Catfish coming to town for spring break
Catfish coming to town for spring break
March 16, 2016

Catfish coming to town for spring break

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Family and Community Fishing Program has just the solution to cabin fever during spring break – a trip to your community pond. All program ponds will receive their first stockings of catfish for 2016 in the next two weeks to give local anglers an opportunity to enjoy good fishing and delicious table fare. 
        “There still are a bunch of trout in many of the ponds where we stocked them this winter,” said Clint Coleman, assistant coordinator for the program. “When we add in these catfish, there will be a lot of hungry fish for anglers to chase.” 
Find a fishing location near you
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 3-16-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and surface temperature is 52 degrees. The water level is normal right now. Bream are biting fairly well on worms and crickets fished in 2 feet of water about 10 feet off the shoreline. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished in 6 feet of water around cypress trees in Green’s Lake, Adam’s Lake and Paradise Landing. Bass are biting well on white spinnerbaits and dark-colored soft-plastic lizards in 2 to 3 feet of water. Catfishing is excellent on limb lines and yo-yos baited with large minnows and goldfish. 
(updated 3-16-2016) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said said crappie are biting fairly well early and late in the day. Bass fishing is fair on small jigs and small spinners. Bream are fair on redworms. Catfishing is good on live and prepared bait.


(updated 3-16-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said there is one unit of generation running around the clock. 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 3-16-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the river is clearing. Drift fishing is good on the upper sections of the river. The lake level is about 459.7, but the Corps of Engineers still wants a level of 457 to repair the second generator, so they will continue to run the one unit around the clock to lower the lake to this level. Large nymphs, micro jigs and San Juan worms are still good flies during these conditions. The weather is improving and looks dry for the next several days.
(updated 3-16-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been excellent on the upper river lately. Recent rains have caused much of the river to become muddy, but it will clear soon. Currently we are getting consistent flows of one unit being released around the clock. Look for that to change soon. The hot flies have been prince nymphs and pink San Juan worms. Trout Magnets have been producing good numbers of fish, too.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 579.04 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
(updated 3-16-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 2.39 feet below normal pool and rising, despite heavy generation. Surface temperature ranges from mid-50s to mid-60s. The walleye in the river are almost finished spawning, but the lake fish are beginning to move up to spawn there. Try dragging a minnow on a jig head or trolling a crankbait. Dragging a large bream on a catfish rig also has picked up some bigger walleye this year. Bream are starting to move to shallow water and can be caught on crickets, small crankbaits and in-line spinners. No report on catfish. Crappie fishing is good all over the lake on jigs and minnows in 25 feet of water. The crappie seem to be moving up, and a lot of fish have also been caught in front of submerged brush. Hybrid and white bass are biting well all over the lake and in the rivers on spoons, in-line spinners and Alabama Rigs anywhere from 2 feet out to 25 feet.
(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 3-9-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is murky and the surface temperature is slowly rising. Bream are fair. Crappie are biting excellently on minnows fished deep out near the island. Bass are biting well on chartreuse jigs. Catfishing is fair on minnows. The fishing should get really good after the lake settles from the incoming rain.  
(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. 
(updated 3-16-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water level is 0.61 feet above the spillway. The water is 55 degrees at mid-lake and 58 degrees at the west end. Largemouth bass are excellent 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 west 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. 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. 
(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 3-9-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) people have been catching some pretty decent catfish on chicken livers and night crawlers. No report on bream or crappie. A few bass have been caught on bass minnows and brooder minnows.


(updated 3-9-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said with all the rain, the water is too high, and no one has been fishing it. Hopefully it will drop so by next week.


(updated 3-9-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few people have done well on large bream, fishing crickets in deep water. Some catfish have been caught on trotlines baited with black salties. Crappie are biting well on no. 6 minnows and pink crappie minnows. Bass have been hitting bass minnows fairly well.


(updated 3-9-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few crappie have been caught on no. 6 crappie minnows and blue ice-colored Bobby Garland jigs. Bass are fair on bass minnows. Catfish are fair on bass minnows and bait shrimp. No report on bream.


(updated 3-16-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is low and clear. The surface water temperature is 51 to 52 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms in 5 to 6 feet of water. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 6 to 7 feet of water along channel edges. Bass are biting very well on chartreuse spinnerbaits and white soft plastics fished along the edge of the channel in 4 to 5 feet of water. The bass should be biting even better later this week with the warmer weather. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers and around the dock. Minnows hung from yo-yos have also caught some catfish.     


(updated 3-9-2016) The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is muddy, and the surface temperature is 58 to 59 degrees. Crappie are fair in shallow backwater areas on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on square-billed crankbaits and jigs fished around shallow backwater areas. No report on catfish or bream. 
(updated 3-16-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is high and muddy. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and white spinnerbaits fished around backwaters. No report on bream, crappie or catfish.     


