Hatcheries boosting walleye populations
Hatcheries boosting walleye populations
April 6, 2016

Hatcheries boosting walleye populations

AGFC hatchery biologists recently completed collecting eggs from a few spawning walleye in Lake Catherine, Lake Hamilton, the White River and the Kings River. While natural reproduction can be impacted dramatically by flooding and temperature fluctuations, these eggs collected by hatcheries will can have as much as a 60 percent hatch rate. From only a handful of adult walleye, hatcheries can produce hundreds of thousands of fingerlings to stock in Arkansas's lakes and rivers. Check out today's edition of Arkansas Outdoors to learn more.  
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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.

Central Arkansas

(updated 4-6-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and the surface water temperature is 58 degrees. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms fished around a foot deep. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around cypress trees in 4 to 6 feet of water. Bass are excellent on soft-plastic worms and spinnerbaits fished around the banks. Catfishing is excellent on worms and chicken livers.

(updated 4-6-2016) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said crappie are biting fairly well in 3 feet of water on jigs or minnows. Bream fishing is good on crickets or redworms. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is good.

(updated 4-6-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said after a few days of two units of generation, we are currently seeing the pattern go back to one unit of generation. Without significant rainfall, we should see this pattern continue with possible windows of no generation. Streamers, pheasant tails, hare’s ear nymphs, micro jigs and sowbugs are working well for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, use hot pink, cotton candy and white bodies on gold and chartreuse jig heads. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.  

(updated 4-6-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said generation was dropped to one unit on Tuesday and at this time is one unit around the clock. This could change to a shorter period of generation later in the week if the lake level stays consistent at the 459 ft. level. At this time no wading is possible but drift fishing is available on the one unit flow. The work on the dam should be completed within two weeks and the normal lake level will return to the 462 ft. level.  So barring any large rain events, we should see some low water levels soon in the river. The weather is warming, and some insect activity is being seen.  With a little luck and low water, the caddis hatch should start soon.

(updated 3-23-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been excellent. Lower flows are expected the rest of the week as long as heavy rains do not fall. Be mindful of rising water while wading. The hot flies have been prince nymphs, pheasant tail nymphs and San Juan worms. Trout Magnets have been working very well for spin fishing anglers as well.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.55 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).

(updated 4-6-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is 2.49 feet below normal pool and falling. Crappie fishing is very good in the rivers and in the main lake with minnows and jigs. The crappie are up shallow from 18 inches to about 5 feet deep. Some river walleye are still being caught on jigs tipped with minnows and grubs, and some lake fish are being caught on drop-shotted live bait and plastics, as well as some crankbaits. Catfishing has been up and down with the fronts. Bass fishing is good for all three species, with some post-spawn, some spawning and many pre-spawn fish. The hybrids and white bass are still biting well in the rivers and the lake. Some are spawning and some are eating well on live bait, spoons and in-line spinners. There is a little topwater action going on.

(updated 3-30-2016) Cody Smith at www.fishgreersferry.com said Greers Ferry has been fishing extremely well over the past few weeks.  Many male fish of all species are headed to the bank and are on flats and in the rivers near prime spawning areas. Last week’s cold snap brought howling winds and cold temperatures, which delayed the spawn. The last few days we have seen another rise in temperature and fish activity. 

(updated 3-9-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is murky and the surface temperature is slowly rising. Bream are fair. Crappie are biting excellently on minnows fished deep out near the island. Bass are biting well on chartreuse jigs. Catfishing is fair on minnows. The fishing should get really good after the lake settles from the incoming rain.  

(updated 3-2-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Itty Bit Swim’Rs in monkey milk, pennyback shad, blue ice shimmer and Cajun cricket in 4 to 10 feet of water. Catfishing is good on worms, shad and minnows. Bass are biting buzzbaits and worms. White bass are biting well on Johnson Silver Minnows and Bobby Garland Itty Bit Swim’Rs. Bream are biting on crickets and worms.  

Overcup Landing had no report.

(updated 4-6-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said the water is clear and 60 degrees. Bream are fair on crickets in 6 to 20 feet of water. Crappie are excellent on Hot Grubs and minnows; they seem to be pulling into shallow water to spawn. Bass are excellent on white Rooster Tails. Catfishing is slow. White bass are biting well.   

