Clean, Drain and Dry
Clean, Drain and Dry
Dec. 9, 2015

Clean, Drain and Dry

During winter, anglers often visit new bodies of water to track down the hot bite. But you may harbor a stowaway in your boat or equipment. Invasive species like zebra mussels can hitch rides on your equipment and spread to new bodies of water where they can take over. Before moving to a new body of water, follow the Clean, Drain and Dry motto: 
  • Clean all equipment -- Be sure to remove all mud, seeds and pieces of vegetation from your boat, trailer and vehicle.
  • Drain your boat -- Pull all drain plugs at the ramp before you leave each time you go fishing. Also let the water drain from your outboard motor's water intake.
  • Dry -- Let all gear and the bilge area of your boat dry for at least five days before visiting a different body of water. If you can't wait that long, spray the area with a high-pressure, hot water sprayer and let it drain thoroughly. 

    Photo Courtesy Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
Arkansas and White river levels are available at:
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit:  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
(Updated 12-9-2015) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and at normal level. Bream are fair on worms fished about 4 to 6 feet deep. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished 6 to 8 feet deep. A lot of boats are in Gold Creek. Bass are fair on dark-colored spinnerbaits and soft-plastics. Catfishing is excellent on yo-yos baited with large trotline minnows and goldfish.
(Updated 11-24-2015) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said crappie fishing is very good on minnows and jigs, but jigs are producing better than minnows. The best action has been in Gold Creek and back in the pond. No report on any other species.

(Updated 12-2-2015) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Army Corps of Engineers will be releasing water through the Greers Ferry Dam spillway gates along with one unit of generation beginning today. The total release will be equivalent to a normal water release of two units. This is expected to continue until the lake falls below 463 feet or the second unit is back online. If you fish these conditions, you will want to use long leaders and heavy weight using egg patterns, San Juan worms, micro jigs and sowbugs. Pounding the banks with streamers is also an effective fly-fishing method during high water conditions. For Trout Magnet fishing, use long leaders and heavy weight using cotton candy and purple bodies on silver and chartreuse jig heads. Concentrate on pools along the banks. The 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. 
(Updated 12-9-2015) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the Army Corps of Engineers is still running one unit plus the flood gates to make the release equivalent of two generators. This is a 24/7 schedule.  Fishing is spotty at best and drift fishing is the only option.  With the high water and strong flow, caution should be used when drifting.  One person should be watching the path of the boat to avoid pinning the boat against an obstruction. The Corps stated that they will drop the generation to one unit when the lake reaches 463, which should be in about six days.  This will still require drifting, but with lower flows.
(Updated 12-9-2015) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been good lately. The high water does make it more difficult, but the fish are still feeding. The key is getting your flies deep enough. Wading is not possible right now. The hot flies have been egg patterns and San Juan worms.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 464.62 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
(Updated 12-2-2015) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 4.54 feet above normal pool and rising, but the Corps of Engineers has opened up a lot of generation to get the lake level back down. Bass fishing has been good shallow in creeks in the newly flooded bushes. Try spinnerbaits and topwater lures right around the brush. In deeper water, drop-shots and Carolina rigs will catch a few bass. Crappie are biting well if you can find clean water. They are hitting jigs and minnows fished 12 to 25 feet deep. Bream have not been doing well in the changing water conditions. Walleye are scattered all over the water column. Try trolling crankbaits in 15-25 feet of water. Hybrids and white bass are eating in the clearer water 15 to 40 feet deep on spoons , inline spinners and slow-rolled swim baits as well as Alabama rigs.
(Updated 11-11-2015) Cody Smith of said water levels are 5 feet below top power pool and falling slightly with no significant rainfall. Water surface temperatures are still in the lower 70s lake-wide. Game fish are spread out from one foot of water to 30 feet. Look for fishing to improve greatly with water surface temperatures falling over the next couple weeks. White bass and hybrids are feeding on top most mornings in isolated locations. Once we see our surface temperatures get down in the mid 60s look for surfacing throughout the day rather than first and last light.said the water level currently is holding steady 4 feet below top of seasonal pool. Recent rains have helped stabilize the water level and cool temperatures to seasonal averages. A lot of fish that had been deeper in the water column and holding on to typical summer patterns have finally started to move. This in turn has spread our game fish out a bit more. Silver-sided minnows, bream and crawfish are the main types of forage here, concentrate on mimicking these and you should find a few fish.

(Updated 12-9-2015) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is high and murky, with water right up to the dock right now. Fishing has been slow with very few anglers out on the water, but some crappie are being caught.  
(Updated 11-24-2015) 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 6 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 had no report.

Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) had no report.

Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) had no report.

Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) had no report.

Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) had no report.

