Win a Trout With a Trout or a Trip
Win a Trout With a Trout or a Trip
Feb. 10, 2016

Catfish completing community service after trout theft

Four massive blue catfish were added to the AGFC’s mobile aquariums when they were found breaking and entering at the AGFC Jim Collins Net Pen facility in Mt. Ida this winter. The catfish were busted stealing rainbow trout from net pens, where the AGFC raises rainbow trout to catchable sizes for Arkansas anglers. The largest of these cats was a 106-lb. monster, just 10 pounds shy of the current state record. They'll be making their way around the state this year in the large mobile aquariums maintained through the AGFC's Aquatic Resources Education Program.
More About the Aquatic Resources Education Program
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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.
Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 51 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets fished right on the bottom. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs fished around Adams lake and Gold Creek. Bass are fair on topwater lures and jerk baits. Catfishing is fair on worms and minnows hung from limb lines and yo-yos around cypress trees in 6 feet of water.    
Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) had no report.

Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said heavy water releases continue on the Little Red River. Recent water release has been dropping the lake level approximately 6 inches a day. We are not far from the desired lake level which should result in water release pattern change and provide favorable river fishing levels in the near future. Until then, current pattern eliminates any wade fishing opportunities and those planning to drift fish should exercise caution. Egg patterns, San Juan worms, micro jigs and weighted nymph patterns tend to work well. Streamers are an effective pattern during high water conditions. For Trout Magnet fishing, use long leaders and heavy weight with hot pink, cotton candy and purple bodies on silver and chartreuse jig heads. Key for both fly fishing and Trout Magnet fishing during heavy generation is the ability to get and maintain a good presentation of the fly or Trout Magnet using long leaders and heavy weight.
Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said good fishing is getting closer. The Corps said generation should be back to power demand only sometime next week. This means periods of wade fishing and low water should be available. 
James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been decent throughout the high flows recently. The Little Red should be back to normal flows by Feb. 10-14, and the fishing will get very good. The hot flies have been San Juan worms and sow bugs. Trout Magnets will be a great choice once the water levels are back to normal.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.73 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 0.79 feet above normal pool and still falling. Bass fishing is pretty good with some larger fish coming in on spinnerbaits, jigs, Alabama rigs and crankbaits fished over humps, points and 45-degree banks. The walleye have pulled back with the recent drop in temperature, but the bite should return with warmer weather. Try jigs tipped with minnows, crankbaits and bream fished at night and on cloudy days. Hybrids and white bass are biting well on in-line spinners, spoons, hair jigs, swim baits and live shad anywhere you can find schools of baitfish. Start your search in 25 to 70 feet of water. 

Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is murky and high. Crappie are biting well on live minnows fished around stumps in 6 to 7 feet of water. Catfishing is fair in deep water. No report on bass or bream. 
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Itty Bit Swim’Rs in monkey milk, pennyback shad, blue ice shimmer and Cajun cricket in 4 to 10 feet of water. Catfishing is good on worms, shad and minnows. Bass are biting buzzbaits and worms. White bass are biting well on Johnson Silver Minnows and Bobby Garland Itty Bit Swim’Rs. Bream are biting on crickets and worms.  

Overcup Landing had no report.

Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water is 0.5 feet above the spillway and the surface water temperature is 44 degrees. Bass are biting well in 10 to 15 feet of water on spinnerbaits, jerk baits and dead-sticked wacky-rigged worms. Spotted bass are biting well on jigs and crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water. White bass are biting well west of Arkansas Highway 10. They’re hitting deep-diving Bomber and Bandit crankbaits on the east side of the bridge and Rooster Tails and a jig-and-grub combo on the west side of the bridge. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around brush on the edges of river channel bends in 20 to 25 feet of water. Bream are slow. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers, live bream and stinkbait fished in 15 to 20 feet of water.  
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Bobby Garland Baby shad and minnows in 4 to 12 feet of water. White bass are being caught on Cajun Spins and Johnson Silver Minnows.

Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few catfish have been taken on bass minnows and bait shrimp. No recent report on crappie. Bass are fair on Beetle Spins.

Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said it is prime time for the walleye. They are still doing great on brood minnows. Smallmouth and spotted bass also have been taken on brood minnows. Crappie are slow but biting on no. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Catfish been hitting bass minnows and night crawlers.

Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said there’s still a lot of talk about crappie being caught on pink crappie minnows. Catfish are biting on goldfish and black salties. Bass are fair on spinner baits.

Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said some anglers are saying they’ve caught some walleye on Beetle Spins lately. Crappie are biting well on no. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish are biting on bait shrimp and cut shad. Bass are fair on bass minnows.

River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 40 degrees. Bream are fair on worms fished 7 to 8 feet deep. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is slow. Some white bass are in the creek and are biting well. 

The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is muddy. Crappie are slow to fair, with a few being caught on glowing jigs and orange jigs. Bass are shallow in the backwaters and are biting fairly well on spinnerbaits and black/red jigs. Catfishing is slow on cut shad and chicken liver by the dam.   
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy and high. Crappie are fair on minnows. No report on any other species.  

McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy and at normal level. Crappie are fair on minnows. No report on any other species.  

Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said Peckerwood Lake is now open for fishing. The water is a little stained and high, but the fish should be ready to bite after the long winter.

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 670.98 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
Bull Shoals Boat Dock said the surface water temperature is 46 degrees and the floodgates are open. Fish are holding in their winter patterns. Long, main-lake points in 35 to 45 feet like Point 5 where the point drops off deep are good places to target. White Dixie jet jigging spoons or 5/8-oz. white/chartreuse Rapala Jigging Raps are catching a lot of spotted bass and smallmouth when vertically jigged at the edges of these points. Fish slowly, but cover water with the electronics to help find active fish. Also don't be afraid to start all the way in the backs of the larger creek arms, especially if you are seeing bait. The Alabama rig is still the best producer, with an occasional walleye even mixed into the catch. Megabass, Spro and Rapala jerk baits fished with a three-second pause are working well. Most docks are pushed up on the bank, but if you find some left out deep that have been neglected you can usually find a few bass warming up underneath. Smoke grubs on a ¼-oz. head, or Fish Head spins paired with a Keitech in Shad colors are working well near the docks.K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) is closed until March 4, 2016.

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is very high and swift. 
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said said the White has seen heavy generation with no wadable water. In an effort to lower the lake levels before the spring rains, the Corps of Engineers opened eight flood gates. The combined outflow and generation equal 30,000 cubic feet per second, the equivalent of 10 full generators. The hot spot has been the catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals State Park. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (sizes 8-10), Y2Ks (sizes 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead, sizes 16-18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Streamer fishing has heated up with the high water. With the heavy flows, the fish have been pushed to the bank. The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy, 24- to 30-foot sink tip line. You will need an 8- or 9- weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 558.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no new report.
Guide Steve Olomon had no new report.
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said in an effort to lower the lake levels before the spring rains, the Corps of Engineers has opened flood gates. Releases on the Norfork equal 10,000 cfs, the equivalent of three full generators. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18-22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14-16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise, size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (size 18 elk hair caddis). My favorite combination has been a cerise worm with a Sunday special dropper. 

Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,127.21 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water temperature is in the mid-40s and the water is still well above power pool. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around brush in 8 to 12 feet of water. Bass are slow to fair on jerk baits, jigs and crankbaits from the Highway 12 Bridge to the dam. Catfishing is slow. Striper fishing was fairly slow last week. 
Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said stripers are making their way into the backs of coves, feeding on bait using pockets of warmer water. A degree or two is all it takes to concentrate the bait and the stripers. Some fish are using deep water adjacent to road beds, gravel bars, tree lines and bluffs. Again, key on the areas with a little warmer water to concentrate stripers and bait. The fish in the White River and War Eagle arms are located in warmer water pockets or close to the banks and on the bottom along gravel bars as they often do when the water gets cold. Try dragging baits close to these areas and along the bottom on gravel bars. Fishing should be good on live shad fished 20 to 30 feet deep, umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs and flat-line trolled Rapala no. 14 Husky Jerks and Smithwick Rogues in black back or purple back patterns.  Check out Indian Creek around the secondary point and past the marina near the power lines. Rocky Branch, Ford Creek, Cedar Creek, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris and Shaddox Hollow. Upstream, the War Eagle and White River areas are really good right now. Walleye are moving into the creek and river arms to spawn as well. Walleye can be found from 5 to 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 has worked well. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chart. Bink pro scale 1-oz jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.

