Arkansas's Living Fossils: Alligator Gar on YouTube
Arkansas's Living Fossils: Alligator Gar on YouTube
Sept. 2, 2015

Arkansas's Living Fossils

Watch how Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Biologists search for and research one of Arkansas's oldest fish species. The alligator gar has been found in fossil records dating back 100 million years. These giant gar are becoming less common in The Natural State, and biologists are working to keep the species swimming in Arkansas waters. 
Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
Central Arkansas

(Updated 8-26-2015) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is at normal level and stained. The surface water temperature is 82 degrees. Bream are biting very well on worms and crickets in 6 to 8 inches of water around the shoreline. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 6 feet of water around green cypress trees near the channel. Bass are biting well on white spinnerbaits and dark-colored soft-plastic worms fished around lily pads. Catfishing is excellent on yo-yos and trotlines baited with black salties and large minnows.  

(Updated 8-19-2015) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said bream are back on their beds, hitting crickets, worms and wax worms up on and just off the banks in 1 to 3 feet of water. Bass are hitting fairly well on soft plastics,chatterbaits and frogs off the channels and in the pads. Crappie are fairly slow to fair on cypress trees and brush in deeper water. Catfishing is still good on any live or prepared bait.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ’em All Guide Service said current afternoon generation is providing opportunities for wading and drift fishing in all sections. Streamers, midges and sowbugs are working well for fly-fishermen. For Trout Magnet fishing, red and pink bodies on gold and chartreuse jig heads are working well. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Greers Ferry Lake Powerhouse recording or check the Corps of Engineers website for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration forecast generation schedule.  

(Updated 9-2-2015) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said all is well on the Little Red. The river remains clear with about 4 hours of generation in the afternoon starting about 2 to 3 p.m. As long as this continues, the fishing should continue to be good.  Water temperatures continue to be good and the fish are strong and active. The clear water requires lighter tippet and smaller flies. A 6x-size tippet is a good choice on the upper stretches of the river with size 18 and 20 flies. Small nymphs, soft hackles and midge pupae seem to be the best choices. Brown trout are beginning to be more active and many fishermen have landed and lost some nice browns lately. We are catching quite a few small browns. This is a good sign for the future.

(Updated 9-2-2015) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been excellent. The Corps has been releasing water for a few hours each afternoon and evening, making water levels perfect. Wading opportunities can be found along the entire river right now. The hot flies have been midges and San Juan worms. Pink Trout Magnets have been working very well also.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.54 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).

(Updated 8-26-2015) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level at Greers Ferry is 0.48 feet below normal pool and falling. The catfish are eating well all over the lake on cut and prepared bait. No report on walleye. Bream are bedding and can be caught shallow on small crankbaits, flies, crickets and crawlers. Just find the beds and the fish roaming and be real quiet with your approach. Bass fishing is picking up with the cooler weather. The shallow bite is a lot better around bream beds and around any shallow wood. Hybrids and white bass are schooling all over the lake at different times of the day and night. Try topwater baits, in-line spinners, spoons and swim baits, and look for the shad.

(Updated 8-11-2015) Cody Smith at fishgreersferry.com (501-691-5701) said Greers Ferry is currently 2 feet above normal pool and falling with daily generation. The reservoir is fishing very well for this time of year. Days of consistent fishing have returned, and I expect this trend to continue into early fall. Hybrids and white bass are feeding well in creek channels adjacent to main lake flats in 25 to 45 feet of water. Spoons, inline spinners and live bait are all taking fish. Walleyes are mixing in with the whites and hybrids. Spotted bass and smallmouth are suspended around brush piles offshore in these same depths. We have been picking up several eating size catfish each trip out while fishing a drop shot rig. Water surface temps are in the low 90s.


(Updated 8-26-2015) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is high and fairly clear. Bream are excellent on crickets near the edge of the bank. All other fishing has been slow. 

(Updated 8-19-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting well on minnows and on Bobby Garland soft-plastic grubs in Barbecue Chicken, Cajun Cricket, Blue Ice and Bleeding Shad colors. Catfishing is good on minnows, worms and shad. Bass are fair on buzzbaits in the morning and on soft-plastic worms. White bass are biting on Cajun spins, Johnson Silver Minnnow Spoons and Bobby Garland Baby Shads. Bream are biting very well on crickets and worms. 