​(Updated 12-9-2015) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is perfectly clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on worms. Crappie are biting well around the edge of drop offs with brush on them in 5 to 6 feet of water. Minnows have been the best lure for the papermouths lately. Bass are biting well around any brush you find in 5 to 6 feet of water. Soft-plastic worms and minnows are working well for bass. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers. 

(Updated 12-9-2015) The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is high and muddy. No anglers have been on the water lately with the cold weather and hunting seasons. 
(Updated 12-9-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy and the current is swift. Catfishing is good on live bait fished from the bank below Terry Lock and Dam. No report on any other species.

(Updated 12-9-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy and high. Crappie are excellent on deep brush and stumps. Minnows have been the only thing working. No report on bass, bream or catfish.  

Herman's Landing (870-241-3731) is closed from Oct. 31 through the end of duck season. 

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 663.84 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(Updated 12-9-2015) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said water temperatures are still warmer than average. Anglers have caught fish in the back third of the larger creek arms if there were baitfish present. Always look for shad balls on your graph and the colder temperatures have the loons and gulls over the bait. A ½-oz. War Eagle spinnerbait in sexy mouse has worked around wood in the back of the coves as well. Rapala DT 10 crankbaits in shad colors, and Right Bite green pumpkin/orange jigs with Zoom green trailers are working on windy points from one to 15 feet deep. Some fish are already staging in their winter areas and anglers are already catching a lot of bass paralleling vertical bluff ends, using a Megabass Vision 110 in blue2 and a Rapala Shadow Rap in blue green. A Storm Wiggle Wart is also a good lure to use along small bluffs and transitions to chunk rock. K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) had no report.

(Updated 12-9-2015) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water has a green tint and is running high with six to eight generators going daily. Trout are biting well on Power Bait and shrimp. Spin-fishing has been good with spoons. Fly-fishing has been difficult with the current, be sure to use lots of weight to get the fly down in the swift water.
(Updated 12-9-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close Nov. 1, 2015-Jan. 31, 2016, to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The state park will be seasonal catch-and-release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, we had much heavy generation this week with no wadable water. The hot spot has been 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 sow bugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with a black midge suspended below it).

