Trout regulations proposed for Greers Ferry Tailwater
Trout regulations proposed for Greers Ferry Tailwater
October 19, 2016
Trout regulations proposed for Greers Ferry Tailwater
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Trout Management Program came forward at the Commission’s Oct. 13 meeting with a list of proposed trout-fishing regulations concerning the Greers Ferry Tailwater. A public survey has been placed online to gather comments before the regulations are presented for approval during the Commission’s next regular meeting, Nov. 17. 
Earlier this year, the Trout Management Program held a series of public meetings to revisit and revise the Greers Ferry Tailwater Management Plan. The plan calls for a regular review period including public involvement to ensure that the fishery is being managed with the expectations of the angling public in mind. 
The following regulations changes are being presented for public comment:
• Replace 16- to 24-inch protected slot limit for all trout species on Greers Ferry Tailwater with a five fish per day limit where only one may be over 16 inches.
• Enact a no-culling rule for all trout species on Greers Ferry Tailwater.
• Allow mobility-impaired anglers to fish downstream of wooden vehicle bridge in JFK Park.
• Convert the JFK and Mossy Special Regulations Areas into year-round catch-and-release areas.
• Convert the Cow Shoals Seasonal Catch-and-Release Area into a year-round catch-and-release area.
• Clarify the sunset/sunrise times for Cow Shoals Catch-and-Release Area.
An explanation of each regulation is available on the public comment survey available at The survey will be available until Nov. 12.
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(updated 10-19-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and is at normal level. Bream are good are biting about 10 feet off the bank and about 5 feet below the surface. Anglers are using worms and crickets. Crappie reports were poor in the past week, but there were reports of some early morning catches on minnows or jigs. Try the Highway 89 bridge area. Bass have rated fair early in the morning on plastic worms or topwater lures. Catfish are biting fair on worms, cut bait and minnows.
(updated 10-19-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie fishing was fair using pink or regular minnows, as well as Baby Shad and jigs. Catfishing is excellent on limbs and trotlines using slicks or shad. Nothing else was reported.

(updated 10-19-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red River is currently receiving several hours of weekday generation with less generation on weekends. It’s a great time to be on the Little Red River with the trees changing colors and the browns starting to move around. For fly fishing, we recommend streamers, midges, pheasant tails and hare’s ear. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend white and cotton candy-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 ( for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule. 
(updated 10-19-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the water remains low and clear on the Little Red with afternoon generation from about noon to 5 p.m. on the weekdays and just one hour in the evening on the weekends. Fishing is good on small nymphs and emergers. The brown trout are beginning to move but have not started the spawn. Greg’s fishermen caught several small browns and one 19-inch brown this week. Fishing slowed on Monday but was better on Tuesday. It seems that the fishing is better after a generation period during the week. The low clear water with little current is usually harder to fish because the fish are easily spooked.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.60 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 10-19-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level at Greers Ferry lake is at 460.72 feet it is 0.68 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and falling. The temperature is in the mid 70s. The rain expected with the cooler weather should really put the bite on overdrive of all species. The black bass are still all scattered from 0-40 feet, with a lot of junk fishing working better than anything else. Try out deep with a C-rig or swimbait. Shallow jigs and spinnerbaits are working on windblown stuff. The bream are guarding fry again and can be caught with small crankbaits, crickets and crawlers in 0-16 feet. The crappie are still hanging around in a lot of different areas with bait, in pole timber, over brush piles and out in the middle of nowhere. Try beetle spins, jigs and minnows and trolled crankbaits. Catfish are pretty scattered as well and are biting at different times on a variety of baits in 10-40 feet of water. The walleye are staying grouped more on the flats. Crawlers and shad-colored crankbaits working as well as a drop-shot minnows in 18-40 feet. The hybrid and white bass are eating pretty well under cloud cover on in-line spinners and spoons with some fish coming up at various places around the lake. And if you have some wind, the bright sunny days are good as well. Find the bait and the fish will be close.
(updated 10-12-2016) Cody Smith of Fish Greers Ferry guide service reports water surface temperatures are in the mid-70s and peaking each day around 77 degrees. These surface temperatures are about a month behind for this time of year. Coupled with warmer-than-average temperatures and no measurable rainfall in close to a month, our game fish are spread out with the shad and forage, utilizing depths of 0-30 feet. Small windows of feeding activities and roaming fish are what we are dealing with here right now in Greers Ferry Lake. As soon as we get a rain with some runoff, look for the bite to pick up in a hurry. Until they see the conditions and weather change, Cody say he looks for the lake to stay in a steady funk, with an abrupt upswing in the bite once they get the surface temps into the upper 60s. Right now the best bite is definitely coming on live bait offerings in the 12-18-feet zone with a mix of species coming in daily. They have a wave of walleyes starting to use some of the cover in shallower depths. Cody says he look for a much more consistent bite over the coming weeks. 