(updated 3-16-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is high and muddy. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair to good on minnows fished in 4 feet of water, about 6 to 8 feet from the bank. Bass are fair on white spinnerbaits and a variety of crankbaits fished about 10 to 15 feet from the bank. Catfish are slow.     


(updated 3-16-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is high and dingy. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around 3 feet deep. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits fished around the edges of the timberline. Catfishing is good on minnows and hot dogs. No report on bream. 



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.72 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(updated 3-9-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said the water temperature already is pushing 50 degrees and the water condition looks great. Crappie that have been coming in are ready to release their eggs. Now that the lake has stopped dropping a foot per day, the crappie are starting to stage on brush piles in the coves.  Not along the banks yet, but that will change when we get 60 to 65 degree surface temperatures. Bass are getting up toward the banks with the warmer days pushing the surface temperature up every week. The bass really starting to hit a Wiggle Wart and spinner bait last week. Anglers are starting to see large amounts of shad around the dock.  This should be a good time for a jerk bait.  No reports on the white bass or walleye yet.
(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.


(updated 3-16-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is high and about six generators are running. Water clarity is good. Trout are biting excellently on drift rigs baited with frozen shad. A 19-lb. brown trout and a 25-lb. brown trout were caught last week, and the rainbow trout fishing has been phenomenal.   
(updated 3-9-2016) 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 554.37 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(updated 3-16-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said surface water temperature has been 55 to 58 degrees the last few days. Stripers have moved all the way up the creeks and are being caught on live bait and Rattling Rogues. I heard one report of stripers busting shad in Panther Creek in the evenings. Stripers are shallow in the mornings and evenings. If you're using live bait, set your lines 20 feet behind your floats and run your planner boards next to shore. Norfork is in prime condition to have an awesome March, both day and night. We are seeing a good top water and night bite for the rest of this month and into April. This is going to be an incredible spring for you early bird anglers. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! Be sure to check out the spring striper tactics article.
(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 3-9-2016) 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 1,121.08 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 3-16-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is stained and a little above normal. The river arms are beginning to clear. Crappie are biting well on brightly colored jigs and minnows fished a few feet deep around brush in the river arms. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and brightly colored spinnerbaits with red kicker blades. A few stripers are being caught on brood minnows. White bass and walleye are running in the river arms and are biting on Berkley Flicker Shads in firetiger and chartreuse. Fishing a paddletail grub in pools of the river also will catch a mixed bag of white bass and walleye.  
(updated 3-16-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said the annual Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs kids fishing event is right around the corner and volunteers with boats are still needed. Volunteers will take kids from the HOFNOD program out to go fishing on March 29. Lunch will be provided. Please call Mike at 479-366-8664 or email him at beaversafari.com@hotmail.com for more information and to volunteer. 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. There has been some nice topwater action in the last week. 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, Lost Bridge South, Big Clifty, Points 5 and 6, 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 3-9-2016) Beaver Dam Store said said the water release on Beaver Tailwaters is finally tapering off.  Minimal generation is occurring today for two hours from 7 until 9 a.m. Watercraft can now launch immediately below the dam at River Access 1, as well as Bertrand and Houseman boat ramp.  Try fishing Power Bait in white, red, chartreuse or pink, tipped with wax worms or night crawlers. Troll downstream from Bertrand Boat Launch with Berkley Flicker shads, no. 4, 5 and 9 Rapalas and Colorado spoons for good numbers of fish. Fly-anglers are doing well on egg patterns, big nymphs, hare’s ear nymphs, midges and pheasant tails. The walleye run is on!  Many anglers are reporting walleye catches. Carl from the Beaver Dam Store recorded a 32-inch walleye weighing 13 to 14 pounds and limiting out. 
(updated 3-9-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said fishing has been great. The Corps of Engineers is starting to slow generation, but that is likely to change due to the weather. Walleye are being caught in nice numbers on trolled crankbaits and jigged minnows. Most walleye are being caught between Houseman access and Beaver Town. White bass also are making a move upriver. Trout are being caught on crankbaits, spoons and light terminal tackle with various Power Baits. Water temperature between Houseman and Spider Creek is 48 to 50 degrees. 


(updated 3-16-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the fish turned on fast at Lake Elmdale last week. The lake is at its normal level, the water is clear to at least 6 feet and the surface temperature is 61 degrees. The crappie bite is on.  I watched one gentleman keep 17 nice ones Sunday around noon he caught by casting a small white jig and retrieving it slowly. Start your search in 6 feet of water. Later the same day other anglers tried in the same area with minnows and had no luck. Timing is very important.  Bass are fair on jigs. Bream are roaming the shoreline and hitting crickets, redworms and bream poppers. No report on catfish. 


