it’s clear and the surface temperature was reading in the high 70s. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie can be found in 25-35 feet of water where shad are schooling. Bass seem to be in the shallower water both early in the day and late. Topwaters are working, as well as drop-shots and spoons. Catfishing is good using stink bait, prepared bait and live bait. Stripers have been good using shiners.
(updated 10-5-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) said the lake turnover has begun. You will notice the green stuff building up on your line as you are fishing, and this has got Beaver Lake stripers on the move using main lake structures and mouths of coves, etc. Stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, treetops and cuts in the shoreline to corner bait. Fishing weighted-down lines will definitely get you some fish. There has been some topwater activity from striper and white bass. Beaver Lake striper fishing will be good with stripers taken on live shad fished on down lines from 20-50 feet deep; also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, and plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on downriggers. Jerkbaits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. With water surface temperatures in the high 70s on the mid- and lower sections, check out these hot areas: Dam and Hybrid Cove (walleye can also be found here), Point 1, Indian Creek (check past the marina near the power lines), Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, Point 5, Point 6, Rambo Creek arm, Rocky Branch (check the bluff in front of the marina, the island and the small islands in front of Larue Cove, and also note the walleye) and Larue (walleye are active). Walleye are also around Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow and the Highway 12 bridge, along with Prairie Creek, Beaver Shores, Hickory Creek and War Eagle. White bass have been seen surfacing at Prairie Creek, Beaver Shores, and Hickory Creek, War Eagle and the War Eagle/White River junction. Walleye can be found from 10-20 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Try wobble jigs tipped with nightcrawlers around riprap and rocky banks. Also try 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/chartreuse combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye. Flicker Shad, Rapala Shad Raps and Bandit 300 Series crankbaits with orange/chartreuse combos are producing well. Check the daily lake level and flow data on Mike Bailey’s website.
(updated 9-28-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy
(479-244-0039) said fishing has been consistent this week with trout biting on various PowerBaits, fished with light terminal tackle. Throwing spoons and Rapalas have also produced nice numbers. The water level is low, so try to focus on the deeper holes. Walleye and white bass have been caught in the deeper waters downstream from Houseman access trolling various Rapalas and jigging live minnows.
(updated 9-28-2016) Beaver Dam Store
reported fly fishing has been exceptionally good of late. There have been some large browns seen in the tailwaters of the Beaver Dam. It’s still a little early for the brown spawn; however, when it does occur, be respectful of the reds that are being laid. Now that the tailwaters have dropped, many new areas have opened up for the fishermen wading. Boaters beware of the low water conditions. Many new gravel bars have exposed themselves, causing dangerous conditions. Browns can be caught using midges and streamers. For rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, nymphing and swinging small soft hackles, scuds and cracklebacks. Good lures are gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series Nos. 4 and 5. Good PowerBait colors are white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies have been pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive and hare’s ear, tungsten copper Johns, WD 40s and Trout Magnets. Catfish are biting on Wicked Sticky catfish bait, along with Magic Bait crawfish/chicken blood bait.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said he closed the bait shop the remainder of the year.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported the lake looking cloudy with a surface temperature of 70 degrees. Level is normal. Bass anglers have been saying the fishing is excellent. Bass are biting spinnerbaits, topwater baits, plastic worms and real worms, and flukes. Catfishing is good on goldfish and catfish bait. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on crappie minnows and jigs.
(updated 10-5-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the water as clear with a surface temperature of 73 degrees. Water is 4 inches lower than normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is fair; the fish are about 8 feet deep and are biting minnows and jigs. Bass fishing has been good on spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing will be good if you try chicken livers or shad. .
Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park
said the adage “time does fly when you are having fun” would be an appropriate saying for a fisherman. Many are out there just to enjoy the beautiful weather and relax. The serious fishermen are still buying the goldfish to bait their lines. Minnow sales are picking up, as well as the worms and crickets. The weather is right. Lake Poinsett is still low.
(updated 10-5-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water is clear and at a normal level. The fishermen, though, were not out in good numbers this week – “they’re out hunting,” the marina reported, indicating it was a slow week overall. Bream were biting well, though, on crickets. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing is good on chicken livers. No reports on crappie.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are running at 325 cfs at the spring and water clarity has been mostly clear with a heavy green tint. The river has been looking great. It has had a heavy green tint, but that is normal for the Spring. It has been lower and that has made wading much easier. Guppies and olive Woolly Buggers have been great. When the trout turn off, a Y2K followed by a small nymph will keep the bite on. It’s only going to get better as the temperatures get lower. Get out and have a great time on the river. Hot pink and chartreuse Trout Magnets are hard to beat with a spinning rod or on a fly rod.