(updated 4-6-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water is 0.3 feet above the spillway and the surface water temperature is 59 degrees at mid-lake and 62 degrees at the west end. Largemouth bass are biting very well on wacky-rigged worms, spinnerbaits, jerk baits and any other shallow-water technique. The best bite is on the north side of the lake where you can find water 63 degrees and warmer. Spotted bass are biting well on crankbaits and jigs in 3 to 10 feet of water. White bass are west of Arkansas Highway 10 and are being caught on white jigs, Rooster Tails and grubs. Crappie are biting well on crappie minnows and jigs; they are moving to the banks to spawn. Bream are still out in 20 to 25 feet of water and are biting fairly well on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good on small bream, chicken livers and stink bait in 15 to 20 feet of water. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said many catfish have been caught in the last couple of weeks, since the lake was stocked. Chicken livers , bass minnows and shrimp have been working well. Some bream are biting on crickets. Crappie are fair on pink minnows. Bass have been hitting some on crankbaits and bass minnows.

(updated 4-6-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said the spotted bass have been plentiful at the spillway and biting well on brooder minnows. A very few smaller walleye have been caught lately on brooders. Bream are starting to hit crickets. Catfish have been good on chicken livers and night crawlers . A few anglers report catching crappie on no. 6 crappie minnows in the backwaters.

(updated 4-6-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie have been hitting a little on pink minnows. Bream have been slow on crickets. A few bass have been caught on spinnerbaits. Catfish are slow, but a few have been caught on chicken livers and bass minnows.

(updated 4-6-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said some anglers have been catching crappie on blue jigs and bass minnows. Bass are fair on no. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish are biting chicken livers and night crawlers. No report on bream.

(updated 4-6-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is at normal level and the surface water temperature is 61 degrees. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets and worms near the bank in 2 feet of water. Crappie are fair on minnows in 2 to 4 feet of water. Bass are biting well on crankbaits. Catfishing is good on worms.   

(updated 4-6-2016) The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is muddy and the surface water temperature is 68 degrees. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on blue/white jigs. Bass are biting well on black spinnerbaits, black crankbaits and black/red soft plastic lures. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers.    

(updated 4-6-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is high and the surface water temperature is 60 degrees. Bream are biting well on cricket fished along the bank in 5 to 6 feet of water. Crappie are biting well on jigs fished 5 to 6 feet deep. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished along the bank. Catfishing is slow. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is dingy and the surface temperature is 58 degrees. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Yo-yos baited with minnows have also worked well. Bass are biting well on soft-plastic worms. Catfishing has been good on hot dogs and worms.

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.04 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).

(updated 3-23-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said the water temperature is 50 to 55 degrees and the water is stained. Black bass are biting well in the 10 to 15 foot range. Try jigs, jerk baits and pearl-colored swim baits and flukes. Wiggle Warts and spinnerbaits are working well on breezy days. Crappie are slow but improving on live minnows and small soft plastics. They are not on the banks yet, so concentrate on brush and trees in 10 to 15 feet of water. Walleye are slow, but a few can be caught on crankbaits and night crawlers. White bass are slow right now. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said the water is about 53 degrees from the recent cold fronts. A lot of smallmouth are on the beds. There’s a lot of color in the water in the Theodosia arm. Fishing is best in the backs of creeks closest to the dam. Wiggle Warts and Rock Crawlers are the best bets for bass right now. White bass are still in the backs of some creeks. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is fairly clear to dingy. The river is running at normal level with 3 to 4 generators running. Trout fishing has been good on Power Worms, but there’s been a lot of moss lately, which makes fishing more difficult. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said last week, the White River saw moderate generation with no wadable water. The bite has been a bit slow. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (size 8-10), Y2Ks (size 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead, size 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 hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with a hare and copper suspended below it). It is time for the big caddis hatch, which usually provides the best dry fly fishing of the year. I have observed a few caddis on the White and have had a report of a decent hatch at Rim Shoals. These are decent-sized flies, about size 14. Before the hatch, fish prince nymphs. When you see top-water activity but no insects, switch to a green butt or a partridge and orange. When you see trout taking adults from the top, switch over to an elk hair caddis. The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy 24- to 30-foot sink tip lines (350 grains or heavier). You will need an 8- or 9-weight rod. This is heavy work, but the rewards can be great.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 553.89 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).