(updated 3-16-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is a little high and murky. Crappie are fair on jigs and worms. Bass are biting well on soft-plastics fished near shallow water. No report on bream or catfish.    


(updated 3-16-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is dingy and the surface temperature is 55 degrees. Bream are fair on worms fished in 5 feet of water near the bank. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around brush in 3 to 4 feet of water. Bass are biting well on chartreuse spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished close to the bank. Catfishing is good on shad and chicken livers. White bass and walleye are biting well. Some large paddlefish have been snagged below the dam.



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 3-16-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said many anglers have come out to the lake in spite of the rain. They are catching some nice catfish and crappie. A few bass tournaments are scheduled for this month, and the action is beginning to pick up for them as well. The bait shop does not have any crickets right now, but will restock as soon as night temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees.


(updated 3-16-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and a little high. Surface water temperature is 54 degrees. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished 8 feet deep over 20 feet of water around brush tops. No report on bream, bass or catfish.    


(updated 3-16-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 430 cfs and water clarity is clear. The river is looking great. Y2Ks and Guppies have been hot on the fly and hot pink Trout Magnets and yellow spinners have been hot spin fishing.


(updated 3-9-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and at normal level, but will likely rise with the rain. The surface temperature is about 48 degrees. Fishing is slow for all species. A couple of bass have been caught, but there’s been no real pattern to report.  



Southeast Arkansas

(updated 3-9-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the upper 50s in Lake Langhofer and on the main channel of the river. There are some shallow areas already over 60. Expect these temperatures to continue to climb. Visibility on the river is only a few inches with up to a foot of visibility in protected backwaters in Lake Langhofer. Again, with heavy rain predicted, it is likely that everything will be getting muddy soon, so break out the black/blue jigs and bright-colored crankbaits and spinnerbaits because the fish will likely be up as shallow as they can be by next weekend.


(updated 3-16-2016) Cane Creek State Park said much of the lake is high from the rain. The bass and the crappie have slowed a bit from last week. Catfish are biting in the shallows where the creeks come in. Bream are biting fairly well on worms.


(updated 3-16-2016) Local angler Geoff Wright said few folks were fishing last week with the rain. The water is very high, covering many boat docks and piers. Boating conditions have been dangerous with the water so high and dirty. 



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.48 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 3-16-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water level is slowly returning to normal, but remains 2 feet above conservation pool. Gate discharge at the dam was 25,515 cfs Monday.  Surface water temperature ranges from 57 to 65 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 5 to 8 inches in the main lake. The water clarity in the river is 4 to 6 inches, and in the oxbows it is 10 to 15 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 71 Bridge at Wilton and Patterson Shoals. 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 were fair on jigs placed right next to cypress tree trunks in 6 to 9 feet of water. Yo-yos baited with minnows also worked for crappie in the same areas. Catfish continue biting consistently in Little River on trotlines and yo-yos using cut shad, chicken hearts and gizzards fished  7-12 feet deep.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 547.08 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
(updated 3-16-2016) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported the water surface temperature is 61 degrees. The water is muddy on the north half of the lake and stained from Point 7 south. Bass are hitting 3/8-oz. KVD Special spinnerbaits in white with silver blades, shad-colored jerk baits and Alabama Rigs. Bass seem to be holding away from the bank a few feet. The sunshine and warmer temperature should have the males roaming the bushes. Crappie are biting well all over the lake. Use 2-inch Kalins grubs in shad or popsicle colors around brush tops and laydowns along the shore. For water safety information, visit http://watersafety.usace.army.mil.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 411.05 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
(updated 3-16-2016) John Duncan of Action Fishing Trips has the following reports for DeGray:
Iron Mountain Marina reports the water temperature is 60 degrees to 64 degrees. Before the storms, white bass and hybrids were doing well upriver past Point Cedar. A small pink jig was effective on crappie in Brushy Creek before the storm as well. Since the storm, not many anglers have been having luck. The state park marina said the only good reports came from upriver before the storms.
(updated 3-16-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 50s. The lake is clear up to Edgewood, slightly stained up to Point 14 and heavily stained to muddy in Shouse Ford and Point Cedar. Fishing is pretty slow with the high, dirty water. The lake is being lowered quickly, and things should be much better by next week. Most ramps are open, but some require launching at the parking lot. No reports on crappie even though some fishermen are trying.  The high water has the fish off their feed. Bass fishing is slow with only a few catches reported from shoreline flooded brush.  The best pattern has been a Texas-rigged worm or lizard worked slowly through the cover at the mouths of spawning coves. Look for fish to be dropping to deep water as the level lowers. Hybrid and white bass fishing is at a standstill with the muddy water. No reports from the Caddo River, which was too high to even fish.  Like bass, hybrid fishing will pick up once the water stabilizes and clears.