(updated 10-12-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is dark and the level has been high but is slowing dropping down to normal. Bream have been biting well on live worms and have even been nibbling on plastic worms. Crappie appear to be picking up, rating fair and biting minnows and crickets. Bass fishing has been good on plastic worms. A few catfish have been caught but they were not big.

(updated 10-19-2016) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said they are needing some rain and cooler days. They did have a 32-pound and 24-pound blue catfish caught last weekend. Water level is normal and temperature is around 78 degrees. Clarity is good. Bass are good in shallow water and around brush. They are hitting worms and crankbaits. Bream are good around grassy places away from the banks fishing 2-3 feet deep. Catfish are fair on hot dogs, nightcrawlers and bass minnows. Crappie are picking up but still slow, catching a few in 4-5 feet of water on jigs and minnows, The crappie range in size from 10-14 inches. 

(updated 10-19-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said water was clear and at a normal level. Reports from anglers seemed the same as the previous week. Bream bite has been steady and good on worms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows. Bass fishing has been good using topwater baits and other lures. Catfishing is fair on shad. Fosters has all anglers’ needs in the way of bait and food, and also sells non-ethanol gas.
(updated 10-19-2016) Hatchet Jack's (501-758-4958) said crappie fishing is fair, with crappie in 14-20 feet of water. Use small crappie minnows for bait. Bass are fair around the main lake points on spinnerbaits, Sinkos and jerkbaits. Reports on catfish were fair, with shad, slicks and skipjack working best. Nothing on bream or white bass.
(updated 10-12-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported the cool weather has changed from fishing deep to shallow water, and fishing is really good! Black bass are excellent. They are biting on wacky rig worms and spinnerbaits both early in the morning and late in the day. Blacks can be caught in 3-10 feet. The cooler weather has activated the bass. Would be trying shallow lures and spinnerbaits. Kentucky bass are excellent and are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 4-9 feet of water. They are mixed in with the black bass. White bass fishing is excellent. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons or deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. They are all over the lake. They are being caught schooling in the Main Lake on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails. Crappie fishing has been good. Rain recently has improved the crappie fishing. They are being caught on minnows and jigs. Crappie are 20 feet deep; try the edges of the channels and on the old road beds. Lots of 6-9-inch crappie being caught, so it should be great winter fishing. Bream are good and can be found at 15 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms.  Catfishing is good and they are being caught in 15-20 feet of           water on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. 

(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 10-12-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said the weather change and high flows kept most people off the river the past week. Black bass are scattered and mostly in the backwaters in ambush areas. Use a June bug or worm. Reports have been fair on bass. Catfish are in the backwater and the back side of jetties. They are feasting on shad. Reports were fair. Kentucky bass are fair and are on the back side of the jetty near grass. Try a small 1-inch to 2-inch crankbait for Kentucky bass.

(updated 10-19-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley had no report.

(updated 10-19-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and the current and level are normal. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie appear to be picking up and reports were good using minnows. Bass fishing is food on crankbaits. Catfish are biting well on worms, chicken livers and shad.