(updated 10-5-2016) 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 10-5-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said said it had no reports from any fishermen in the past week. Last week, with normal water level and a 70-degree temperature on the clear water, the bass were all that were being caught, and only in fair amounts on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwaters.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.37 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said Monday the lake level is just slightly above normal conservation pool. There is increased current in Little River with the gates releasing around 172 cfs as of Monday. Tailwater level is down slightly to 224.8 feet msl. Clarity and visibility has been consistent over the last couple of weeks, ranging 8-12 inches on the main lake structure away from current. The oxbows’ clarity ranges about 10-15 inches depth of visibility. Little River above McGuire Oxbow is stained 3-6 inches; some areas have better clarity. Surface temps, which dropped slightly over the past week, range about 73 degrees early to 85 degrees late, depending on location. It appears the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers replaced some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body. Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body. Largemouth bass are responding well with the cooler nighttime low temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week. Most bass are in good feeding mode over the past few weeks, best from 2-3 pounds on topwaters early along points and creek mouths dumping into Little River. Shad are beginning to relate to creek channels over the past week or two. Points and creeks are good places to start. Main lake grass beds are also a good choice early. Cordell Crazy Shads continue working well in chrome/black color, buzzbaits in black and blue, Bass Assassin Shads, soft plastic frogs, Johnson Chrome Spoons, Jitterbugs, Ken Pops, bone-colored small Pop-Rs, are all good early topwater choices. 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-inch Berkley Power Worm, buzzbaits, frogs and Bass Assassin Shads. Good reactions continue on the spoons using a white or smoke colored 2-inch or 3-inch fat, curly tail grub trailer. Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Silver Phantom, Salt & Pepper and Houdini. Spinner tail Rat-L-Traps in chrome/blue and Zombie Shads, along with the clear holographic colors, and the 1.75 Echo crankbaits in Millwood Magic and chrome/blue colors continue working on points and in creek channels dumping into Little River. Citrus Shad or Tennessee Shad colored Bomber deeper diving crankbaits continue to be best reaction colors in the oxbows over the past several weeks by largemouths and white bass alike.
Whites and hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits in the back of the oxbows. Crappie continue to bite well over the past week on Blakemore Road Runners and vertical jigging jigs in planted brush piles from 10-15 feet of depth. There were no report for blues or channel cats this week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 539.98 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
said tcrappie doing great on mid-range brush piles fished 10-15 feet deep with jigs and minnows. Spotted bass are schooling early in the morning and caught using a Rooster Tail or silver spoon. They are ample near the bottom in 15-30 feet deep water using live crayfish (if you can get or find that bait).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 399.03 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 10-5-2016) Local angler George Graves surface water temperature is in the high 70s and the lake is clear throughout. Fishing has slowed this week mainly due to the lack of fishermen. Bass fishing is only fair with the fish scattered in the shad schools. There are still quite a few small fish in the Shouse Ford area feeding on shad early in the morning. Also some nice white bass mixed in. Look for bigger fish in the lower end of the lake in the big coves at points 2 and 4. Some surface activity in the morning. Use natural colored topwaters along with swimbaits and flukes. Some activity reported in the big cove at the Lodge causeway and the state park marina. A few crappies reported coming from the Shouse Ford area. Look for fish on the deep attractors at 18-25 feet. Use a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube. The fish are still scarce, so you may have to hit quite a few attractors before fish are found. Hybrid fishing is winding down for the deep-water bite in the thermocline at 50 feet in over 100 feet of water. Those in the know are still putting together some decent catches, but it is getting tougher with the fish starting to move shallow. Quite a few small fish reported in the Alpine Ridge area surface-feeding early in the morning. Also try Shouse Ford in the vicinity of Point 15. Most any small topwater lure will work, along with 3-inch swimbaits and casting spoons. Bream are starting to move shallow in the secondary coves at 5-10 feet next to rock or wood cover. Try redworms or crickets.
Hybrid fishing in the deep water at the Iron Mountain area is winding down with the deep thermocline starting to become less pronounced, with the upper-level water starting to cool. The fish will scatter into the big coves along the south side and along the state park. Surface feeding will increase with the cooler water. There are still a few deep fish at 50 feet but they are getting harder and harder to catch. This summer has been very good for deep-water hybrid fishing both for numbers and size with lots of fish over 10 pounds reported. Bream fishing is holding up well especially for shell crackers off secondary points at 15 to 25 feet. Use a short Carolina rig and fish just off the bottom with redworms or crickets. Look for fish in the big coves at mid-lake around Caddo Drive and Arlie Moore. Also up the big creeks such as Big Hill and Brushy. Catfish are showing on both trotlines and noodles at night in Brushy and Big Hill creeks. Bait with hot dogs, cut shad, nightcrawlers, chicken livers, Catfish Charlie and blood bait. Also try live small bream and big minnows.
