One and Done on Chicot
One and Done on Chicot
March 2, 2016

Nuisance Species Hitch a Ride on Hatchery Trucks

AGFC hatchery trucks get a lot of attention on the road and at fishing locations across the state. Thanks to a grant from the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, the AGFC is hoping to convert that attention to informed anglers. Check out their sharp new look in this week's edition of Arkansas Outdoors.
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Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
(updated 3-2-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and at normal level. The surface temperature is in the high 40s. Bream are just starting to bite, and a few can be caught on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished 2 to 8 feet deep in Greens Lake, Adams Lake and Arts Pond. Bass are fair on white spinnerbaits and jerk baits fished in 4 to 6 feet of water around the shallows. Catfishing is good on trotlines and yo-yos baited with minnows or stink bait.     
(updated 3-2-2016) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said crappie are biting fairly well chartreuse jigs and shiners fished around sunken brush and off docks. Bass are starting to hit shad-colored spinnerbaits fairly well. Bream are fair on redworms. Catfishing is fair. 


(updated 3-2-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said we anticipate a change in the current generation pattern and expect to see more favorable water levels this week. Streamers, San Juan worms, micro jigs and sow bugs 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 (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.  
(updated 2-24-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the Power Commission decided to change the current drawdown plan on Greers Ferry to one unit of generation around the clock until the lake level is 457 feet. This is the level needed to do the repair work necessary to bring the second generator online.  March 1 is the target date for this level unless we get a large amount of rainfall before this date. When the lake reaches this level, the generation should return to demand only,  which should allow wade fishing.  The one generator water is at a flow of about 3400 cfs.  Drift fishing is available on this water but no wade fishing. Large nymphs and streamers are taking fish. 
(updated 3-2-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been great. Expect to see low, wadable flows within the week. Hot flies have been pink San Juan worms and prince nymphs. Trout Magnets will work extremely well once the river level drops.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 457.07 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
(updated 3-2-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 4.91 feet below normal pool and falling. Crappie fishing is getting better each day; try jigs and minnows fished in the pole timber in the bends of creeks and mouths of spawning areas in 15-25 feet of water. The walleye fishing is so-so if you can get to the river fish or even find them. Try jigs, drop shots, minnows and crankbaits. No report on catfish. The bass fishing is good on bluff walls and 45-degree pea gravel banks with crankbaits, jerk baits and spinnerbaits. Deeper fish can be caught with football head jigs and Carolina rigs. No-report on bream. The hybrids and white bass can be caught on flats leading to spawning areas on spoons, in-line spinners, grubs and swim baits in 15-35 feet of water.
(updated 3-2-2016) Cody Smith at www.fishgreersferry.com said the Corps of Engineers has sufficiently dropped water levels in order to allow maintenance on the gates. Water levels should stabilize on both the lake and river. Water surface temperatures range from 46 to 52 degrees. Water clarity is moderately stained from two thirds of the way up the main tributaries throughout the main lake. The water clears significantly as you progress up through the feeder arms. Water temperatures are significantly cooler in these areas though, and very little activity has been seen. For now, stick to the dirty water. The bite is much better from the bank out to 25 feet or so in these locations. Look for your most active bite for hybrids to be at 12 to 20 feet deep. Walleye should be upriver in 2 to 10 feet of water. Crappie should be around brush in 8 to 18 feet of water. Bass are anywhere from the bank to 18 feet deep, but should make a push shallow in the coming weeks.


(updated 3-2-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is pretty clear, but has a greenish/blue tint. The water level is still a little high right now. Bream are beginning to move shallower, and are fair on worms and crickets fished around docks on the south side of the lake. Crappie are biting well, mainly on minnows, but a few have been caught on jigs. The crappie are full of eggs and are holding around docks on warm days. White bass are excellent on spinnerbaits. No report on bass or catfish.  
(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 2-24-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said fishing has been slow on Lake Maumelle lately. The white bass run is still a little ways away, but the water temperature is in the low to mid 50s. A few black bass have been caught as well. Drop by Fosters for a fill up of ethanol-free gas and a hot meal during this cold snap. 
(updated 3-2-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water level is 0.3 feet above the spillway. The water is 51 degrees at mid-lake and 52 degrees at the west end. Largemouth bass are biting very well on wacky-rigged worms, buzzbaits and jerk baits in 4 to 8 feet of water around the Highway 10 bridge. Spotted bass are biting well on jigs and crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water. White bass are wet of the Highway 10 bridge and are biting well on grubs, Rooster Tails and jigs. CC spoons also are working when the whites are schooling. The white bass should be excellent by the weekend with the warm weather. Crappie are biting well. They are suspended about 15 feet deep in 20 to 25 feet of water around the edges of the channel around brush. Minnows and jigs are the best bet. Bream are slow, but a few can be found in 20 to 25 feet of water around brush on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers fished in 15 to 20 feet of water. One catfish last week was weighed in at the marina that hit the 80-pound mark. 
(updated 3-2-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Bobby Garland Baby Shad and Itty Bit Swim’Rs in 4 to 12 feet of water. White bass are biting on Cajun Spins and Silver Minnows.