 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.
Beaver Dam Store said the water is slowly receding. The access areas below the Dam are limited due to flooding.  Campground "C" and the Turn-a-round are blocked off until the Corps of Engineers can repair any damages caused by the high water. Watercraft can now launch immediately below the dam as well as at Bertrand Boat Launch. Try fishing Power Bait in white, red, chartreuse, or pink, tipped with wax worms or night crawlers. Trolling Berkley Flicker Shads, no. 9 Rapala Original Minnows and spoons downstream from Betrand Boat Launch has been producing. There is wadeable water right now, but the bottom conditions have changed dramatically since the large releases. Areas where that were wadable before may be much deeper now, and tons of gravel and sand have shifted to create a different bottom contour. Egg patterns, large nymphs, hare’s ears, midges and pheasant tails are all great patterns to dead drift now.

Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the bait shop at Duck Camp is closed for the season.

Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is cloudy and at normal level. Bass are biting well on jigs and other artificial lures fished around rocky areas on the southwest side of the lake. No report on bream, crappie or catfish.  

Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and at 48 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 8 feet of water. Bass are fair on jig-and-frog combos around ledges and rocky points. Catfishing has been good on chicken livers and shad.  

Northeast Arkansas

Lake Poinsett State Park said some good catches of crappie have come in lately at Lake Poinsett. The mild winter may have the crappie moving up to spawn earlier than usual. Minnows are the top bait at the state park bait shop. 

Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is very clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 46 degrees. Crappie are biting well on jigs and spoons in 20 to 25 feet of water. Bass are fair on crankbaits fished in 20 to 25 feet of water. No report on bream or catfish.  

Lake Frierson State Park had no report. 

Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 415 cfs at the spring and water clarity is clear. Woolly buggers and Y2K’s have been the hot flies. Spin fishermen have done best with hot pink and white Trout Magnets and silver spinners. The river is looking great and the trout have been biting well. Be careful wading the Spring River can be very slick.

Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the river is still at flood stage with all the massive releases from Bull Shoals upstream. No report because of the swift conditions.    

Southeast Arkansas

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said surface water temperatures are in the low to mid-50s with water visibility less than half a foot in most places. The mild winter has kept surface water temperatures higher than normal for this time of year. Black bass are still fairly slow, but they are biting better than they usually do in early February. Small finesse worms and crankbaits worked slowly around steep rock banks can get a few bites. Have reasonable expectations as you may only get 4 or 5 bites fishing most of the day, but the average fish is a good size this time of year. Also, the bite is better midday to evening on the warmer days.

Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said the recent shift in weather has turned out to be delightful for anglers. The crappie are biting better on shiners and teal jigs. The bass are biting well on the south end of the lake on white jigs and silver Rapalas. Catfish and bream are slow.

Lake Chicot State Park had no report.

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.08 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water level is 15 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  Heavy, but reduced current remains in Little River with a discharge of 7,504 CFS Monday.  Surface temperatures range from 45 to 50 degrees. Some boat ramps have not reopened and Millwood State Park remains closed for repairs. There are many river buoys missing along Little River since the recent 12-15 foot rise last week. Water clarity improved to 8-15 inches of visibility in the main lake away from current. Little River's visibility ranges 8-12 inches depending on location and current. Bass improved last week on warmer days. Many nice bass have been caught and several in the 8 to 10 pound range are showing up. The best activity period is during warmest time of the day under full sun in 3-5 feet of water with good clarity.  Best reactions over the past week have been on chatterbaits spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Large, ¾-oz. War Eagle spinnerbaits continue working in hot mouse, spot remover, and chartreuse/white colors.  Chatterbaits in black/blue/purple or Texas craw are working on shallow flats around cypress trees. Real Deal Custom Tackle jig in chili pepper, grape melon wine or watermelon candy/red with a black craw trailer are working on sunny flats next to cypress trees and stumps close to creek channel swings.  Echo 1.75 Squarebills in Millwood magic, ghost or gold will get a few random bites during the warmer days in flats close to deep creek channel swings as well. 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 week. These bass were hitting squarebill crankbaits and medium-running cranks from 4-9 feet deep. Catfish continue biting consistently over the past week with the current in Little River on trotlines using homemade blood bait and cut shad set 10-15 feet deep.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 539.71 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had no report. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 403.61 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
Regular reporter George Graves is still recovering from hip surgery. We at the AGFC wish him the best and hope he's back on the water, chasing the hot bite soon. 
DeGray Lake Resort State Park said the surface water temperature is 48 degrees. The water had muddied up from the wind, but there’s still about 6 feet of visibility. The crappie have slowed down a bit with the changing weather, but a few are still being caught. They’re still in 20 to 30 feet of water, and are stuck to the bottom. The best locations have been around deep cover near docks. Bobby Garland jigs have been the best lures for the crappie, particularly in baby bass and monkey milk colors. A few bass have come in lately that have been caught by the crappie. A few walleye have been caught on spoons. No report on bream or catfish. 
Iron Mountain Lodge and Marina said guide Dustin Holmes reported that crappie are being caught at the tops of brush piles in 15 to 25 feet of water on live minnows and jigs. Most days, bass are being caught fairly well around points with chunk rock on jigs and shad-colored crankbaits. On sunny days, crawfish-colored Rat-L-Traps have worked around rocky areas in 10 to 25 feet of water.