(updated 3-30-2016) Guide Steve Olomon ssaid the water temperature is in the low to mid-50s. There were a few bass coming up chasing shad early that would hit a Zara Spook Jr. or a jerk bait. It will get better when the water warms a little more. They were also hitting a 4-inch swim bait reeled very slowly. The stripers, hybrids and a few walleye are hitting stick baits at night. The bite starts right at dark. They have been caught all over the lake, just remember to reel your lure slowly. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the weather has been unpredictable, but the rain helped the striper bite; it brought some color to the creeks and warmed the lake a couple of degrees. The stripers have been biting all over the lake from Red Bank, Cranfield, Bennett’s Bayou to Big Creek. Find a creek with water depth less than 40 feet and schools of baitfish and the stripers will be around. In some areas, the bite only lasts until the sun comes up. In other areas of the lake the bite can last until 10 a.m. Threadfin and small gizzard shad on light lines with just a split shot fished about 80 feet behind the boat works very well. Keep looking and moving until you find active fish. Visit www.FishNorfork.com to learn all you need to know about fishing Norfork Lake.! Be sure to check out the spring striper tactics article on the site.

(updated 3-2-2016) Larry Olson of Hand Cove Resort said the night bite for stripers has been very good. Last night Larry boated 15 fish by 2 a.m., two hybrids and the rest being stripers. All fish were under 15 pounds, but they were aggressive and striking a Smithwick Rogue. All were caught east of the dam in the main Big Creek area. Surface water temperature is in the 50s. Last night was a good night. By 2 AM I boated 15 fish, 2 hybrids and 13 stripers the largest being about 15 pounds. They were all pretty aggressive, all but one took my Rogue in the mouth. All were caught east of the dam in the main Big Creek areas. The water temperature was in the 50s.

(updated 4-6-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork Tailwater saw some wadable water last week, but it fished very poorly. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (size 18-22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead), and soft hackles (size 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 and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite combination has been a cerise worm with a Sunday special dropper. 

Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.40 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).

(updated 4-6-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and high. The surface temperature is 59 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets around woody cover. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around brush tops. Bas are biting well around rocky areas on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are slow.   

(updated 4-6-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper are making their way up the river and creek arms to feed. There has been some nice top water action! Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Beaver Lake Striper in the White River and War Eagle arms are feeding heavily throughout the day, gorging on shad.  Run live shad on lightly weighted lines, free lines, balloons and planer boards for some good results. The white bass run is in full swing. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including grubs, spoons and Rooster Tails in orange, chartreuse and white. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water. This week’s hot spots for stripers include Hybrid Cove near the dam, Indian Creek, Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Blackburn Creek, Monte-Ne, War Eagle and the War Eagle/White River Jucntion.  Walleye are in the creek and river arms finishing their spawn. Walleye can be found from 5 to 15 feet deep, depending on areas you fish. Three-way rigging Rapala Original Floating Minnows has worked well. Try orange/chartreuse slow-death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers baited with night crawlers and minnows.

(updated 4-6-2016) Beaver Dam Store said water levels are returning to normal levels and many areas are accessbile for anglers. Fly-fishermen are doing well on egg patterns, big nymphs, hare’s ears, midges and pheasant tails. It won't be long until the white bass make their way into the tailwater. These fish make for a great meal, so bring the kids, neighbors and family out to the tailwater. While fishing for trout, try Power Bait in white, red, chartreuse or pink, tipped with wax worms or night crawlers. You can also troll downstream from Bertrand Boat Launch with Berkley Flicker Shads and Rapala Original Floating Minnows. Colorado spoons also have been producing numbers of fish.

(updated 3-30-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said fishing week has been excellent. Generation has slowed, and many baitfish have worked their way up the tailwaters, bringing sport fish with them. The walleye spawn is pretty much over, but we are still catching them on various crankbaits. White Bass are being caught between Beaver Town and Holiday Island on Rapalas. Trout are being caught on spoons and on Power Bait loaded onto light terminal tackle. Pay attention to the bait balls and thermocline and you will get on the fish.