(updated 3-2-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few bream have been caught on redworms and crickets. Crappie have been hitting no. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin's 2-inch Tennessee shad grubs. Catfish have been fair on bait shrimp, chicken hearts and chicken livers. Bass have been hitting on zing tails.


(updated 3-2-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said many smallmouth and spotted bass are still being caught on brood minnows and bass minnows. As far as the walleye go, a few are being caught on brooder minnows, but they have really slowed. Some nice crappie have been caught on no. 6 crappie minnows in some of the backwaters of the Saline. Catfish have been slow on night crawlers and chicken livers.


(updated 3-2-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few bream have been caught on crickets fishing deep. In about another month or so the great big red ear will be biting really well. Crappie have been fair on no. 6 crappie minnows . Bass have been hitting Zoom Brush Hogs. Catfish are fair on dough bait and cut shad.


(updated 3-2-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie slow on no. 6 crappie minnows and blue ice jigs. Bass are fair on bass minnows. Catfish are fair on bait shrimp and goldfish. No report on bream.


(updated 3-2-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and 54 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 5 to 6 feet of water next to deeper sections of the channel early and late in the day. Bass are fair on topwater lures, crankbaits and jigs. No report on bream, catfish or white bass.   


(updated 3-2-2016) The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is still muddy and the surface water temperature is in the mid-40s. Bass are biting well on black/blue jigs and soft plastics in shallow water. No report on bream, crappie or catfish. 
(updated 3-2-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is about 55 degrees. Crappie are biting well on yo-yos baited with minnows.   


(updated 3-2-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is about 55 degrees. Crappie are biting well on yo-yos baited with minnows.   


(updated 3-2-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is pretty clear and at 45 degrees. The water level is normal. Crappie are fair on minnows in 4 to 5 feet of water. Catfishing is fair on minnows and hot dogs. No report on bass or bream.  



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 658.91 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(updated 2-24-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said surface water temperatures are 46 degrees and the water level is almost back to normal. Warm weather had fish moving out of their winter haunts before the cold snap. Bladed Alabama rigs baited with Keitech 3.8 Fat Swimbaits fishe along secondary points and bluffs in 35 feet of water have been good for bass. Keep the boat in 35 feet of water and look for steep breaks, ledges or channel swings close to the bank halfway back in major creek arms. A few smallmouth have been caught on Megabass jerk baits. And on spoons in 35 to 45 feet of water If the wind is blowing, a Rock Crawler or Wiggle Wart fished on 45-degree banks  has worked. Keep the boat close in 12 feet of water and cast parallel to the bank. Strikes are going to happen when it rolls over the rocks. The most productive areas are transition areas where bluffs meat chunk rock or chunk rock meets clay or gravel. Always keep an eye out for bait on the graph and seagull activity, especially when you get into the creeks. Fishing is only going to get better as temperatures warm. The random walleye bite should also start picking up.K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) is closed until March 4, 2016.