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 557.076 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(Updated 12-9-2015) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the water is 6½ feet above pool and the lake temperature is dropping with the cold weather. The shad will move out of the creeks and into the river channel when the water temperature hits the high 40s to lwo 50s. The early part of the winter fishing pattern is the flats. Stripers move to the shallow water no deeper than 60 feet, and school up, feeding on small shad. Right now Float Creek, Mallard Point, Howard Cove, and the entrance to Panther Bay Marina are the best places to find active stripers. Once the water gets cooler the shad will move to the main channel between the bridges heading towards Bidwell Point up to Howard Cove. The live bait users are catching stripers using shad and shiners and the artificial users are catching stripers and white bass on spoons. Find the shad and you will find the fish.
(Updated 12-2-2015) Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the water is rising slowly with the latest rain. Generation is sporadic, but should crank up soon to bring the lake back to normal pool. The creeks and coves are stained with the main lake partly stained to clear, depending on location. The surface water temperature this morning was 58 to 59 degrees. The fall bite is on. If you are looking to catch a lot of fish, with live or artificial bait, you need to come to Norfork Lake. Big schools of striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass are roaming the large flat areas in 30 to 50 feet of water. For the last five days the bite has been consistently good with a lot of fish being caught. I have been mainly vertical jigging with a spoon, bouncing the spoon off the bottom or when I see suspended fish reeling up to them and jigging in the school. There has been some top water action for stripers with a few fish surfacing while feeding on shad. Good electronics are definitely helpful this time of year. You will need to graph an area until you find the fish then start fishing. Also look for seagulls. If you notice these birds diving into the water, there will be feeding fish nearby. Trolling a 5- to 6-inch swim bait will also catch some fish. Set your baits at different depths between 20 and 50 feet. Live shiners, thread fin shad and gizzard shad are also working very well. The shiners will be the easiest as you can buy them at a local bait and tackle shop. You may be asking yourself where are these flats that Lou keeps mentioning, so here you go. In the mid lake area, then going up river: southeast of Robinson Island, northwest side of the 101 bridge, in front of Mallard Point, east side of Cranfield Island, Seward Point, in front of Briar Creek, East of Howard Cove going towards Talbert Point. There are definitely other areas down toward the dam, going farther up river, or back in the bayou area, but the listed flats are the ones I will be fishing until the fish go into their winter pattern. The other locations where stripers will be found are part way back into the major creeks. I have been having too much fun on the flats and have not had a chance to check them out, but typically they are there, especially with rising water. Crappie have moved under the dock at Humminbird Hideaway and have also moved onto the brush piles in 30 to 40 feet of water. These fish will be at different depths depending on the time of day. Live crappie minnows are working the best, but small jigs with a paddle tail or a twister tail are also doing well. Bass are also moving into the brush as well as up to the banks. Jerk bait time is for the most part here, so start throwing those stick baits. Spinners are also producing fish, but best method is still working your plastics along the bottom slowly. 
(Updated 12-9-2015) Guide Steve Olomon said the water is up about 5 ½ feet with the recent rains. The surface water temperature is in the upper 50s. Look for the stripers on flats. There are some surface-feeding at night, hitting stickbaits. Bass are hitting crankbaits and spinnerbaits thrown along the outside of the flooded brush. Deeper bass are hitting a drop-shotted or Texas-rigged worm and jigs. They will also hit a jigging spoon.
(Updated 12-9-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said there has been no wadable water lately. The Norfork has fished much better of late. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (size 18-22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (size 14-16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. 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 1,122.62 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(Updated 12-9-2015) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said the water temperature is in the high 50s to low 60s. Stripers are using deep water next to road beds, gravel bars, tree lines and bluffs. The stripers in the White River and War Eagle arms are in clear water pockets or close to the banks and on the bottom along gravel bars. Use the mud line to your advantage, as it often concentrates schools baitfish and stripers. The bite will improve after this cold front gets settled and the weather gets back to normal. Striper fishing should be good on live shad taken on live shad fished from the surface down 25 to 30 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs (chartreuse for stained water) or plugs on flat lines or slightly weighted lines. Rapala no. 14 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors and 5- to 6-inch Smithwick Rogues in similar colors are working well. Striper are also being caught at night by trolling main lake points with large surface lures like Redfins and Rapalas on bottom bouncers or 3-way rigs, Don’t be afraid to go big for hungry striper. Indian Creek still has some stripers in it. Check past the marina near the power lines.  The hot spots are Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, the Highway 12 Bridge, Prairie Creek and Coose Hollow. The further upriver you go, the better. Hickory Creek is hot right now, as are War Eagle and the White River upstream of Point 12. Most walleye have moved to the second drop and are being caught about 20-30ft deep they can be caught using a variety of methods. Three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try shad raps in natural colors and rattle traps trolled at 1-2mph. Bink pro scale 1-oz jigging spoons in white or white/chart combo are producing walleye.
(Updated 12-9-2015) Beaver Dam Store said fishing has been slow, but the bite is still there. A few spotted bass and smallmouth have been caught on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and shaky head jigs with trick worms. Drop-shot fishing has been the best producer for bass lately. A 7/8-oz. War Eagle Superspoon has been working well on all species.
(Updated 12-9-2015) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is 2.5 feet above normal pool and stained. The surface water temperature is 58 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around brush piles and crankbaits trolled near the main channel. Stripers are around Rocky Branch and War Eagle and are biting on trolled crankbaits, live shad and Alabama rigs with swim baits. 

(Updated 12-9-2015) Beaver Dam Store said the store is only open Thursday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. during winter. The bite has been good on white, red, chartreuse or pink Power Bait tipped with a wax worm or nightcrawler. Red/gold Buoyant Spoons, nickel/gold Colorado Spoons and silver/blue Little Cleos have been producing fish as well. Fly-fishing has been best with Y2K bugs and olive, blue dunn or zebra midges. PJ’s Jigs, Trout Magnets and Olive micro-jigs also are working well.
Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) had no report.

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

(Updated on 12-9-2015) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is murky and at normal level. Fishing has been slow for all species, but a few fish are being caught here and there.   

(Updated 12-9-2015) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and at normal level. Surface water temperature is 50 degrees. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs in 8 feet of water. Bass are biting well on square-billed crankbaits all over the lake. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and shad. No report on bream.

Northeast Arkansas

(Updated 12-9-2015) Lake Poinsett State Park said the anglers are still coming out to enjoy some fishing on sunny days. Crappie anglers are doing well on minnows and catfish anglers are doing fairly well on nightcrawlers. 

(Updated 12-9-2015) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on redworms fished about 20 feet off the bank. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around brush in 20 feet of water. Bass are biting well on crankbaits fished over deep points and brush in 20 feet of water. No report on catfish.

Lake Frierson State Park had no report. 

(Updated 12-9-2015) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 378 cfs at the spring and water clarity is mostly clear. The river is looking perfect. Brown trout, cutthroats and big rainbows are biting and giving some great action. Woolly buggers and Y2K’s are hot for fly-fishing. Hot pink Trout Magnets and gold spoons or spinners are doing great on the spinning rods. 

​(Updated 12-9-2015) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is high, but is clearing up. No one is fishing with the high water and hunting seasons going. 

Southeast Arkansas

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team had no report.

(Updated 12-9-2015) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said bass are biting well. Crappie are biting pretty well on minnows. Both bass and crappie are in some of the deeper holes for some reason, but drop a line down and see how it goes. Catfish are biting well on live bait overnight. Bream are biting fairly well.