John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina
said it appears fall was here and now it is gone for a while. Water temperatures have dropped considerably, however. Lake water temperatures are in the 70s throughout. The lake level is lower still at 399.03. The big story on fishing is the schooling fish. Bass can be found schooling from Shouse Ford to Iron Mountain. It is a mixture of all types of bass. You can catch black bass, Kentucky bass, white bass and hybrids. They tend to surface about 7-8 a.m. They are staying up till 9 or 10 a.m. Fish are showing up around Arlie Moore and mid-lake near marker 6. Best baits are topwaters for these fish. The best colors are clear or chrome with blue coloring. Boy Howdy, Zara Spooks and Pop-Rs are great baits to use. The schools are not staying up long so be ready to move to them. Catfishing is slower but still biting. Fish the deep brush piles where the fish seem to be concentrated. No bream report at this time. The crappie bite is slower and harder to find. Look for crappie in the deep brush piles. Drop-show minnows in these brush piles just off the bottom. Crappie are showing up suspended around these brush piles and creek channels. Use your electronics to locate these schools. Fall changes should soon begin to move fish into the shallower cover as they follow the baitfish in their fall pattern. Fish deep and slower. Be ready to move often. Good luck and think deep.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
said he found crappie and spotted bass moving into the mid-range brush piles and was fishing with jigs and minnows. The fish are in the 10-15 feet depth range.
Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are fair on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Crappie are good on the upper and lower river on jigs and shiners; make sure you have your crappie nibbles. No report on bream or catfish.
(update 10-5-2016) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said there were no fishing reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 337.32 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl).
(updated 10-5-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615)
had clear water and a surface temperature ranging 78-82 degrees in the past week. Water is down two feet from normal level. The bream catch overall has been poor, and what is being pulled in is real small. Crappie are here and there in certain areas, but overall the haul is poor as well. Use minnows and jigs to get some nibbles. Bass fishing is good, though. Reports of good catches in the 2-4-pound range. Anglers are using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing was excellent over the past weekend on trotlines. No reports on white bass.
(updated 10-5-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature is in the upper 70s to lower 80s. Waters dingy from dam to dam, with some clear creeks. Bass fishing has been fair, hit and miss on big sacks, crankbaits, Rat-L Traps and spinnerbaits. He has been catching some decent fish with a jig bite out on deep structure. Striped bass and white bass have slowed this week. Try Rat-L Traps, crankbaits, swimbaits and, on an occasion, a topwater bite with pop baits just outside the buoy line. No reports on crappie. Bream fishing has been best around lily pads with crickets and worms..
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 571.67 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort
(870-867-2191/800-832-2276 for out of state) said water temperature has fallen to 77-80 degrees on the surface of the lake, and the lake is clear. Black bass are fair to good and being caught by spybaiting or with crankbaits. Brush piles on main lake and secondary points are still producing the best results when fished with live crawfish for “spots.” Walleye are still good and are being caught jigging CC Spoons. Stripers are fair on live bait. The central and east areas of the lake are still the best areas for these fish. Bream are still fair. Crickets, maggots and red worms are best fished 20-25 feet deep. Crappie are slow. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 25-30 feet deep fished on the bottom near brush. Catfish are fair. Try nightcrawlers, trot line minnows or crickets in depths of 15-20 feet. Mountain Harbor’s guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean ( 501-282- 6104) – for more information.
David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association
said the LOSBA reports good fishing over the weekend. Surface temperature is around 84 and clear water. The full moon made it a little tough but the fish are in the trees (60-80 feet deep) if you can find them. David said one thing he saw Sunday was five floating stripers all around 3-5 pounds. David netted one and it had been hooked, so he wanted to please remind everyone they should never release any caught fish. Not only do the fish not survive, but they count toward your daily limit, so if seen you could be fined for being over the limit.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
reported the crappie and spotted bass are moving into the mid-range brush piles. Fish them with jigs and minnows in 10-15 feet depth.
(updated 10-5-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 64 degrees and rises to 71 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace as the normal pool levels continue until November. Entergy is currently running a 4-hour generation schedule per day. This pattern changes weekly, so anglers need to stay informed of the weekly emails to stay safe. Boaters should navigate the area slowly and always wear a life jacket. Sadly, the rainbow trout season is over until mid-November when the stocking program begins again. The vast majority of trout have either been caught or migrated away from the dam. The few fish that remain are extremely wary and almost impossible to catch. A 5-foot drawdown is scheduled for Lake Catherine in November, which will be in place until early March. Thousands of threadfin shad have migrated into the tailrace in search of cooler water to spawn. Interestingly enough, few white bass or stripers have moved in to feed on the baitfish. No topwater activity has been observed and few bass caught in the past few weeks. No catfish or drum catches reported. This lack of game fish catches is normal for this time of year below Carpenter Dam. However, with the big numbers of shad in the area – schools of stripers and white bass can migrate into the tailrace at any time. Fisherman have to be patient and watch for schooling activity. The month of October normally brings good numbers of white bass into the area, along with hybrid bass. Until the fall weather pattern sets in, fishing below Carpenter Dam will be very poor.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.14 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.
(updated 10-5-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported the water as clear and in the 70s. The level and current is normal. Bream are biting fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting fair on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing has been good. Reports have come in of catches on crankbaits, topwater baits and minnows. Catfishing has been good using stink bait.