(updated 3-2-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is a little stained and the generation has dropped to three- to five units per day. Trout are biting well on pink worms, Power Bait and shrimp. The brown trout are biting very well on white jigs, Rapala Floating Minnows and Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogues. 
(updated 2-24-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the White has seen heavy generation with no wadable water. The combined outflow and generation equal 27,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) or the equivalent of nine full generators. The hot spot has been the catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam. 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 553.48 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(updated 3-2-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said with the warm winter water, we should see a smaller shad die off which will lead a healthy shad population this year. The fish will appear in different parts of the lake. For example the walleye will begin their spawning cycle and will be found spawning on pea gravel sloping banks. Some of the better spots are at the Arkansas-Missouri state line, Liner Creek, Bridges Creek to the U.S. Highway 160 bridge, Hand Cove area, Dam Cove, and Thumb Point. Stripers will move to the warmest and dirtiest water up in the creeks. Find a creek with warm dirty water and you should find stripers, from Pigeon Creek to Big Creek stripers will be found. The night bite for stripers will be good during a strong south wind on any northern shores. Some good spots are Diamond Bay, Dam Cove, Thumb Point, Cranfield Island, points leading up towards Red Bank, Barron Creek, and around Reynolds Island in Big Creek. Crappie will begin their movement from the deep brush piles toward creeks. The big issue with crappie is weather fronts pushing them from shallow to deep. You can still catch them but the bite will be a little slower until the warm lake water returns. Crappie will be caught in all the major creeks. Just look on your depth finder for brush piles. They are scattered over the lake in every creek arm. Find the brush and you will find the crappie. Bass will begin their move up the creeks and coves also. Smallmouth are the first to spawn. They will spawn on deep boulders off sloping points. I catch lots of smallies off Barron Point in 20 to 30 feet of water when I’m striper fishing in the spring. Largemouth will move all the way up the creeks and back into the coves to make their beds. Again cold fronts will dictate their cycle. Warm weather and normal water levels will keep them on the beds. A heavy storm will move the bass off the beds and back into deeper water. 
(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 2-17-2016) Guide Steve Olomon had no new report.
(updated 2-24-2016) 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 water has been off-colored, but is beginning to improve. 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. 



Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,121.21 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 3-2-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is stained and the water temperature is in the mid 40s to low 50s. Crappie are fair on minnows and a variety of crappie jigs fished around cover in 4 to 10 feet of water. Bass are fair on crankbaits at the river end of the lake and on jigs and jerk baits closer deeper water in the main lake. Stripers are biting well on live brood shiners, brood minnows and shad. White bass are being caught on jerk baits, crankbaits, crappie jigs and minnows  fairly regularly. Walleye are in the river arms and are beign caught on a minnow or jig fished along the bottom in deeper holes upriver. No report on bream.  
(updated 2-24-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said surface water temperature is in the low to mid 40s. Stripers are making their way into backs of coves feeding on bait using warmer water temps, a degree or two is all it takes to concentrate bait and stripers. Some fish are using deep water adjacent to road beds, gravel bars, tree lines and bluffs. Look for water temperatures that are concentrating bait. Stripers in the White River and War Eagle arms are in warmer water pockets, close to the banks and on the bottom along gravel bars. Use these intersections of warm water and structure to your advantage. Try dragging baits close to these areas, including along the bottom on gravel bars. Fishing is good on live shad fished on down lines 20 to 30 feet deep and on small umbrella rigs using white or chartreuse grubs. Trolling no. 14 Husky Jerks or Smithwick Rogues in black/chrome or purple/chrome are working as well. Dead sticking a large soft jerkbait also works. Hot spots for stripers include Indian Creek past the marina near the power lines, The bluff in front of the marina at Rocky Branch and the smaller islands in front of Larue Cove, Cedar Creek, Ford Creek, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, Monte-Ne, Hickory Creek and War Eagle and the White River. The runoff is beginning to clear, so try upriver of the mud line. Walleye are moving into the creek and river arms to spawn. Walleye can be found from 5 to 30 feet, deep depending on areas you fish. The best method is three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Also try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse.


(updated 2-24-2016) Beaver Dam Store said watercraft can now launch immediately below the dam as well as Bertrand boat ramp and Houseman access. Try fishing Power Bait in white, red, chartreuse or pink tipped with wax worms or night crawlers. Also try trolling Berkley Flicker Shad crankbaits or no. 9 Rapala Original Minnows downstream from Betrand boat launch for numbers of fish. There is wadable water right now, but bottom conditions have changed dramatically since the large releases. Areas that were wadable before the current increase by now be too deep, and tons of gravel and sand have been moved to form new riffles and bars to investigate. Egg patterns, big nymphs, hares ears, midges, pheasant tails are a great pattern to dead drift right now.  
(updated 2-17-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said the Corps of Engineers has been releasing a lot of water lately, which can make fishing tricky. Trout are biting very well when waters are calm. Fishing from the bank is still a little questionable with the high water level, but if you can, fish with light terminal tackle with Power Baits on the bottom. Throwing spoons also has produced some nice trout.