Overcup Landing had no report.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Jan Johnson at Brewer Lake Bait Shop (501-354-4108) said crappie are excellent using curly tailed lures in red/chartreuse and black/chartreuse trolled slowly over brush piles and also on live minnows fished 10 to 14 feet deep. Catfishing is still good at night and early in the morning using nightcrawlers, large minnows, shad, bream or black salties. Bass are good around the shoreline and are biting live minnows, crankbaits or soft plastics. Bream and redear are bedding around structures along the shore in 2 to 4 feet of water and taking crickets and redworms.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Charley's Hidden Harbor at Opello said bass fishing has been good on tops of jetties with shaky head worms in the mornings and crayfish-colored square-billed crankbaits during the day. Catfishing is good on worms fished 15 to 20 feet deep drifted around points and jetties. White bass are schooling around jetty tips that have about 25 feet of water on them. Spoons vertically jigged around schools of shad near these jetties will catch the white bass. Bream are fair around riprap with grass on crickets and Mepps spinners. Spotted bass are holding around the same areas as the bream and will bite bream-patterned crankbaits and topwater lures. Stripers are biting fairly well in the evenings on wobble spoons fished on the upriver side of jetties near the generators. 


(Updated 8-19-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are fair on Bobby Garland Baby Shad and minnows. White bass are biting well on Cajun Spins and Johnson Silver Minnow spoons. 

(Updated 8-11-2015) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water is one foot below the spillway and the surface water temperature is 88 degrees. Largemouth bass are biting well on wacky-rigged worms, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and jerkbaits in 10 feet of water and less during the evening. Spotted bass are biting well on jigs and crankbaits in 5 to 10 feet of water. White bass are excellent just east of Jolly Rogers Marina and on the west end of the lake on deep-diving Bandit and Bomber crankbaits fished about 14 feet deep. Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails are also working when the fish are schooling. Crappie are fair in 20 feet of water, but only a few are being caught in any one location. Bream are excellent in 5 to 15 feet of water around brush on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good on chicken livers, stink bait and small bream in 10 to 15 feet of water. 


(Updated 8-26-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said some small bream were caught last week on crickets. A few nice-sized crappie have been caught on no. 6 crappie minnows, but most fish caught were very small. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting chicken livers and bait shrimp. Bream are hitting crickets and redworms. Bass have been caught on minnows and trick worms. A few crappie have been caught on pink minnows and no. 6 crappie minnows. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bass have been biting brood minnows and Texas-rigged lizards. Catfish have been caught on brood minnows and black salties. Crappie are biting no. 6 crappie minnows fished right against brush and logs. Right now the river is very abundant with gar. This is the time to have fun fishing or them with no. 12 bass minnows and brood minnows. Bream and other sunfish can be caught on crickets and redworms. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has slowed, but continues to be the best fishing on Lake Norrell. Crickets fished on the bottom around deep brush will catch the larger bream. Catfish have been caught recently on minnows and night crawlers. Bass are biting well early in the mornings and at night on Texas-rigged worms and lizards and small spinnerbaits. A few small crappie were caught last week on minnows fished around some docks.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been fair with no. 12 bass minnows and Bobby Garland Blue Ice-colored jigs. Bream fishing has been good with redworms and crickets. Bass have been hitting fairly well on floating worms and some topwater baits early in the morning. Catfish are biting nightcrawlers, minnows and chicken livers. 


​(Updated 9-2-2015) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows fished around 4 to 5 feet deep in the channel. Bass are excellent on spinnerbaits in 2 to 3 feet of water. No report on catfish or white bass.


(Updated 8-26-2015) The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is clearing and flows are in the 20,000 to 30,000 cfs range. Bass fishing has been very good, with topwater lures and crankbaits catching quite a few bass on the main river around current breaks. 

(Updated 9-2-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is about 82 degrees. Bass are fair on black topwater lures, but a lot of small fish are being caught. Catfishing is fair on shad. No report on crappie. Bream are slow.  


(Updated 9-2-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and at low level. Bream are biting well on crickets fished around cypress trees in 3 to 4 feet of water. Bass are biting fairly well on chartreuse spinnerbaits fished around cypress trees. Catfishing is fair on worms.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Herman's Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is fairly clear and low, with stumps showing all over the lake. Bream are fair on worms and crickets fished around the channel. Crappie are biting well around stumps in the channel on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair around the stumps near the channel as well. Catfishing is good on shad and hot dogs. 