South-Central Arkansas

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. 

Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said a few crappie are being caught in the backwater lakes. Catfish have been very good on live bait. Bass and bream are slow.

Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said a few bass are being caught on jigs. No report on crappie or bream.

​Local angler Jaret Rushing said the water level is back to normal, but fishing reports have been slow due to the weather and few anglers on the water. 

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 354.47 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is still dropping from the recent floods. It’s still high and muddy. No report on the fishing.  
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland Slab Slay’Rs, Baby Shads and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’Rs in pennyback, monkey milk, blue ice shimmer, Cajun cricket and barbecue chicken in 4 to 10 feet of water. Catfishing is good on minnows, worms and shad. Bream are fair on worms.  

Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the surface water temperature is 46 degrees, warming to 48. Crappie have been good in 8 feet of water on minnows and chartreuse jigs. White bass have been in the creeks, and are being caught on small spoons and tandem crappie jigs. Striped bass have been fair on Alabama rigs and swim baits. Several catfish have been caught on jigs and jerkbaits around creek mouths by bass anglers, so hitting these areas with some live bait should offer some excellent action. Bass have been on the move, but if you can find them they’ve been excellent on jerk baits, jigs, Alabama rigs and Rat-L-Traps. Look for stumpy points and rock bluffs. Also start to check out flats near creek channel swings during warm days to find a few staging for the upcoming spawn.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.19 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the surface water temperature is 44 to 48 degrees. The water clarity is about 2 to 4 feet of visibility on the west side of the lake and 6 feet or so on the east side of the lake. Black bass are biting well on jigs, large lipless crankbaits and spoons fished near cover in old creek channels. Stripers are biting well on Alabama rigs and brood minnows fished around major creek channels. White bass, spotted bass and a few yellow bass may be mixed in with the stripers. Crappie are biting well on small spoons, minnows and crappie jigs around brush in 20 to 30 feet of water. 
The Trader Bill's Fishign Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner said larger bass can be found on Alabama rigs and larger, ¾-ounce jigs fished deep. This time of year, a 20-pound sack winning a tournament is not uncommon. The up-and-down water levels and unusually warm days are making things a little trickier to figure out lately. 

Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said the water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 44 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Generation is varied, so pay attention to the flow. The 5-foot winter drawdown is still in place, which creates many underwater hazards for boating. The drawdown will be complete on March 5, and both lakes should refill to normal water levels by March 13. Rainbow trout are excellent below the dam, with anglers catching and releasing 50 trout a trip and catches near 100 not uncommon. Fly-fishermen are having success casting small white streamers, micro-jigs in white or black, and  woolly buggers in green or black. Bank fisherman are catching limits of trout using corn, wax worms, meal worms and redworms combined with a marshmallow floater. These baits work equally well in current or slack water. Spin fishermen are recording limits casting 1/16- to 1/8-oz. Rooster Tails in brown or silver and small silver or gold spoons like Super Dupers or Little Cleos. Boaters trolling the main channel have done very well with shallow-running crankbaits against the current. Crawfish- or shad-colored lures that run 3 to 6 feet are ideal for shallow water and give fishermen the best chance for success. Walleye are moving into the area for the spawn. Small males have been caught below the bridge on jigs and crankbaits. As more walleye move into the tailrace, the bedding areas will spread from the bridge all the way to the dam with large numbers of fish covering both sides of the lake. Carolina rigs tipped with live minnows or nightcrawlers will catch walleye in current or slack water and be just as effective from the bank or boat. White bass have been caught below the dam on jerk baits and light jigs during slack water. These fish don't spawn until May, but are often hooked in the tailrace as they feed on shad. A few small stripers have been caught on soft plastics by anglers searching for bass. Large stripers will be caught next month as spring weather approaches. 

East Arkansas

​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report. 

 ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report.

Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is still high, cold and muddy. No report for any fishing due to all the current. 

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