South-Central Arkansas

(updated 3-9-2016) 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 3-9-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting fairly well on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Crappie, bream and catfish are all slow. The rain will likely raise the water level dramatically again. 


(updated 3-9-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are fair. No report on crappie, bream or catfish. 


(updated 3-9-2016) ​Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.



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 356.98 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 3-9-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said surface water temperature is 54 degrees and the water is dirty with some clear creeks. The surface temperature is 65 around the nuclear plant. Largemouth bass have been good on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and jigs on windy points and windblown banks. Flipping beavers, structure bugs and Bamboozie craws on swivel hooks in stumpy areas has been working very well, as have stick worms fished in the creeks and backwaters. Rat-L-Traps are working well around staging areas. Crappie are hit-or-miss. Some days they are shallow and biting fairly well on black/chartreuse jigs, other days they are deep and biting best on pink and brown. Some days have been minnow-only bites. Creeks have been better than the river for size and numbers of crappie. Striper fishing has still been good on the lower end of the river. Spinner baits, Rat-L-Traps, crankbaits and Alabama rigs have been the best for stripers. The bream have been good on crickets and worms in the smaller creeks around rocks with brush. Catfish have been fair, but with all the rain coming it should  improve dramatically off of river points and the first drop out from the spawning flats. Try cut shad, perch, redworms and nightcrawlers. White bass up in the creeks have been fair on white tandem hair jigs, tailspinners and Rooster Tails.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 579.04 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(updated 3-16-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the surface water temperature is 56 to 60 degrees. The water is stained to muddy from recent rains. Black bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, large lipless crankbaits and jerk baits fished around secondary points. Walleye are still fair, and are making their spawning run up major rivers and creeks. Stripers are still biting well on brood minnows and swim baits. White and yellow bass are being caught on small spoons and hair jigs fished vertically over schools of shad. Most of these fish are moving upriver to spawn as well. Bream are fair on maggots, redworms and crickets fished 20 to 25 feet deep. Crappie are fair on minnows and crappie jigs fished around brush in 20 to 30 feet of water. Catfish are fair on live bait or cut bait in 20 to 25 feet of water. 
(updated 3-9-2016) The Trader Bill's Fishing Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner said the water is on a slow rise, but that may change quickly because all the tributaries are full. One more heavy rainfall and you may see some quick rises in water level. The warm rain and steady temperatures may promote some early bedding from the bass by next weekend. 


(updated 3-9-2016) The Trader Bill's Fishing Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner said as of March 9, the lake level is remaining fairly stable because of the increased releases combating the influx of rain. There is a lot of debris floating on Hamilton right now from the flow. 
(updated 2-17-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips had no new report.


(updated 3-16-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said Lake Ouachita is just over a foot into the flood pool and Carpenter Dam will generate around the clock until the big lake falls below flood level. Recent heavy rains have caused Entergy to open flood gates and schedule high flows to rid area lakes of excess waters. Lake Catherine is now at normal summertime pool as of Monday, March 14. This level will be maintained until mid-November when the winter drawdown is scheduled to begin. Currently, the Carpenter Dam tailrace has very strong flows and stained water. Water temperature has risen to 56 degrees due to the warmer weather. Rainbow trout are king below the dam with thousands of fish already thriving in the tailrace and thousands more scheduled to be released this month. Guided trips were catching and releasing big numbers of quality trout before the storms. When there are breaks in the heavy flows, very good numbers of trout will be caught again. Bank fishermen had success fishing in the main channel with white or yellow Power Bait, redworms, nightcrawlers, corn and live minnows. Boaters can safely move around with the water level brought back to normal. Exposed rock structure and sand bars provide current breaks for hungry trout as they ambush prey and rest. Jigs in white or gray in 1/16 and 1/8 ounce weights are a deadly presentation when the current is flowing evenly. Little Cleo's and Super Dupers in gold or silver also work well. Rooster Tails in brown or silver have been effective casted near rock structure across the current flow. Fly fishermen are now at a big disadvantage with the rising of the lake and should use extreme caution trying to access areas in fast water. Egg patterns remain a best bet combined with a strike indicator. Walleye continue to spawn below Carpenter Dam. Very few fish have been caught during the day. Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers or live minnows have been the most effective method for these finicky fish; however, trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current has accounted for the largest walleye, with a few catches topping 7 pounds. March marks the beginning of the crappie spawn below the dam. Warmer temperatures and rising water will bring these gamefish into the tailrace for several months. Live minnows, small jigs, and crankbaits will all draw strikes and the size of the females can be as large as 2 1/2 to 3 pounds.



East Arkansas

(updated 3-16-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report. 


(updated 3-16-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report.


(updated 3-16-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is slightly stained and high. There haven’t been any good reports from anglers at all lately.   



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