(updated 3-2-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the bait shop is open and the lake is looking good. Surface water temperature is about 50 degrees and the lake is at normal pool with water clarity at about 6 feet. Bass activity has been good, with several over 4 pounds and one over 5 caught on suspending jerk baits and jigs. Minnows are also working, but the bass biting them have been smaller. Crappie are improving considerably with modest-size ones caught on minnows a week or so ago, and more recently on jigs fished from 10 to 16 feet deep. The best areas seem to be around Rock Island and near the boat ramp. No catfish or bluegill have been reported being caught. Fish during the warmest time of the day, and bring plenty of minnows and white crappie jigs.  


(updated 3-2-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is cloudy and at normal level. Bream are fair on chartreuse/black homemade jigs in deeper water. No report on crappie or catfish. Bass are biting large jigs with split-tail trailers off the end of the dock and out in the lake.  


(updated 3-2-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on worms everywhere. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished 4 to 5 feet deep. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits fished along the banks. The bass seem to be moving up to cruise spawning flats. Catfishing is good on chicken liver and shad fished in the guts of the creeks and main channel. 



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 3-2-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said the warm weekend has been a blessing for anglers. They are buying live bait and cut bait. We are hearing about good catches of crappie in 8 to 10 feet of water. 


(updated 3-2-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 48 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around docks in 15 to 20 feet of water. Bass are biting well on bass jigs fished in 15 foot of water. No report on catfish or bream.  


(updated 2-17-2016) Lake Frierson State Park had no report. 


(updated 3-2-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels at the spring are running at 400 cfs and water clarity has been clear.  The Spring River is looking great. Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of pressure with all of the tail waters generating. The weekends have been the busiest. During the week, a person can still find some solitude on the river. The trout have been on and off. Most days it takes some work to get the bite. There have been a few days during the week when a simple Y2K is all they want and some easy catching can be had.     Hatches have been mainly caddis with some light Cahills coming off at times. Below a few waterfalls there have been some risers taking caddis dry flies, but mainly nymphs in size 12-14 work great for getting the strike during a hatch. You really can’t go wrong with mayfly emergers of one kind or another. Stripping woolly buggers on cloudy days can be exciting also on a sink tip. Trout are still not being stocked above Dam 3, so places like Lassiter can be very tough to get hits. It has been scheduled to resume stocking above dam 3 during March. Dam 3 and downstream have been the best places to fish. Bonneville cutthroats can be caught on the Spring River this winter. Some really nice Cutts were stocked during October and have been a great addition to the river. Please use extra care releasing these beautiful trout, hopefully a healthy population of these trout will stay in the river. Browns have been tough to get on the bite with the nice weather. On cloudy days, they can be caught stripping woollies or fishing smaller nymphs dead drifting. Go to springriverfliesandguides.com and click on the blog page for latest conditions and fishing tips.


(updated 3-2-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report. No anglers have been by the shop for a while, as they’re heading to Greers Ferry and Norfork.  



Southeast Arkansas

(updated 2-17-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said surface water temperatures dropped back a bit with the cooler nights, down to about 50 degrees, but you can still find low to mid 50-degree water in places. Visibility is still pretty low – less than half a foot in most places and up to half a foot of visibility in protected backwater areas. Black bass are biting fairly well considering that it's the second weekend of February and the average size is good when you do get a bite. A few fish have come off vertical woody cover, but most of our bites have come from the steeper rock banks in Lake Langhofer using finesse worms on shaky heads. Slow-rolled shallow- and medium-diving crankbaits run parallel to the bank can get bites as well, especially later in the day when the surface water warms a bit.


(updated 3-2-2016) Cane Creek State Park said crappie are biting very well on shiners, particularly in the bayou by the spillway. Bass are biting well on yellow lizards in the break between shallow and deep. Bream are biting fairly well on worms. Catfish are starting to bite well on live bait in the catfish ponds.