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 684.60 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).

(Updated 7-29-2015) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said summer fishing patterns are in full swing. We have been seeing air temperatures in the 90s, during the day so the water temperature is in the mid 80s. There is a thermocline around 25 feet deep. The water is still very clear, even with an extra 30 feet of water. The fishing patterns are in the classic summer mode. Topwater or shallow-running baits in the morning and late afternoon. Most of the fish seem to be shallow at these times before as the sun is low in the sky. During the day, you have to fish 25- to 30-feet deep around the thermocline and past the brush or you can fish around the large trees that are around the shoreline that have shade. The walleye fishermen are still having good success, but you have to downrig or lead core troll over 40 to 70 feet of water with your baits running 25 to 35 feet deep. The night bass fisherman are still catching fish just before dark shallow, then after dark anywhere from 5 to 30 feet deep. There haven't been any good crappie catches lately, which is typical for high water.  

(Updated 7-29-2015) Ken Minsky of Ken Minksy's Loch Leven Guide Service had no report.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and eight generators are running around the clock. Trout fishing is good, but wading is all but impossible with the high water and flow. Pink Power Worms and Power Bait fished from a boat or the bank continues to catch plenty of rainbow trout. 

(Updated 8-26-2015) Jim Brentlinger with Linger's Guide Service said six to eight generators are running most of the time, and the larger brown trout have moved to the bank. Fish deeper banks around cover with Rapalas or Smithwick Rattlin' Rogues for best results. Don't give up as it is a painstaking endeavor, but you will like the results. When the water starts receding and gets noticeably lower switch to the Varimax Blue Fox spinner in a size 2 or 3.  

(Updated 8-26-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said on the White, we had high generation with no wadable water. On heavy generation, the best way to catch fish is to switch to longer leaders and heavier weight. The hot spot was the catch-and-release section at Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (size 8-10), Y2Ks (size 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead size 16-18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with an orange egg suspended below it). Hoppers are producing as well. I favor shorter leaders (seven-and-a-half foot 4X) and a stiff six-weight rod for these weighty flies. My favorite flies are Dave’s hoppers (size 10) and the western pink lady (size 8). To increase hook ups I always use a dropper. I am currently using a ruby or root beer midge in size 18 on a three-foot or longer tippet (depending on the depth of the water I am fishing).

(Updated 7-29-2015) Paul Bobby at GI on the Fly Guide Service (907-350-6610) had no report.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 568.55 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).

(Updated 8-26-2015) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said Norfork Lake continues to drop but it’s like watching paint dry, an inch or two a day. The oxygen content for the stripers is at 30 to 35 feet and 70 to 85 feet. The morning bite continues early. Stripers and hybrids are feeding heavy until the sun gets bright then they move into deeper water. The deep bite continues to be around the dam area. Where I have been fishing I can see the dam right in front of me. The stripers are holding from 70 to 85 feet right on the bottom in small groups of 3 or 4 fish. Most of the bites are very light. I have trained my clients to watch the rod tip. If they see it start to bend I have them reel very fast and that has been hooking the stripers. Many people have been missing the fish since you really have to pay attention to your rod. 

(Updated 8-26-2015) Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has been good for the last couple of weeks. The stripers and hybrids are doing what they should be doing this time of year. Big schools of stripers and hybrids can be found right before daybreak in 30 to 50 feet of water. They will be on the bottom or suspended 25 to 40 feet down. Main lake points and secondary points back in the creeks are good places to look, especially where the old river channel swings in close to the shoreline. My guests and I have found stripers in the Robinson area and down towards the dam. Threadfin and gizzard shad for live bait and spoons and swim baits for artificial baits are great choices. Most of the stripers being caught in the shallow water early in the morning are in the 5 to 10 pound range with the bigger hybrids just starting to show up. The bigger stripers are being caught out in deeper water 70 to 80 feet down on the bottom. When the sun gets high in the sky is the best time to find the deep stripers. Look at main lake points for these deep fish. Live bait and spoons are your best choices for deep fish. I expect to see these fish go a little deeper very soon. Walleye, smallmouth, largemouth, spots, catfish and white bass will be found in the same general areas as the stripers. 25 - 35 feet of water is the best place to start. The fish will also be suspended at this same depth following the baitfish into deeper water.