(updated 4-6-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said Lake Elmdale is 6 inches below normal. The water is mostly clear, except in some shallow areas that were stirred up by wind. This lake clears up quickly, so expect visibility to be at least 3 to 4 feet by the weekend. The current surface temperature is 57 degrees. The cold fronts have sent the crappie deeper than they were. People caught crappie in 12 to 16 feet of water Saturday evening on minnows fished around Preachers Point and the main flood overflow at the end of the dam. Bass are biting fairly well on shaky head jigs tipped with a redbug finesse worm. Any crayfish-colored bass jig also should get a bite. Stay off the shoreline and find the brush piles near drop offs in 8 to 16 feet of water to find the larger fish. Bream are biting well on redworms fished 3 feet under a bobber. Redear are aslo biting well, but they will be found on the bottom in 11 feet of water. No reports of catfish have come in, but you should be able to get bit fishing cut perch or live minnows in 8 to 16 feet of water. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are slow. Bass are fair on soft plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on stink bait. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and 58 degrees. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms set 4 to 6 feet deep along the banks. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished 4 feet deep in brush. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft-plastic worms fished in brush 6 feet deep. Catfishing is good on chicken livers.  

Northeast Arkansas

(updated 3-30-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said some bass are being caught, and a few people have already reported some bream bedding activity. There have been some good reports of crappie catches lately and the bait shop is selling a lot of minnows. No report on catfishing this week. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is dingy and the surface water temperature is 57 degrees. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around the deep ends of docks. Docks in 20 feet of water are the best places to look. Bass are fair on Zoom Flukes fished around the ledges. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers. 

(updated 3-16-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 430 cfs and water clarity is clear. The river is looking great. Y2Ks and Guppies have been hot on the fly and hot pink Trout Magnets and yellow spinners have been hot spin fishing.

(updated 3-30-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are fair on minnows fished in brush around the river. The fish seem to be holding at 6 to 7 feet deep. Bass are fair on crankbaits and green pumpkin tube baits around any creek mouths intersecting with the river. No report on bream, catfish or walleye.    

Southeast Arkansas

(updated 3-30-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are around 58 degrees in the main channel of the river, but up to 68 degrees in protected backwaters. Water visibility is low all around, about 6 inches in the main channel to just under a foot in Lake Langhofer and protected backwaters. Fishing pressure has returned and the banks are getting beaten hard, making it tougher to get bites shallow. Some fish can be found on the first ledge from spawning flats. We're not having much luck on the main channel at all. Shallow- to medium-diving crankbaits and soft plastic craws are producing the most bites.

(updated 3-30-2016) Cane Creek State Park said bass are starting to hit a wide variety of worms and Rapalas. Crappie are biting well on shiners. Catfish are really biting well on live bait. Bream are starting to bite well on worms.

(updated 3-16-2016) Local angler Geoff Wright said few folks were fishing last week with the rain. The water is very high, covering many boat docks and piers. Boating conditions have been dangerous with the water so high and dirty. 

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.82 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).

(updated 4-6-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water level continues falling and is 8 inches above normal pool. Current decreased as discharge at the dam was 9,000 cfs Monday.  Surface water temperature is 60 to 67 degrees, depending on time of day, rain and wind. Some boat ramps still have not reopened and the Millwood State Park remains closed for repairs. The U.S. Corps of Engineers is replacing many missing river buoys along Little River. Water clarity is 6 to 9 inches away from current in the main lake. The visibility in Little River is 6 to 9 inches as well, with some oxbows having 10 to 15 inches of visibility. Warmer, stable weather has improved the bass bite, and many large fish have been caught. The best activity has moved to the morning hours. Chatterbaits, bulky worms and spinnerbaits have been the best bets in late morning around any clear water you find. Firetiger, black/blue and or Texas craw are the best colors lately. Bang Die Dappers and Boss Shiner swim baits are working rigged on a swim bait belly hook with a 3/16- or 3/8-oz. weight.  Bass Assassin Shads in Grey Ghost, Mississippi Hippie, and “Bad To The Bone” colors are catching nice 3-4 lb Largemouths in newly sprouting lily pad stems and shoots near cypress trees. Rat-L-Traps in red shad, Toledo gold, and white zombie are working when deflected off stumps and timber near spawning flats and around cypress trees. Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits in chartreuse flash, red crawfish and oxbow colors are working outside spawning flats where creek channel bends wind near the bank and out again. War Eagle spinnerbaits in Chartreuse/white, and Firetiger were taking nice Largemouths up to around 4-5 lbs last week along vegetation lines and dead lily pad stems in Mud Lake and Horseshoe. Schools of white bass are still biting between White Cliffs and the Highway 71 Bridge at Wilton and Patterson Shoals. Backwater sloughs feeding Little River, just out of the main river current, were holding some good schools of whites over the past several weeks.  These Bass were hitting Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits, Rat-L-Trap Tail Spinners, Little Georges, Little Cleos, and medium-running cranks from 4-9 feet deep.  These White Bass are beginning to wrap up their annual spawning run up Little River and starting to scatter in large schools. Crappie continue improving and have been caught over the past several weeks hugging cypress trees in 3-6 feet of water on jigs, small spinnerbaits, Rocket Shads, Blakemore Roadrunners and yo-yo's baited with shiners. Catfish continue biting consistently over the past week in Little River on trotlines using cut bait, chicken hearts and gizzards set 12-16 feet deep.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.21 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).