(updated 10-12-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said twater level is normal and the clarity is clear. He only heard reports in the past week from bass anglers, but the reports were excellent. Most bass were being caught at the ends of jetties on topwater lures, crankbaits and plastic worms. No reports on bream, crappie or catfish. Miller urged anglers to avoid fishing near the area where the Broadway Bridge is being renovated. The old bridge was brought down Tuesday in a lengthy process and work will continue there for several months.
(updated 10-19-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water is clear and at a normal level. Bream are biting fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish reports were poor in the Clear Lake area, but were good around Terry Lock and Dam, with chicken liver working as the best bait. Fishing was better all around near the dam, which was mostly clear but murky in some spots. Crappie are active in the backwater near the dam and fishing was good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good around the jetties in the dam area; try crankbaits or plastic worms.
(updated 10-12-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported fishing was consistent with last week, with white bass very active and being caught on Rooster Tails. Reports were good. Black bass are good on soft plastic worms. Catfishing is good on skipjack and shad. Crappie are being found in about 8-10 feet or water, with pink minnows working best. There were no reports on bream. Water was clearer than last week and the surface temperature was in the mid-70s. Water level is normal.
(updated 10-19-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) heard good reports from the Murray Lock and Dam area. White bass are biting twister tails. Crappie are good on red, black or chartreuse jigs. Catfishing has been fair using skipjack or shad.

(updated 10-19-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water is low but almost no stumps are showing. Clarity is clear. Bream fishing has been poor for a while. Crappie also are poor. Bass continue hitting crankbaits and basic lures, but reports were just fair. Catfishing is good on worms, minnows and chicken livers.

(updated 10-19-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that crappie are fair at around the stumps at the end of the lake; use minnows or twister tails. Catfishing is fair on chicken liver, nightcrawlers and shad. No reports on bream or bass.

(updated 10-19-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is excellent. Use chicken liver, chicken hearts, nightcrawlers or hot dogs.

(updated 9-28-2016) 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 10-12-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said fishing was consistent with last week, with white bass very active and being caught on Rooster Tails. Reports were good. Black bass are good on soft plastic worms. Catfishing is good on skipjack and shad. Crappie are being found in about 8-10 feet or water, with pink minnows working best. There were no reports on bream. Water was dingy and the surface temperature was in the mid-70s. Water level is normal.
(updated 10-12-2016) Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900), now run by new owners Larry and Shirley Walters, reported water surface temperature was 78 degrees this week, with normal level. Bream are around the shoreline and the bite is good on worms and crickets. Crappie can be found about 15-20 feet deep and reports are good with minnows and jigs. Bass are good; the bass are about 6 feet below the surface near the shore in the mornings and are hitting spinnerbaits, topwater lures and are after the shad. Catfishing is good on cut fish. 