(Updated 7-29-2015) Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is 571.9 and the water temp is in the upper 80s. The stripers are suspended 40 to 60 feet. Early in the morning, they are close to the bottom down at 40 feet. As the sun gets higher they start moving toward the deeper water. We caught a few small stripers on topwater back in Barren Creek. The bigger fish are in the deeper water within a few miles of the dam. Bass are coming up early and will hit topwater baits like a Spook or a Pop-R. After the topwater bite slows, throw a jig to the edge of the brush or a worm. When you mark fish suspended or close to the bottom, drop a jigging spoon.




(Updated 8-26-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said there is a substantial amount of water leaking around one of the flood gates that was being repaired. As a result, the water temperature on the Norfork has risen to near dangerous levels. There has been no observed fish kill, but the trout are stressed. Any fish caught should be carefully released. During periods of generation the temperatures are near normal.  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 (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). There have been daily hatches of sulphurs around noon. The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite combination has been a grass hopper with a root beer or ruby midge dropper. There is a major construction project at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. You can still access Dry Run Creek. It has seen more pressure with school out. It still fished well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).


(Updated 8-26-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the warm weather, the smallmouths are active. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


(Updated 8-26-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the warm weather, the smallmouths are active. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are 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 1,127.09 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).

(Updated 9-2-2015) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s. Stripers are leaving their deep water summer haunts as the water is beginning to cool. Watch for surface activity from stripers, whites and hybrids. Beaver Lake Striper are using main lake points, humps, ridges, rock piles, brush lines and ditches on their annual up lake migration and in the search for food and scattered throughout the lake. They will be making their way into the creek arms soon as the water temp is beginning to cool. Fishing will be good with stripers taken on live shad fished from the surface down to 30 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs. For trolling crankbaits, try weighted lines or flatline trolling Rapala no. 14 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors. Stripers also are being caught at night by casting main lake points with large surface lures like Redfins and Rapalas or large Rat-L-Traps. Hot spots include points 1, 3, 5, and 6, as well as the mouth of Indian Creek and back to the power lines. Most walleye have moved to deeper drops and are being caught about 20-30 feet deep. The best methods to catch the walleye are three-way rigging Rapalas, trolling Rapala Shad Raps or Rat-L-Traps at 1-2mph or jigging Bink pro scale 1-oz. jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse.

(Updated 9-2-2015) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear by the dam and stained everywhere else on the lake. Water surface temperature is in the 80s. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on trolled Bandit 300-series crankbaits about 15 feet deep. Bass are fair in the mornings and evenings on topwater lures, then on drop-shot rigs and spoons later in the day. Catfishing is fair on jugs baited with prepared bait in the rivers. Stripers are being caught on topwater lures around Rocky Branch lately. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Beaver Dam Store said fishing has been very good. The high water is dropping very slowly. There is more and more wadable water access with a kayak. A little wadable access also is below Parker Bottoms, just be careful of the clay spots in the bank. There's some wadable water near the first boat ramp. This week, PJs jigs, Rapala crankbaits and Flicker Shad crankbaits worked wlle, as did white and yellow Power Bait.

(Updated 8-26-2015) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said the water has been high in the tailwater, but that has not slowed the fishing. Temperatures at Houseman access are in the mid 50s during the early morning, topping out to the low 70s. Further upriver to Spider Creek they are in the low 50s to high 40s. Some very nice trout are being caught throughout the tailwaters on Rapalas and Power Bait. Further downriver from Houseman, you can find the white bass. Most bass are being caught on Rapalas and umbrella rigs. The bite has been excellent this month.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the lake is at normal level and the water is a little dingy. Bass fishing has been good on spinnerbaits, soft-plastic worms and lipless crankbaits. A limit was easy to catch today, according to one angler. The crappie have been a little slow, but one man showed off an 11-inch beauty on Friday, which he caught on minnows fished 8 feet deep in 18 feet of water. Some of the biggest bluegill ever are being caught on redworms.