(updated 2-24-2016) Local angler Geoff Wright said catfish are hitting pretty well on Chicot with most anglers using stationary methods. Live bait is crucial during cold weather, although dough bait is worth trying as well. Some folks are catching bream. Seems like they are starting to pick up on crickets, minnows, or other live bait. The real excitement right now is crappie. They are biting on minnows and black jigs. Some anglers have reported catching a limit a day, mostly in coves and other areas off the main body of the lake. Seems like they are biting rather shallow, above the thermocline.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 3-2-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water level is 11 inches above conservation pool and rising. Current increased in Little River with a gate discharge around 9,311 cfs Monday.  Surface water temperature ranges from 50 to 60 degrees, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location and time of day. Millwood State Park remains closed for repairs.  The USACE are working to replace numerous river buoys missing along Little River since the 12-15 foot rise a few weeks ago.  Water clarity worsened with the current and is 8 to 10 inches in the main lake. The water clarity in the river is 4 to 6 inches, and in the oxbows it is 10 to 20 inches. Bass continue to get more aggressive with the warmer weather. Several in the 4- to 6-pound range have been caught, and the big, pre-spawn females are on the move. The best activity is during the warmest time of the day under full sun in 3-5 feet of water with good clarity. Chatterbaits continue working in black/blue, Texas craw or avocado colors with large thumping swim bait trailers. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in Texas craw, Okeechobee spice, or candy bug colors continue working on sunny flats next to cypress trees and stumps close to creek channel swings. Echo 1.75 Squarebills in chartreuse shiner, gold, or sexy chrome 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.  Blackberry, California 420, and green pumpkin-colored lizards continue working and catching pre-spawn females and roaming males, over the past several weeks near flats in the creek channels on stumps.  Red and orange shad or Toledo gold Rat-L-Traps are working on warm days in creek channels deflecting off stumps and timber and near spawning flats around cypress trees/knees. Bang Fat Jobs are working along old vegetation lines in Houdini and watermelon/green/red glitter colors.  Use a light wire hook as small as you can get away with for best action. Schools of white bass continue biting well between White Cliffs and 71 Bridge at Wilton. 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 depths. Crappie recently disappeared with all the increase in Little River's current. Catfish continue biting consistently over the past week in Little River on trotlines and yo-yos using cut shad, buffalo, and chicken gizzards or hearts, set 7-12 feet deep.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 542.18 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
(updated 2-17-2016) 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 405.44 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
(updated 3-2-2016) Josh Duncan of Action Fishing Trips has the following reports for DeGray:
Iron Mountain Marina reports the surface water temperature is 50 degrees upriver. Many boats are pulling diving baits and hooking up with crappie in brush 12 feet and deeper. The water begins to murk up a little around Shouse Ford. A gentleman at Caddo Drive stated he limited out on jigs with bass in 55 minutes.
Frank at Caddo Valley Bait Shop said bass ae slowing, but spoons and finesse worms still are working.
John at the state park marina said crappie are slow at mid-lake. He sold out of Zara Spooks over weekend.
(updated 3-2-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 50s. The lake is mostly clear up to Point 15 and has a heavy stain in the Shouse Ford and Point Cedar areas. Bass fishing is fairly good with several double-digit catches reported. The fish are now in pre-spawn and a few bigger females are starting to show up. Creeks such as Yancey and Brushy are producing well. Try medium-running crankbaits and lipless crankbaits across secondary points next to spawning coves. A confirmed 11-pound bass was caught a few weeks ago at the mouth of Brushy Creek on a crankbait. Quite a few Kentuckies are showing up along the bluff banks in the areas of points 14 and 15 and along the West side of Goat Island.  Use a 4-inch finesse worm in green pumpkin/red flake. Hybrid fishing is on the slow side with very few schooling fish. However, lots of white bass are showing between Point Cedar and Cox Creek. Look for schools suspended at about 20 feet down.  Drop a jigging spoon in white or chartreuse to just above the fish. A spoon painted white in the front and chartreuse in the rear has become quite popular. A few crappies were reported coming from main lake brush piles in the Shouse Ford area. Drop a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube in Tennessee  shad to just above the brush.  Lots of crappie die-hards are now placing brush attractors. Look for the newer, denser ones as they seem to produce more fish.



South-Central Arkansas

(updated 2-17-2016) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said the warmer weather has the fish perking up a little. Bream are biting fairly well on worms and crickets. Catfish are biting well on trotlines baited with live bait or prepared catfish baits. Tightlining catfish baits or worms also is working for catfish. No report on bass or crappie. 


(updated 2-24-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said few crappie being caught in Grand Marias and on the old river bed. Bass are fair on soft plastics and spinnerbaits. No report on catfish. The river is beginning to rise again.


(updated 2-24-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are being caught in 4 to 6 feet of water. No report on crappie or catfish.


(updated 2-17-2016) ​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. 