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 655.53 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 10-19-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported water is clear and the river level is normal, with two generators running. Trout fishing is great if you’re going for rainbows, but things slow down in the brown trout side. Try PowerBaits for the best success.
(updated 10-19-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said the Arkansas Ozarks is experiencing an Indian Summer – very mild temperatures in the middle of what should be chilly autumn weather. Shirt sleeves and sunscreen for a while yet. The rainbow bite remains good to very good; browns are skittish but will still snatch at a sculpin or minnow if only out of anger at being harassed while the spawn is on. (Be extremely caution around the spawning beds; don't disturb them by walking or wading through them, or with motor props or jet propulsion.) Best lure this week: Rebel's Teeny Crawfish, followed by the No. 9 CountDown in brown trout or silver/black. Expect the bite to pick up on white and flashy pearl stick baits. Orange PowerBait is a good choice right now, paired with white and/or a tiny piece of shrimp. 
(updated 10-19-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) reported that during the past week, they about an inch and a half of rain, warm temperatures and moderate wind. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell a foot to rest at 3 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is 39 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 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 fell 0.1 feet to rest at 5.1 feet below seasonal power pool and 14.7 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation in the afternoon this 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, they expect see more wadable water. On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a cerise San Juan worm with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it). 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.84 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).(updated 10-19-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the Norfork Lake fall bite is picking up speed with the cooling of the lake. Stripers continue to school in the upper Norfork lake area. Tom has observer trollers and spooners fishing for stripers from Cranfield Island up to Twin Coves. The whites, black bass and hybrids are schooled on the flats in front of Twin Coves. The water temperature dropped another 3 degrees after the rains last week; that’s all it took for the fish to start feeding. The main lake has yet to turn off, so spend time fishing from Cranfield Island up to the state line or Big Creek up to the Elizabeth ramp. Tom also said, “Most of us that have been fishing for years tend to form opinions on what a fish should be doing at certain times of years. We fish areas based on that and wonder why some years we never catch fish in that area then other years we do. We assume stripers leave the main lake and move up the creeks and river where the oxygen is better and that’s a good assumption. What we do not realize is how far a striper will move up a creek. Last week I was catching bait in 4 feet of water and suddenly my net jerked and when I pulled it in I had a 8-pound striper. The next time I was up catching bait I move farther up in 3 feet of clear water and saw stripers swimming up the creek. Stripers being that far up the creek says we should always experiment when we are fishing, don’t stay in the normal patterns, because the stripers are not. I stated before that I had canceled trips because the water was too warm and the stripers quit feeding. One of trips I canceled was with Chuck and Debbie. They were coming down for two days of striper fishing. We agreed when the fish started feeding they would reschedule. Well, the stripers started feeding and they came down and fished for two days and caught their limits both days in two hours. Debbie caught the biggest and most. We had a great time and their patience with me holding them off until the bite started was worth the wait for them.”
(updated 10-19-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake's fall fishing pattern is under way. The lake is finally starting to cool down, but additional cooling is needed to bring on the full-blown fall pattern. Striped bass are biting well up in the coolest water at the Arkansas-Missouri border. Live shad (big ones) are working the best set at 12-18 feet, but trollers are starting to pick up a few fish on big swimbaits. The stripers up north seem to be cruising in the shallow water and not necessarily in the old river channel. A few nice stripers and big hybrids are starting to show up on the big flats from the Cranfield area up to the Red Bank area. Vertical jigging with a spoon is working the best as the fish are hugging the bottom in 30-40 feet of water. The fish are showing up all day long starting at sunrise up to sunset. This doesn't mean they are biting all day long. Over the last week Lou has caught stripers and hybrids at sunrise, at noon and Tuesday he said he found them around 4 p.m. Lou figures you need to fish all day long to be there when they are biting. Just take a cooler along with some water and sandwiches. Lou says he tries to vary the time he’s fishing so he can know what's going on different times of the day. It's a fun time of year when you never know when the bite is going to happen. Lou has a fishing prediction that over the next week the lake will cool to the upper 60s, the lake will finalize its turnover and the striped bass will start to show up on the large flats starting in the Robinson area up to Missouri and also up toward the Fouts area. One of the main reasons he likes to vertical jig with a spoon this time of year is that all species will be found in the same areas and at the same depth. He also likes flat fishing, but it can be a little tedious, so patience and good electronics do help a lot. Over the last week, except for one day up river fishing with gizzard shad, Lou has been vertical jigging flats in 28-40 feet of water. This evening, as well as yesterday morning, Lou landed walleye, white bass, largemouth bass, crappie, hybrids and stripers. What more can a fisherperson ask for? Big schools of fish are just starting to show up and this will be more commonplace as the water continues to cool. The best places for crappie are on brush piles that have been sunk in 25-40 feet of water. The crappie will be anywhere from 10-30 feet down. The hardest part of crappie fishing at this time is finding the best depth to catch the fish. Live minnows are working great, but vertical jigging a small spoon or jigging small plastics tipped with a minnow is also working very well. If it is bluegills you are wanting, work the same brush piles as for crappie, but use crickets for the bait. Largemouth bass are all over the place. You can find them suspended 15-20 feet down off the deep bluff lines. They are also lying on the bottom early and late in the day on the shallow banks. You will also find some nice fish hanging around the crappie brush piles. Crankbaits are picking up some nice suspended fish, and plastics of all kinds are working for the bottom feeders. The bass hanging around brush are hitting spoons or drop-shot rigs. Norfork Lake is falling slowly due to one generator being run for a good portion of the day and the level sits at 552.84 feet msl. The surface water temperature has been on a roller coaster ride. With the very hot days they have recently had, the temperature has risen slightly and Tuesday evening was around 75 with the morning temperature around 73 degrees, which is a couple of degrees rise over the last couple of days. The creeks and coves and main lake flats are stained, with the rest of the main lake clear.
(updated 10-19-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake fell 0.4 feet to rest at 0.8 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 27 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, they had low levels of generation all day with little wadable water. 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. There has been little wadable water on the Norfork but it has fished well. 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. Berry's favorite fly has been the ruby midge. Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with school back in session. A large number of brown trout have moved into the creek. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.
Berry says, "A grand slam is where you catch all four species, brown, brook, cutthroat and rainbow trout on one day. In my 30-plus years of fly fishing on the White and Norfork rivers, I have done it five times (two of which occurred on the same day). It seems like catching three of them is fairly common but the ever elusive brook trout is not very abundant. I have never had a client catch one on Dry Run Creek in my 25 years of guiding there. All of that changed last Thursday. My client Scott brought his 12-year-old daughter, Grace, and his 9-year-old son, Scotty, up from Memphis to fish Dry Run Creek. It was a cool start but a beautiful day. We were the first ones there and I brought some of my loaner waders and lots of socks to equip the kids in waders. If your children wear waders, you can fish spots that are difficult to get to and do not get as much pressure as others.Early on, Grace had the hot hand. Her first fish was a stout 23-inch brown that was quickly followed by a 25-inch brown that was fat and colored up and some rainbows. When I guide on Dry Run Creek, my goal is for all of my clients to land at least one trophy trout. Now Grace had landed two but Scotty was fishless. He had a monster on but lost it. I coached him on his mistake and had him trade spots with Grace. He was soon on a fat 22-incher and this time managed to get it to the net. The next trout was a spectacular 25-inch male brown with a spectacular kype. A few rainbows followed. It was time for a change in scenery and we walked far upstream. Grace continued catching browns and rainbows. Scotty was still in the game. Dad was working with Grace and I was working with Scotty. About this time he landed a 21-inch cutthroat. It was a great fish and it made me consider the possibility of a grand slam. The very next trout was a brook. It was only 10 inches long but it got me more excited than any of the other much more spectacular fish that we had landed, because it gave me my first client grand slam on Dry Run Creek. There were photos and high-fives galore.My only question is now that you have landed a 25-inch male brown trout and achieved a grand slam, on your first day of fly fishing, at age 9, where do you go from here?"