(Updated on 9-2-2015) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no report. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and the surface water temperature is right at 80 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets fished around rocky areas. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 8 feet of water right off the channel swings. Bass are biting well on topwater lures in the mornings and soft-plastics later in the day. Catfishing is good on shad and chicken livers fished right off the channel.  



Northeast Arkansas

(Updated 9-2-2015) Lake Poinsett State Park said some anglers have reported excellent bream fishing lately at Poinsett. Catfishing also has been excellent. Crappie fishing is fair to good, and September usually sees an increase in crappie catches. No report on bass. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is about 6 inches low and is very clear. Bream are biting very well on crickets under the docks. Bass are biting excellently on watermelon seed soft-plastic worms in 10 to 15 feet of water. Catfishing is excellent on chicken liver around the trees.  


(Updated 8-19-2015) Lake Frierson State Park said catfish have finally started biting more regularly as the water has warmed. Channels have been good all over the lake on nightcrawlers, liver and dip bait. Blue catfish have been caught on similar baits and cut bait in the deeper portions of the lake. More flatheads have been caught on small bream and minnows hung from jugs and on rod-and-reel from the bank. Bass are scattered and chasing schooling shad all over the lake throughout the early morning, day and early evening. Topwaters and crankbaits fished around the schooling shad are producing some nice fish. Flipping tubes or other soft plastic baits into likely cover is also producing some fish; make repeated casts to laydowns and brush to get a reaction bite. Bream can be caught on any shoreline on redworms or pieces of nightcrawlers fished under a float. The larger fish are a little deeper and a little further from shore. Vary your depth if you aren’t having any luck or the fish stop biting. No reports on saugeye or crappie.


(Updated 8-26-2015) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 380 cfs and water clarity has been clear. Clouser patterns looking like small hatchery trout have been hot this week for both trout and smallmouth. On slow days, a hot pink Trout Magnet fished below an indicator will put a bend in the rod. And trout crankbaits can do well on a spinning rod. Really  nice weather over the last week has made it really nice to be on the river.



Southeast Arkansas

(Updated 9-2-2015) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures have started going down a bit, moving into the low 80s. The river flow has been variable with water visibility just under one foot in the river and in Lake Langhofer. Black bass fishing has been much better than earlier in the summer, but it is still difficult to consistently find keeper-sized fish. Spotted and largemouth bass have been biting well off jetties on the main river channel. Largemouth are biting fairly well within Lake Langhofer, but you will need to find offshore brush piles to consistently catch the better-sized fish. Topwaters have been working well for the first couple hours of the day, with worms, jigs and square-billed crankbaits getting most of the bites throughout the rest of the day.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park in Star City said bass and crappie are picking up. The bass are biting well on medium-sized crankbaits. Crappie are biting well on the northern end of the lake in shallow water on jigs. Catfishing is good on live bait early and late in the day. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets still.


 Lake Chicot State Park had no report. 



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.32 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).

(Updated 9-2-2015) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service  said the water level is 1 inch above normal conservation pool and steady. There is only light current in Little River with the gates releasing 171 CFS. Water temperatures range from 85 to 90 degrees, depending on location.  Water clarity improved to 15 to 25 inches in the main lake with clarity in the oxbows running anywhere from 20 to 40 inches. Largemouth bass are still excellent in the mornings around shallow vegetation on frogs, Bass Assassin Shads, buzzbaits, Cordell Crazy Shads and wacky rigs.  Later in the heat of the afternoons, bass are best on crankbaits, squarebills and bulky 10-inch worms around cover and cypress trees in 5-10 feet of water. Spotted bass continue to congregate at creek mouths that dump into Little River. Spots are aggressive on 4- to 5-inch worms, small lizards and tubes in pumpkinseed/chartreuse, appleseed or green pumpkin. Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks continue to be the Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, Mississippi Hippie or Gold Pepper Shiner.  Rat-L- Traps and Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits in gold, barfish, transparent and Millwood Magic are working around deeper drops into the creek channels from 5 to 8 feet.  White bass and hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and are schooled up in creek mouths dumping into Littler River. Whites continue being caught on red/white Rooster Tails, chartreuse/white Little Cleos, shad-colored Rocket Shads, and Tennessee Shad- or Citrus Shad-colored crankbaits in creek dumps and mouths of sloughs connecting with Little River chasing shad along with the Largemouths. Crappie improved on planted brush over the past week now that the clarity is getting better and current is reduced. Smoke-colored Cordell paddle-tail grubs on light wire jig heads and Southern Pro Lil’ Hustler tubes were working early this week in 9 to 13 feet of water on planted brush piles. Blue catfish and  channel catfish continue biting well in Little River on trotlines baited with chicken hearts, gizzards, livers, cheese balls and stink bait set 12 to 14 feet deep. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 542.09 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).