(updated 3-16-2016) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported the water surface temperature is 61 degrees. The water is muddy on the north half of the lake and stained from Point 7 south. Bass are hitting 3/8-oz. KVD Special spinnerbaits in white with silver blades, shad-colored jerk baits and Alabama Rigs. Bass seem to be holding away from the bank a few feet. The sunshine and warmer temperature should have the males roaming the bushes. Crappie are biting well all over the lake. Use 2-inch Kalins grubs in shad or popsicle colors around brush tops and laydowns along the shore. For water safety information, visit http://watersafety.usace.army.mil.

(updated 3-30-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are staging and spawning. Check out shallow spawning areas with minnows and jigs for best results.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 408.03 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).

(updated 4-6-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 60s. The water is clear up to Point 14 and slightly stained up to Point Cedar. Bass fishing is good from mid-lake to Shouse Ford. The spawn seems to have started because the best pattern now is a Carolina-rigged lizard dragged slowly off points in the spawning coves. Most fish are on the small side and are probably males. The size should pick up when the bigger females move into the nesting areas.  Also some bigger fish are coming on spinnerbaits thrown in the coves. Some nice spotted bass are showing off the bluff banks between points 14 and 15 and on the west side of Goat Island.  Throw a 4-inch Texas-rigged worm in green pumpkin and work down the slope to about 20 feet deep. Quite a few nice reports of crappie catches are coming from the Point Cedar area. Look for fish in coves and pockets with lots of brushy cover. Throw a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube next to the brush.  Also try minnows under a float. A few hybrids are starting to show in the Shouse Ford area. Since the fish are still scattered, trolling is the best method. A small, five-arm umbrella rig loaded with 4-inch curly tail grubs or swim baits is hard to beat.  White is the best color with chartreuse being a distant second. Troll the rig about 100 feet behind the boat at about 2 MPH. A few bream are starting to move into the shallow coves with cover.  Use redworms or crickets. 

(updated 4-6-2016) John Duncan with Yo-Yo Guide Service has the following reports for DeGray:

Iron Mountain Marina said John fished the Shouse Ford area yesterday. Water temperature is 64 degrees. Crappie have moved off brush piles, and are moving to 6 feet of water, preparing to bed. Both black and white crappie are in the shallows. Black/chartreuse seem to be the best color combination for jigs. Some trolling also is taking place in the Shouse Ford area, but there are no reports of catches. Bass are biting well on worms and crankbaits fished around the button brush. Jeffrey Lockwood with the Corps of Engineers said the lake eased back into flood pool last week, but returned to conservation pool on March 31.  The level is remaining fairly constant.  Water temperatures were in the high 50s.  The crappie bite improved as they are moving shallow.  Senkos and wacky-rigged worms were producing bass from the button bush out to 8-feet deep.  Some bedding activity was observed as bass prepare to spawn. Jonathan at the state park marina said bass are moving to the beds. The best crappie reports are coming from the Shouse Ford area. Very little boat traffic is occurring in the mid-lake section. Caddo Valley Bait Shop said crappie are shallow and biting minnows and jigs. Kalin’s lemon meringue and popsicle-colored grubs are selling fast. Many bass are being caught drop-shotting as well.

South-Central Arkansas

(updated 3-23-2016) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said bass are hitting on crankbaits, Zoom Brush Hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live and prepared catfish baits. Tight lining using worms and catfish baits also is working well. Crappie are biting on minnows and jigs in the upper lake. For lake information or a camping reservation please call White Oak Lake State Park at 870-685-2748 or stop in at the Visitor Center.

(updated 4-6-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said anglers are catching bass on jigs, jerk baits and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting in backwater areas. No report on bream or crappie.

(updated 4-6-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said anglers are still catching a few bass in the shallows. No report on bream or crappie.

(updated 3-9-2016) ​Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.