West-Central Arkansas

Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 344.19 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 
(updated 3-2-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is muddy and high. Most anglers are still going to Overcup and Blue Mountain lately. Not many reports have come from Nimrod. 
(updated 2-17-2016) 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.  


(updated 3-2-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature is ranging from 55 to 65. The river is dingy, but backwaters are clearing. Bass fishing has been very good with some fish shallow. Spinnerbaits have been working well on windy days. Also try jigs, Bamboozie craws, buzzbaits and chatterbaits. As the water warms, flipping a lizard or beaver has been good. Deep fish still are biting well on jerkbaits, Alabama rigs and crankbaits. Yo-yoing a lipless crankbait off the bottom has been a good technique as well. Crappie have improved in creeks on chartreuse/black jigs and minnows early in the day. Stripers have been good on Alabama rigs, spinnerbaits, bucktail jigs and grubs. Bream have been good in the creeks around stumps near rocks on crickets and worms.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.03 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(updated 3-2-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the surface water temperature is 46 to 50 degrees. The water clarity is 2 to 4 feet of visibility on the west end and 6 to 8 feet of visibility on the east end of the lake. Black bass are biting well on jigs, large lipless crankbaits and jerk baits around main lake points and secondary points. Walleye are fair, and are making their spawning run up the major rivers and creeks. Stripers are good on Alabama rigs and brood minnows. White and yellow bass are excellent right now on small CC spoons and hair jigs. Bream are slow on crickets, maggots and redworms fished 20 to 25 feet deep. Crappie are fair on small spoons, minnows or crappie jigs 20-30 feet deep near brush. Catfish are fair on live bait or cut bait in 20 to 25 feet of water.


(updated 3-2-2016) The Trader Bill's Fishing Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner said Hamilton will begin filling this weekend and should be done by March 12. The warm weather and warm rain should have the fish on the bite. Throwing a Rat-L-Trap or crankbait in the creeks should be a good place to start the search. Crappie fishing should be on the verge of breaking loose. 
(updated 2-17-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips had no new report.


(updated 3-2-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 54 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. This Saturday begins the refilling of both lakes Hamilton and Catherine with completion ending March 13. Each lake will rise 6 to 7 inches per day until normal summertime pool is reached. Entergy has scheduled periods each day for generation to occur and the public is urged to check for times at entergy.com/hydro. Rainbow trout fishing is excellent below the dam with guided trips continuing to catch and release big numbers of trout. Bank fishermen are wasting little time recording five-fish limits on wax worms, meal worms, redworms and night crawlers fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Power Baits fished on the bottom or used under a bobber have accounted for most of the quality catches. Slack water periods give anglers the best chance for success from the bank although current flow doesn't completely kill the bite.  Fly-fishermen are still able to wade to areas that hold numbers of trout. Extreme caution must be used when attempting to wade far out into the tailrace since generation can occur at any time of the day. Egg patterns are working consistently when used on the edges of current with a strike indicator. Yellow or white are the best colors with pink also drawing strikes from hungry rainbows. Micro jigs in black and white are an excellent imitation of injured shad which trout are keying on as these baitfish are drawn into the tailrace from Lake Hamilton. Wooly buggers in green or black have accounted for many limits of fish these past few weeks. Spin fishermen are doing well using 1/16- and 1/8-ounce jigs in gray or white. Areas of current are best with trout resting behind rocks and ambushing prey as it moves in range. Larger trout target shad. The largest rainbow caught so far was on a jig and measured just over 20 inches. Shallow-running crank baits cast around the same structure will produce nice catches and have also accounted for walleye and white bass. Rooster Tails in white or brown have been a solid fish catcher since December and work on the same principle of an injured shad. Little Cleos and Super Dupers in sliver or gold round out the artificial lures that work in current or no flow periods. Walleye are spawning in the tailrace with few fish caught and reported. The shallow conditions complicate the hunt as these fish are very spooky and tend to scatter when boats or fishermen are moving through. Trolling crankbaits until spawning beds are found is the most effective method of finding fish and drawing strikes. Carolina rigs tipped with minnows or night crawlers work very well when beds are located and a slower technique is necessary for success. Striper and hybrid action below the dam have been extremely slow for weeks. No topwater activity has been observed and no fish caught or reported.



East Arkansas

(updated 2-17-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report. 


(updated 2-17-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report.


(updated 3-2-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is more than 26 feet high, and stained. A few anglers have tried doing some crappie fishing with yo-yos, but there haven’t been many reports as to the success rate.  



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