(Updated 9-2-2015) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said surface water temperature is 84 degrees. Water is clear throughout the lake. Schooling activity has been fair, but most of the fish on the surface are small. Fish are hitting small CC spoons in chrome, 2-inch twister-tail grubs and small topwater lures like the Zara Puppy. White bass are holding 15 to 20 feet deep under schooling spotted and largemouth bass and are hitting shad-colored crankbaits. The shallow bite continued to improve and bass are hitting buzzbaits on flats and the backs of creeks. No report on crappie or catfish this week. Area lakes will be busy with everyone celebrating the end of summer and Labor Day. While boating, be on the lookout for other boaters around you. You never know when that other boater may decide to change directions. Click here for more water safety tips.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.83 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).

(Updated 9-2-2015) Local angler George Graves said the lake is dropping to very low levels. Boaters should be extra cautious for submerged islands and reefs, which are just under the surface. The surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is fair at best. A few are being caught early in the morning on topwater lures and shallow-running swim baits. The best areas are around Iron Mountain between points 2 and 4. Some nice fish have been caught  at mid-lake between Edgewood and Caddo Drive. The best bet has been Texas- or Carolina-rigged green pumpkin/red flake worms or lizards worked across main lake points. Also try around the mouth of Brushy Creek and Point 10. White bass are very active with surface feeding fish from DeRoche Ridge to the mouth of Brushy Creek. The fish are feeding on very small shad fry, so be sure to keep the lures as small as possible. Try small spoons, 1/8-oz. marabou jigs and small 1/8-oz. Rooster Tails. Hybrids are suspended deeper at 20 to 30 feet under the white bass. Throw a 1- to 2-ounce spoon in chartreuse or white, let the lure sink to below the fish and work it up through them. Early morning is the best time and the action is pretty much over by 9 a.m. Lots of bream have been reported with mostly redears and bluegills.   Fish shallow with a float for bluegills and tight line to about 15 feet deep for redears. The best baits are redworms and crickets with the worms being best for redears. Look for points in big coves at mid lake. A few catfish have been caught on noodles and trotlines at mid lake around Brushy Creek and Point 10.



South-Central Arkansas

(Updated 9-2-2015) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said in both the upper and lower lake, bass are biting fairly well on flukes, spinnerbaits and Zoom Brush Hogs in the mornings and evenings. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good on trotlines baited with live bait and prepared catfish baits. Catfishing also has been good on rod-and-reel on tightlined worms and catfish baits. No report on crappie for the upper or lower lake. Remember that the lower lake still has a catfish daily limit of 5, a bream daily limit of 50 and all other fish are catch and release. 


Tri-County Lake will be undergoing a 5-foot drawdown until late fall. This is being done to compact the silt which has been building in the lake, reduce some of the aquatic vegetation in the lake, make repairs on jetties which have deteriorated over the years and address the lake's stunted crappie and bream populations by forcing these smaller fish into areas where they are more susceptible to the lake's predator fish. 

Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting well on soft-plastics and spinnerbaits. Bream are beginning to slow, but a few are still being caught on crickets. Crappie are biting well on the upper and lower side of the refuge. Catfishing is fair on live bait.  

(Updated 9-2-2015) Jaret Rushing said a few anglers have caught some nice bass on the Ouachita River by flipping jigs and plastics around fallen timber once the sun is up. The morning bit still is fairly good on buzzbaits and other reaction baits.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are slow. Crappie are slow right now as well. No anglers have reported anything on catfish or bream lately at the store. 



West-Central Arkansas

(Updated 8-26-2015) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.21 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 

(Updated 9-2-2015) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is pretty clear and getting back to normal level. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs slow trolled around brush. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits fished near brush piles. Catfishing is good on shrimp in deep water. 

