Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and at normal level. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets in a foot of water around Caney Creek. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs fished in 6 to 8 feet of water around Gold Creek, Dix Creek and Green’s Lake. Bass are fair on white spinnerbaits and dark-colored soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is excellent on yo-yo’s baited with large minnows and goldfish around cypress trees in 6 to 8 feet of water.
Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing
(501-607-0590) had no report.
Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said anglers should expect continued heavy water releases for the foreseeable future. This pattern will eliminate any wade-fishing opportunities, and those planning to drift fish should exercise caution. Egg patterns, San Juan worms, micro jigs and weighted nymph patterns tend to work well. Streamers are an effective pattern during high water conditions. For Trout Magnet fishing, use long leaders and heavy weight with hot pink, cotton candy and purple bodies on silver and chartreuse jig heads. The key for both fly fishing and Trout Magnet fishing during heavy generation is the ability to get and maintain a good presentation of the fly or Trout Magnet using long leaders and heavy weight. 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 (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips
(501-690-9166) said the river continues to be high and swift. The Corps is releasing 8,400 cfs by combining the one generator with flood gate discharge. This is keeping the river about 1 to 1½ feet above the normal two generator level. The lake is dropping at the rate of 4 tenths of a foot per day from the current level of 469.50 as of noon Tuesday, January 26, 2016. This flow will continue until the lake reaches 463. At this time a determination will be made to either continue this pattern until a lake level of 458 ft. or one generator around the clock until the lake reaches 458 ft. This is the lake level which will allow completion of the work being done on the second generator. This should be completed within a couple of weeks from the time this lake level is reached. Use extreme caution on the river at this time due to the swift currents. The river is clear and the best chance for fishing is the slower backwater areas and bends of the river.
James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company
(501-207-1770) said the fishing has been steady throughout the high water. Fish will continue to adjust to the flow and will be feeding more regularly. Excellent fishing can still be had, you just have to work a little harder for it during the high water. Still expect to see the high water for coming weeks. The best fishing is from a boat, but always be extra careful during these high, swift currents. Bigger, brighter flies have been the key. Pink San Juan worms or egg patterns are always a good bet.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 465.98 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said the water level is 4.02 feet above normal pool and falling fast. Surface water temperature is in mid 40s. Hybrid and white bass fishing is excellent around shad in 20 to 40 feet of water. Use in-line spinners, swim baits, hair jigs and spoons. The crappie are hanging around very shallow bushes or are suspended in 15-30 feet of water over deeper water around brush piles or any wood. The walleye in the river are biting on minnows, bream, jerk baits and crankbaits. The small males have moved into the river system, and the females will not be far behind. The best results are going to be on cloudy days and during low light. Hardcore anglers know the night bite is the best for the spawn. Bass fishing is good in shallow water on spinnerbaits and crankbaits on the edges of deep flats, the ends of points and 45-degree banks. Bluff walls are productive areas with jerk baits, C-rigs and football head jigs.
Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) said the water is clear and high with a little moss floating at the top in some areas. Bream are fair on worms. Crappie are excellent around the docks on minnows fished 4 to 6 feet deep. Catfishing is slow. No report on bass fishing. Things should begin to pick up this week with the nicer weather.
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.
Jolly Roger’s Marina
said the water is 0.5 feet above the spillway and the surface water temperature is 44 degrees. Bass are biting well in 10 to 15 feet of water on spinnerbaits, jerk baits and dead-sticked wacky-rigged worms. Spotted bass are biting well on jigs and crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water. White bass are biting well west of Arkansas Highway 10. They’re hitting deep-diving Bomber and Bandit crankbaits on the east side of the bridge and Rooster Tails and a jig-and-grub combo on the west side of the bridge. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around brush on the edges of river channel bends in 20 to 25 feet of water. Bream are slow. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers, live bream and stinkbait fished in 15 to 20 feet of water.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Bobby Garland Baby shad and minnows in 4 to 12 feet of water. White bass are being caught on Cajun Spins and Johnson Silver Minnows.
Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bass have been caught on bass minnows and on green pumpkin and watermelonseed soft-plastic lures. Catfish have been fair on stinkbait and nightcrawlers.
Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said the weather finally gave anglers a little break .The smallmouth and Kentucky bass have been biting well on brood minnows. The walleye have also been caught on brooders, but there haven’t been as many as the bass. A few big ones have been produced lately, though. Crappie have bitten well on no. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish have been hitting bait shrimp and brood minnows.
Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said catfish been biting well on black salties on trotlines. Some nice crappie have been caught on pink minnows later in the evening.
Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few crappie have been caught on no. 6 crappie minnows lately. Catfish are biting well on bass minnows and nightcrawlers.
River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is 39.5 degrees at the marina. Bream are excellent on worms fished around brush in 6 feet of water. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs fished around brush in 6 to 8 feet of water. A few white bass also are being caught by crappie anglers on minnows and jigs. No report on black bass or catfish.
The folks at Fish ’N Stuff
(501-834-5733) said the water is high, and fishing from a boat isn’t recommended right now. With all the swift, muddy water, you won’t find much action anyway, except maybe a few catfish or bass in the backwaters.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said crappie are fair on minnows in the far backwaters away from current.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said a lot of anglers tried their luck for crappie with live minnows this week, and fishing was fair. No report on any other species.
Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) is closed until Feb. 8, 2016.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 676.93 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
Sportsman’s White River Resort
(870-453-2424) said the water is very high and swift. There wasn’t a single boat on the water near the resort last weekend.
Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said the lake level at Bull Shoals fell 3.9 feet last week, but is still well above seasonal power pool. On the White, we had heavy generation this week with no wadable water. In an effort to lower the lake levels before the spring rains, the Corps of Engineers opened eight flood gates. The combined outflow and generation equal 30,000 cubic feet per second, the equivalent of 10 full generators. The hot spot has been Bull Shoals State Park. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (sizes 8-10), Y2Ks (sizes 12-14), 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). Streamer fishing has heated up with the high water. With the heavy flows, the fish have been pushed to the bank. 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 line. 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 562.05 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
said the quick drawdown will change the fish movements. The current has increased, so the fish will relate to that more than anything else. Look for them in the river channel of the lake. Stripers now can be anywhere from Robinson Point up to Mallard Point, and in the Howard Cove area. February is a hard month to fish for stripers. In normal years the first part of the month the pattern is the same as January, however with the high water, high water temperature for this time of year, and the lake draw down all bets are off on what and where the stripers will roam. They must feed, that’s one sure constant. Find the shad and you will find the stripers. As the month proceeds, the weather will turn warmer and we should start getting some south winds. That’s when the shad and stripers start moving. Start watching the water temperature and once it’s in the middle to high 50s, start moving up the creeks starting half way up. The shad will start moving and the stripers will follow. If we get a warmer period the second half of February the night bite will start.
Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said in an effort to lower the lake levels before the spring rains, the Corps of Engineers has opened flood gates. Releases on the Norfork equal 10,000 cfs, the equivalent of three full generators. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18-22) 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 (size 18 elk hair caddis). My favorite combination has been a cerise worm with a Sunday special dropper.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.07 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is stained, but is slowly clearing. The surface water temperature ranges from 40 to 45 degrees. The water is still high, but it should be dropping soon with increased releases. Crappie are holding around the edges of channel swings and bends in the river arms. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits, Alabama rigs and jigs in fairly deep water. No report on bream or catfish. Last weekend was the first weekend of the year where the fishing traffic started picking up.
Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) said stripers are using deep water next to road beds, gravel bars, tree lines and bluffs. Stripers up in the White River and War Eagle arms of the lake are in clear water pockets or close to the banks and on the bottom along gravel bars. Use the mud line to your advantage as it will often concentrate stripers along its edge. Try dragging baits close to these areas including along the bottom on gravel bars will get you some fish. The mud line is in the Rocky Branch area, but is beginning to settle. Fishing is good ahead of this mud line. Fishing is good on live shad fished from the surface to about 30 feet deep. Small umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs or flat-line trolled crankbaits such as no. 14 Husky Jerks or Smithwick Rogues are working well. Striper are also being caught at night by trolling main lake points with large surface lures like Redfins and Rapalas on bottom bouncers or three-way rigs. The hot spots for stripers have been main and secondary points in Indian Creek, Rocky Branch, Ford Creek, Cedar Creek, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris and Shaddox Hollow. In the upper section of the lake, stripers have been good around the Highway 12 bridge, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Horseshoe Bend and the War Eagle/White River Junction. The runoff is beginning to clear, so consider moving upriver of the mud line. Walleye are moving into the creek and river arms to spawn. They can be found 5 to 30 feet deep depending on area's you fish. Three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water has worked. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse as well. Bink pro scale 1-oz jigging spoons in white or white/chart combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.
Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service
(479-640-8733) said water levels are starting to go down in the tailwaters and fishing has been steady. Trout have been biting on light terminal tackle with various Power Baits. Pulling spoons and Rapalas have also produced some nice results. Water temperatures are in the mid 40s from Houseman access to Spider Creek. With the high water, boats are able to make it all the way up to Parker Bottoms with ease, which should provide for some great trout fishing. Bank fishing is still an issue in some locations, but as the water starts drop more, that should allow more access.
Beaver Dam Store
said the tailwater is rolling with a lot of water. Fishing white, red, chartreuse or pink Power Bait tipped with a wax worm might catch a fish or two, but there is no wadable water with all the releases in the system. Fly-anglers are better off using this time to break out the tying vise and restocking their fly boxes.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the bait shop at Duck Camp is closed for the season.
Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is murky and at normal level. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on homemade hair jigs fished around rocky points. Catfishing is slow. Bass are slow, but a couple have been caught along the woodline.
Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface temperature is as high as 52 degrees during the warmest part of the day in the shallows. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished in 10 feet of water. Bass are fair on jig-and-trailer combinations. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers. No report on bream.
Lake Poinsett State Park had no report.
Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is very clear and at normal level. You can see the bottom in 20 feet of water right now. Surface water temperature is about 45 degrees. Bass are fair on silver/blue and silver/black crankbaits fished over ledges and points in 20 to 25 feet of water. No report on catfish, bream or crappie.
Lake Frierson State Park had no report.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are at 440 cfs and the water clarity is clear. Fishing has been as good as the weather. Guppies, Ole Yellers and Y2Ks have been the hot flies. Hot pink and white Trout Magnets and yellow and black spinners are working well for spin fishing. Wading is still a challenge. Bring a wading staff.
Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the river is still at flood stage with all the massive releases from Bull Shoals upstream. No report because of the swift conditions.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said the water level is back down to about normal and boat ramps are open again. However, no anglers have been out and there isn’t much to report on the fishing.
Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said one brave soul tried to fish last week. The crappie slowed down a bit, but the bass were still biting fairly well on crankbaits. Catfish and bream are very slow.
Lake Chicot State Park
had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.07 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said the lake level has dropped since last week and is 5.5 inches above normal conservation pool and falling. Heavy current remains in Little River with a discharge around 14,854 CFS as of Monday. Navigation still is very hazardous with the heavy current, floating logs, wide debris fields, and subsurface obstructions. Surface temperatures range from 45 to 50 degrees. Several boat ramps and parks campgrounds have re-opened from recent floods. Some have not yet reopened and the Millwood State Park remains closed for repairs. Water clarity improved slightly last week. On main lake structure away from current, there was 8 to 15 inches of visibility. Visibility in Little River was still 5 to 8 inches. Bass have been slow over the past couple weeks with the cold night temperatures, increased current and muddy water. Recent warm weather has improved bass activity, and several have been caught in the 3- to 4-lb. class over the last week. These fish were roaming flats near cypress trees and vegetation in the warmest period of the bright sun in 2 to 4 feet of water with good clarity. The best reactions were on spinnerbaits and swimming a jig with a pork chunk trailer to get a quick reaction bite. From noon to 3 p.m., large, ¾-oz. War Eagle spinnerbaits in hot mouse, spot remover and chartreuse/white have been working well. Swimming a Real Deal Custom Tackle jig in chili pepper, grape melon wine or watermelon candy/red with a black pork chuck was drawing a reaction near spawning flats. Echo 1.75 Squarebills in Millwood magic, ghost or gold will get a few random bites during the warmer days in flats close to deep creek channel swings as well. Clearer water, again this week, seems to be their preferred hang out, furthest from Little River current. Schools of white bass have re-appeared upriver near White Cliffs and Browns Slough. Backwater sloughs feeding Little River, just out of the main river current, were holding some good schools of whites over the past week. These fish were hitting squarebill crankbaits and medium-running cranks from 4 to 9 feet deep. Two anglers caught more than 50 in a couple hours this past week. No report on crappie. Catfish continue biting consistently over the past week with the current in Little River on trotlines using cut shad, buffalo and chicken livers set 9 to 11 feet deep.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 540.09 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 404.34 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
Local angler George Graves had no report.
Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said catfish are biting well on trotlines using live bait and catfish baits, and tight lining using worms and catfish baits. No report on crappie, bass or bream at this time.
Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said a few crappie are being caught in the backwater lakes. Catfish have been very good on live bait. Bass and bream are slow.
Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said a few bass are being caught on jigs. No report on crappie or bream.
Local angler Jaret Rushing said the water level is back to normal, but fishing reports have been slow due to the weather and few anglers on the water.
Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 361.49 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl).
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland Slab Slay’Rs, Baby Shads and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’Rs in pennyback, monkey milk, blue ice shimmer, Cajun cricket and barbecue chicken in 4 to 10 feet of water. Catfishing is good on minnows, worms and shad. Bream are fair on worms.
Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperatures are in the mid-40s. The river has been hit-or-miss, but the creeks and bays are clearing nicely. Jerk baits, Alabama rigs and jigs have been producing fish in the clear water near channel swings and drops with stumps. Near the river, fish jigs and plastics very slowly in 4 to 5 feet of water out in front of the spawning flats. Crappie have been good in deep water on minnows and jigs. Striped bass and white bass are biting around the outlet of the nuclear plant on swim baits, spinnerbaits, bucktail jigs and grubs. Catfish haves been good around the mouths of creeks on worms, crayfish and cut perch.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.92 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort
said the water temperature is 42 to 46 degrees. Black bass are biting well on peanut butter-n-jelly jigs and trailers. Stripers are biting well on brood minnows and Alabama rigs near major creek channels. Some white bass and spotted bass are mixed in near these fish as well. One angler reported catching some good bream while fishing for crappie over brush with rosey red minnows. Crappie are biting well on minnows, crappie jigs and spoons fished near brush in 20 to 30 feet of water.
The Trader Bill's Fishign Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner
said larger bass can be found on Alabama rigs and larger, ¾-ounce jigs fished deep. This time of year, a 20-pound sack winning a tournament is not uncommon. The up-and-down water levels and unusually warm days are making things a little trickier to figure out lately.
Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
said water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 49 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Rainbow trout are plentiful below the dam to the bridge and are being caught by boat and bank fisherman alike. Rebel Minnow crankbaits, Rapala jerkbaits and 1/16-ounce jigs in white or gray make perfect artificial lures to entice strikes. This pattern will be consistent in current flow and gives anglers a good chance for success. Bait anglers are doing well using corn, redworms, wax worms and nightcrawlers combined with a marshmallow floater. Small live minnows have also worked under a bobber on the edge of current. Boaters have targeted larger trout by trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current that imitate shad or crawfish over deeper water below the bridge. Walleye will begin to spawn in the tailrace most likely in the next 10 or so days. The smaller males will first move up and prepare the spawning beds for the females, which will migrate in shortly afterwards. These fish will be present until mid-April and then move downstream to the main body of Lake Catherine. Trolling the main channel is an excellent technique for finding bedding areas. During the drawdown, crankbaits that run from 3 to 6 feet are best because of the shallow conditions. Shad or crawfish patterns are preferred and can also be cast from the bank or from an anchored boat. Generation times are best. Once found, target the walley with Carolina rigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers. No striper or white bass catches have been reported this week, but this can change quickly as large striped bass will migrate to the dam in search of trout and shad to feed on. White jigs in ¼-ounce weights are a good choice to catch these aggressive fish. Many underwater hazards are present below Carpenter Dam. With a 5-foot drawdown in effect until March, boaters and wade fisherman are advised to be aware of these dangers and always wear a life jacket when on the water.