(updated 10-19-2016) 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 10-19-2016) 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.

Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,115.16  feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 10-19-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the clarity is stained up in the river arms and the surface temperature has felt hot. Water is at low level. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs, with trolling working best. Bass fishing is slow, and any catches are coming early in the morning on topwater lures. Catfishing is poor.
(updated 10-19-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said the lake turn over has begun. You will notice the green stuff building up on your line as you are fishing and this has got Beaver Lake striper are on the move using main lake structures and mouths of coves etc. Some Beaver Lake striper are using gravel bars, points, humps, tree tops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing weighted downlines will definitely get you some fish. There has been some topwater activity from striper and white bass. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good on live shad fished on downlines from 10-60 feet deep, and also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs for stained water, 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. Water surface temps are in the mid-70s. On the mid and lower sections check out these hot spots: Dam (Hybrid Cove has fish), Point 1, Indian Creek (check past the marina near power lines), Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Point 4, Big Clifty, Point 5, Point 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch (especially bluff in front of marina, the island and smaller islands in front of Larue Cove), Ford and Cedar Creek and Larue. White bass have been seen surfacing at Prairie Creek, Beaver Shores (along with walleye being caught in numbers as well), Horseshoe Bend (walleye also), Mont Ne (walleye too), Hickory Creek (walleye), War Eagle and the War Eagle/White River junction (more walleye). Walleye are making their way out of the main lake in numbers in fall migration mode but can be found scattered still around the lake and are on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-30 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker Shad and Bandit 300 series in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye. Check the daily lake level and flow data on Mike Bailey’s website. 