West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 344.26 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 

(updated 4-6-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is 60 degrees. Bass are biting well on green soft-plastic worms fished around brush. Crappie are biting well on jigs fished around woody cover. Catfish and bream are slow. 

(updated 4-6-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the main river is dirty and the creeks are dingy. Very few backwaters are clear. The surface water temperature is in the upper 60s to low 70s. Bass fishing has been excellent with a slow filter of bass moving shallow. With so many ways to catch them at this moment, it is a free-for-all. Chatterbaits have been among the top baits. Swim jigs, spinnerbaits, lizards, stick worms, flipping baits like Bamboozie beavers and lipless crankbaits are all working in the shallows and off of drops to deep water. There is a topwater bite early and late, which lasts all day on cloudy days. Buzzbaits, Whopper Poppers and frogs have all been good bets. Skipping a Zoom Fluke or Scam Shad across the surface also has worked well. Crappie have been improving, with some moving shallow on stumps and around grass. Minnows, chartreuse jigs, black/chartreuse jigs and pink jigs have been good bets in 12 foot of water. Bream fishing has been great in small creeks and around log jams in the river. Catfish have been excellent in the creeks on minnows and worms. Some good 5- to 10-pound fish have been holding at the creek mouths and biting cut shad. Striper fishing has been good in running water on swim baits, top water poppers and spinnerbaits some are making their way up the creeks.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.28 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).

(updated 3-30-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the surface water temperature is 60 degrees. Black bass are biting very well on floating worms, creature baits, large lipless crankbaits and jerk baits. Main lake and secondary points are producing the best results, but some fish have moved shallow to spawn. Walleye are excellent and are being caught shallow in clear water on the east half of the lake. Stripers are very good on live bait and swim baits. White and yellow bass are still very good jigging a small CC spoon or casting a hair jig. Most of these fish are up the rivers. Bream are picking up. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 20 to 25 feet deep. Crappie are biting very well. Try using small spoons, minnows or crappie jigs around 10-20 feet deep near brush. Catfish are biting well on live bait or cut bait in 20 to 25 feet of water.

(updated 4-6-2016) The Trader Bill's Fishing Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner said there are a lot of good fish being caught right now. The spawn is in full swing, and there are beds to be found all over the lake. A lot of fish are also waiting to pull up for the next wave of spawning during the next full moon. Surface water temperature ranges from the low 60s to high 60s. A good tactic to look for that next wave of spawning fish is to cast a Carolina rigged lizard parallel to the bank in 5 to 6 feet of water.  

(updated 3-30-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said white bass are moving up the creek arms to spawn. Spoons and swim baits are working well to find groups of whites.

(updated 4-6-2016) The Trader Bill's Fishing Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner said said there are a lot of good fish being caught right now. The spawn is in full swing, and there are beds to be found all over the lake. A lot of fish are also waiting to pull up for the next wave of spawning during the next full moon. Surface temperature has hovered between 60 and 65 degrees. Bed fishing has been hot, as has a floating worm or Carolina-rigged lizard.

(updated 4-6-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 54 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. The lake is at normal summertime pool and will remain at this level until mid-November. Rainbow trout fishing has been very slow for the last two weeks. Cold fronts are partly responsible for the difficult bite as trout are very susceptible to dramatic changes in temperature. With warmer nighttime temperatures forecasted, the fish will adapt and begin to feed in a more consistent pattern. White bass are making a spawning run to the dam. Anglers are catching them trolling small crankbaits against the current from the bridge to the dam. Jerkbaits and 1/16- to 1/8-oz. jigs also have worked well. Live minnows tightlined over deep water is an excellent way of targeting spawning fish congregated around rock structure. Crappie are in the tailrace, and the spawn is underway. Large females weighing more than 2 pounds have been caught on live minnows and jigging spoons. These fish will be present below the dam until May and then begin to move downstream to the main body of the lake. These fish avoid current flow and will always be found in areas protected from moving water. Freshwater drum have made their way into the Carpenter Dam tailrace and have been caught in deep water with spoons and nightcrawler rigs. These fish are ferocious fighters and can be tasty tablefare when prepared properly. Hybrid bass will be present in the tailrace in April and good numbers can be caught. Stripers often move into the area with the rising of the lake to normal level. These fish often school together and strike topwater baits such as Super Spooks and C-10 Redfins. 

East Arkansas

(updated 3-16-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report. 

(updated 3-16-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report.

(updated 4-6-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is high and the water clarity is good. Fishing is slow for all species.   

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