(Updated 8-19-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting very well on Bobby Garland Baby Shads and Slab Slay'Rs as well as minnows and trolled Rat-L-Traps. Catfishing is good on minnows, worms and shad. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said surface water temperature is in the low to mid-80s. Water clarity in the river is dingy with some creeks and backwaters clear. Bass fishing has been slow from dam to dam. Stick with buzzbaits, Pop-Rs, frogs, and topwater walking baits in the mornings and evenings. Spinnerbaits, crankbait and white swim jigs with a Bamboozie craw have been working well some days. Worms, Zoom Brush Hogs and beaver-style soft-plastics will work fine on days that the fish don't want to chase a bait. Look for rocks with current running through and sandbar ridges, drops and points with brush. Vegetation, such as lily pads and mats, has been holding. Striped bass have been very good from dam to dam on topwater walking baits, poppers, swim baits and jerk baits around current breaks and on the ends of jetties. White bass are also around the same areas as the stripers and in the heads of the creeks. Try a small spoon, tailspinner or small Rat-L-Trap in silver/blue. Bream are thick in the creeks and on some jetties. Fish anywhere from a few inches deep to 4 feet with worms, crickets and artificial flies. Catfish have been fair in the main river channel with many holding out in front of the mouths of creeks. Cut bait and liver, hearts and stink bait haves been working well.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 385.30 feet msl (full pool – 384 msl).


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 570.38 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).

(Updated 8-26-2015) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water temperature is 86 to 90 degrees and the water is clear. Black bass are fair on drop-shot rigs, Texas-rigged worms and jigs fished around brush and other cover near points. Early in the morning, buzzbaits, poppers, chuggers and Horny Toads are working around topped out grass and shorelines. Walleye are still very good on main lake points and humps on 3/4-oz. CC spoons jigged vertically around any cover you find. Stripers are biting well on live shad and hair jigs in the eastern end of the lake around main lake humps. Bream are biting well on worms, grubs and crickets near brush in 15 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are slow on minnows or crappie jigs about 15 to 20 feet deep. Catfishing is very good on nightcrawlers and stink bait. 

(Updated 9-2-2015) Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner with Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports Fishing Report in Hot Springs said the water level is dropping very quickly. The surface water temperature is in the mid-80s. The walleye bite is still good on a nightcrawler rig, but not as good as it was. There's a lot of good bass fishing in the moss on the northern end of the lake. There also are a lot of breaking fish about halfway in the creeks on the south side of the lake. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner with Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports Fishing Report in Hot Springs had no report for Hamilton this week. 


(Updated 9-2-2015) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service reports water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 60 degrees, rising to 64 degrees below the bridge. Entergy has scheduled generation on weekdays for 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. On weekends the flow will be from noon until 6 p.m. The water is clear. Rainbow trout fishing is over until stocking resumes in November. White and hybrid bass fishing has tailed off considerably in the last week as schools of shad move in and out of the trailrace. Alabama rigs  and tightlined live bait have been the best bets for these fish near deep water close to the dam.  Walleye have been caught in the same areas on Carolina-rigged nightcrawlers or live minnows. Most of the action is taking place at night when the turbines are not running. A few large blue catfish have been caught below the bridge in the main channel on hand-sized bream fished under a jug. No striper action has been observed in the tailrace this week since the shad are few and far between.



East Arkansas

(Updated 9-2-2015) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said bream are still on the beds and hitting crickets fairly well. Crappie have pretty much shut down on the lake. Bass are in deep water and are biting well on crankbaits and Alabama rigs. Catfishing is steady on stink bait. Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center is selling crickets, worms, frozen shad, jigs and crankbaits. Minnows will be coming soon for the fall bite.  


(Updated 9-2-2015) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said the water temperature is beginning to cool and crappie have shut down. Bream are biting steadily well. Catfishing is good on stink bait. Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center will be hosting a kayak test drive on Storm Creek Lake, Saturday, Sept. 5. Participants can meet at the Storm Creek Lake Swim Beach at 10 a.m. Call (870) 295-4040 for more information. 


No report.


No report.


No report.


(Updated 9-2-2015) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is still cool and high. Bream are biting very well on crickets in 4 to 6 feet of water. Crappie are fair to good on minnows fished deep, close to the channel. Bass are slow on crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on stink bait. 


​(Updated 9-2-2015) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is high from releases upstream. No report on fishing because of the water level.  



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