(updated 10-19-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said water levels continue to be low in the tailwaters. However, that is not stopping the trout bite. Trout are biting various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. Spoons are still producing nice fish, too. As reported last week, if you are wade fishing and hear the dam horn, you need to exit to safety. The Inspiration Point Fire Department conducted a second successful river rescue of two fly fishermen who were caught in fast-rising river water. The two fishermen did not exit the river to safety when the dam blew its horn before generation. Not only are you risking your personal safety, but the safety of the rescuers as well. That said, with the current water levels, the fly fishermen can access some really nice spots.
(updated 10-19-2016) Beaver Dam Store reported fly fishing has been exceptionally good. The brown spawn is just around the corner, as numerous browns have been caught in the tailwaters. When the spawn does occur, be respective of the reds that are being laid. Some quality rainbows have also been caught by fly fisherman. Now that the tailwaters have dropped, many new areas have opened up for the fisherman wading or the bait fisherman looking for a shady bank to sit on. Boaters beware of the low water conditions. Many new gravel bars have exposed themselves causing dangerous conditions. Browns can be caught using midges, streamers, Y2Ks and San Juan worms. For rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, nNymphing and swinging small soft hackles, ccuds 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 are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive or hare's ear, tungsten copper John's, WD40s, Trout Magnets and San Juan worms. Catfish are biting on Wicked Sticky catfish bait along with Magic Bait crawfish/chicken blood bait.

Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said he closed the bait shop the remainder of the year.

(updated 10-19-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported water being stained with a surface temperature of 69 degrees. The water level is normal. Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good; use crankbaits or buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on stink bait, goldfish and glowworms.

(updated 10-19-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported water conditions as clear and low (down about 6 inches at the dock). Surface temperature was 78 degrees. Crappie are suspended in 8 feet of water and the fishing has been fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good in spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on chicken liver and shad. There were no bream reports.

Northeast Arkansas

(updated 10-19-2016) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said the days are getting shorter and the bait sales are slower. Coleman said he had not heard any reports this past week. Lake Poinsett is still low, so, the best place to launch is at the dam. In recent weeks, reports had crappie being caught in 8 feet of water while bream were still going after crickets.

(updated 10-19-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water is clear and the surface temperature is 71 degrees. Water level is described as "a hair" low. Bream are good on crickets. Bass fishing has been slow in most reports, with only fair catches, but spinnerbaits and crankbaits are having the best success. Catfishing is good on chicken livers. Crappie fishing has been poor.

(updated 10-19-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 320 cfs and water clarity is clear. Leaves are falling now and can be a problem on windy days. Using an indicator with a Y2K with a small nymph dropper works great to get down below the leaves. If the leaves are not in the way, swinging a Woolly Bugger or big nymph is still the way to get savage strikes. The guppy has been the hot fly this week. Hot pink and chartreuse Trout Magnets and yellow and pink Rooster Tails are working great with spinning rods. It was hot during the first part of the week, but it looks like things will cool off this weekend. Gonna be a great time to be on the water.
(updated 10-19-2016) 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 10-19-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) remained closed and had no report this week.

Southeast Arkansas

No report.

No report.

No report.

No report.

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.42 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 10-19-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level as of Monday was slightly above normal conservation pool; 2.3 inches high. There is increased current this week of Little River from last week, with the gates on Monday releasing around 431 cfs. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week and ranged 73-77 degrees. Navigation is cautioned for Little River throughout the main lake body due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure. Tailwater level has been consistent the past week and was at 224.98 feet msl on Monday. Clarity and visibility have been consistent over the past several weeks, ranging about 8-12 inches. Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and the northeast quadrant remain stained. Little River above McGuire oxbow is stained but improved from last week at 6-12 inches, while some areas have better clarity. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.
Siefert says that bass continue improving with the nighttime lower temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week. Most bass are in good feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2-3 pounds on topwaters early along points and creek mouths dumping into Little River. Most bass are aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands and shallow vegetation where you can find the clearest water, and also around points, creek channels away from river current, flats and oxbows. Shad are beginning to relate to creek channels over the past couple weeks. Points and creeks are good target choices to start. Main lake grass beds are also a good choice early if there is good wind blowing on main lake grass. Flat surface conditions diminish shad and bass activity levels on main lake grass beds. Cordell Crazy Shads continue working well in chrome/black color, along with Heddon Spit'n Images in threadfin shad patterns, buzz =baits in black and blue, Bass Assassin Shads, soft plastic frogs -- all are good topwater choices early. Grass beds located along Little River are good locations for 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 few weeks have been Silver Phantom, Salt & Pepper and Houdini. Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound largemouths in creeks; use the chrome/blue tail spinners, Zombie Shad or the clear holographic colors. The 1.75 Echo crankbaits in Ghost or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels dumping into Little River. Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad and Tennessee Shad colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels for largemouths and white bass alike. These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day. Berkley 10-inch worms in blue fleck, black and plum or red bug continue working along grass beds in Little River starting in the grass in 1-2 feet and working outward into 8-12 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River. 
Siefert says 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. Over the past few weeks week, with the heavy cloud cover, the white bass, Kentucky bass and largemouths all were surface breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire up Little River. Crappie continue to bite well over the past week on Blakemore Road Runners and vertical jigging jigs in planted brush piles from 9-11 feet of depth. Blues and channel catfish were biting well over the past week best on trotlines run in the river from 15-20 feet of depth using cut buffalo, shad, drum and chicken gizzards.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 538.54 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 10-19-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said a fall feeding frenzy with the spotted bass and crappie is underway. He said Greeson has had plenty of crappie biting in 10-15 feet of water on brush piles. They’re biting jigs fair but the best bet is to go with live bait.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.43 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 10-19-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 70s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is good with lots of small fish reported. The fish are feeding in the big shad schools that are coming to the surface with the cooler water. Look for "breaking" fish and throw most any smaller topwater plug in a natural shad pattern. Also try Flukes and 3-inch swimbaits. Look for fish in the big coves on the south side between points 2 and 6. Also lots of fish in the coves on the state park side, especially around the marina. A few hybrids are mixed in with the bass, which gives the bass fisherman an added bonus.
George also said a few nice crappie catches were reported coming from mid-lake between Edgewood and Arlie Moore. Look for brush attractors on main lake points in 18-25 feet of water. Drop a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube on a 1/16-ounce jighead. Vertically fish the lure to just above the thickest part of the brush. Best colors are natural shad in clear water and something in chartreuse in stained water. Tip: Add a crappie nibble to the jig, it greatly improves the catch rate. Hybrid fishing is good with same double-digit catches reported. Best pattern is to look for surface feeding fish early in the morning. Look for fish in the big coves at points 2 and 4 and in the coves at the state park, especially in the cove at the Lodge causeway. Also, quite a few smaller fish along with white bass were at the mouth of Yancey Creek and Alpine Ridge. Try small topwater lures, in-line spinners such as Rooster Tails, swim baits and spoons. Remember: When the fish go down, they are still there, so just fish down deeper with the spoon or spinner. A few fish are still in the deep 50-foot thermocline in the Iron Mountain area. With the sonar, look for fish along the river channel in 90-120 feet of water. When fish are located, drop a heavy jigging spoon to just above the fish. If you sonar is properly adjusted, you can also see you spoon and watch the fish grab it – it’s lots of fun. Catfish are good at night on both trotlines and noodles. Try Brushy and Big Hill creeks. Bait with hot dogs, chicken livers, cut shad, Catfish Charlie or nightcrawlers. Also try live small bream and big minnows.
(updated 10-12-2016) John Duncan of at Iron Mountain Marina said it looks like its fall weather, falling water and falling fishing this week. Water level is at 398.73 due to some generation and evaporation. The water temperature is in mid-to-low 70s. The water is clear throughout the area. Very little catfishing is taking place now. Some trotlines along ridgetops and back of coves. You should fish 6-10 feet deep with live bait if possible. If not, try cut bait and weiners. If you want to rod fish for catfish, fish worms or small baitfish in the deepest brush piles you can find. Fish right off the bottom. Bream are scattered and the best place to find them is rocky points and deep brush piles. Full moon is coming soon. Crappie fishing has also suffered with low water and crazy weather. The crappie that are being caught from Shouse Ford to Brushy are in the deepest brush piles you can find. The problem is brush piles that were 15 feet deep earlier and now 5 feet deep. Fish minnow or jigs tipped with minnows in the deepest brush piles you can find. You will pick up a few in each good top but the fish are not concentrated in them yet. Schooling bass are being reported from Brushy to Point Cedar. Most of the fish coming up now are small black bass, Kentucky bass and white bass. Some hybrid activity but they don’t want to stay up long. Clear, chrome or blue topwaters are best for surfacing fish and use chrome and blue Rat-L Traps when fish are just below the surface. Good luck fishing; things should change as soon as the weather does.
(updated 10-12-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said he’s found ample crappie in 10-15 feet deep water on brush piles. Jigs are working fair; live bait is the best way to go.

South-Central Arkansas

No reports.

(update 10-5-2016) 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.

No report.

West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 337.30 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 10-19-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water was too low in their area for any fishing in the past few weeks, and the shop is closed
(updated 10-12-2016) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) had no report.

(updated 10-19-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said water was clear and the surface temperature was 70-72 degrees. Water level was low. Bream fishing is slow, though there were some catches reported. Worms were working best for bream. Crappie fishing was poor, with the highlight of the week being two caught within six hours of each other. Bass fishing is good, however. There was a reported 7-pound bass, and crankbaits and other various lures were working best. Catfishing was good on trotlines and yo-yo's using shad.

(updated 10-12-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature is in the mid to upper 70s. Clarity is poor, with the current reducing. There are some stain along with some clear water in the creeks. Bass fishing has been hit and miss due to the rising and falling water. Bait of choice has been spinnerbaits and Rat-L Traps, with a squarebill and a soft plastic jerkbait bite occasionally. Pop-Rs, Zara Spooks, Whopper Poppers, buzzbait and Chug Bugs all have been working well on top. Stripers have been poor due to the muddy water. White bass have been poor due to the muddy water, but in some of the creeks you can still catch a few on sunny days with in-line spinners, Pop-Rs, Rat-L Traps and crankbaits. Crappie have been caught in 8 feet of water in backwater areas using jigs in Fire Tiger and black red colors and in submerged trees. Catfishing has been fair on cut perch, stink bait and large minnows just outside the buoy line and around the mouth of creeks. Catfish in the creeks has been good on live minnows and live perch.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 571.02 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
(updated 10-5-2016) 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.

(updated 10-19-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported that jigging spoons just off the bottom in the main channel will yield you striper, hybrids and walleye – check out the trip pictures on Darryl’s website. A fall feeding frenzy is under way in all the lakes Morris has been fishing, he said.

(updated 10-19-2016) 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 generating every few days to maintain lake levels. 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. 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. Bank fishermen have reported catches of blue catfish from the fishing docks on nightcrawlers. Most of these fish are in the 2-4-pound range. 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. 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 383.88 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.

East Arkansas

No reports.

No reports.

(updated 10-19-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported water clear, but there was no report on level or temperature. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is poor; try stink bait for any success.

Arkansas and White river levels are available at:
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit:  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
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