Lake Chicot State Park had no report.

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 266.95 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(Updated 12-9-2015) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level is 9.2 feet above normal conservation pool and rapidly rising. There is increased current of Little River with the gate discharge level around 41,826 CFS as of Tuesday. Use extreme caution with increased current in Little River; watch for floating logs, wide debris fields and subsurface obstructions.
Surface temperatures range from 45 to 52 degrees, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location and time of day. Not many anglers are on the water because of hazardous navigation and current conditions. Water clarity worsened to  0-5 inches of visibility awa from current. The oxbows have 6-12 inches of visibility in the backs away from current. The bass bite slowed with the thunderstorms, current and muddy water. The best action before the rapid increase in lake level was on chatterbaits, and Rat-L-Trap Echo 1.75 Square-billed crankbaits. The best colors were firetiger, chartreuse shiner, gold, and red craw.  Bass Assassin Shads were working very well around remaining vegetation and lily pads. The best colors before this rapid rise and muddy water were gold pepper shiner, grey ghost and rainbow shad.  Tail spinners such as Spin Traps, Little Cleos, Little Georges, Rooster Tails and Rocket Shads are still catching random white bass, spotted bass and largemouth bass slightly deeper. Best colors of tail spinner hard baits like the Little Georges continue to be white, chartreuse, or a combination of those.  Best colors of the Rooster Tails continue to be white/red or red/chrome combinations.  Chrome and blue Johnson Jigging spoons on points with timber or stumps were taking a few bass over the prior week, out of river current in breaks where huge schools of bass are following and chasing shad. All white bass are random and scattered unless you can find a nice school in the back of the clear-water oxbows and away from current in Little River. Crappie disappeared with all the recent inflow of muddy water along Little River. No report on catfish because most catfish anglers stayed off the water this week.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.95 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
(Updated 12-9-2015) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said surface water temperature is 57 to 62 degrees. The water is muddy on the upper end of the lake and stained near the dam. Bass are biting well crawfish-colored crankbaits in 6 to 10 feet of water and jigs in 12 to 15 feet of water. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.48 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
Local angler George Graves had no report.

South-Central Arkansas

(Updated 11-4-2015) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said bream are biting fairly well on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good using trotlines baited with live bait and using tight lines with worms and prepared catfish baits. No report on crappie or bass. 

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 12-2-2015) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said said bass are still biting on spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs. Anglers are picking up a few crappie in the old riverbed and lakes. Some good catfish have been caught on goldfish lately. 

(Updated 12-2-2015) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said there have been some good reports of crappie being caught very well under lanterns.

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 358.40 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 
(Updated 12-9-2015) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is high and muddy. No anglers or hunters have been by lately to give a report. It’s been very slow.   
(Updated 11-24-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Bobby Garland Slab Slay’Rs and Itty Bit Swim’Rs in barbecue chicken, Cajun cricket, monkey mild and pennyback shad fished 6 to 10 feet deep. Catfishing is good on worms and minnows. Bream are fair on worms. 

(Updated 11-24-2015) Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said visibility is poor in most of the lake, but a few backwater areas are clear. Surface water temperature is in the 50s. Bass have been biting well on Clearwater spinnerbaits, jigs with a Bamboozie craw trailer, tubes and Rat-L-Traps. Stripers have been biting well on crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps and swim baits on river points and lily pad stems. Crappie have been slow because of the dirty water. Minnows have worked better than jigs lately. White bass have been biting well on points with the stripers. Catfish have been biting well on live bait on river flats with wood cover. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.70 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(Updated 12-9-2015) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is stained and the surface temperature is 50 to 52 degrees. Black bass are biting well on jigs and crankbaits. Drop-shot rigs with finesse worms are producing quality spotted bass when fished near brush. Walleye are slow, but a few have been caught on ¾-oz. CC spoons jigged vertically near structure. Stripers are fair on live bait and hair jigs around main lake points and humps. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on small spoons, minnows or crappie jigs fished near brush in 20 to 30 feet of water. No report on catfish.
(Updated 12-2-2015) Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner with Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports Fishing Report in Hot Springs said the rain has really muddied up the water and increased the current through the system. There haven’t been many people fishing right now. Deer season and muddy water has most anglers off the water.   

(Updated 12-2-2015) Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner with Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports Fishing Report in Hot Springs said the rain has really muddied up the water and increased the current through the system. There haven’t been many people fishing right now. Deer season and muddy water has most anglers off the water.   
(Updated 12-9-2015) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 49 degrees with clearing conditions in the tailrace. Heavy rainfall forced Entergy to open flood gates and schedule heavy flows to maintain the winter drawdown levels. Currently, muddy water and fast currents have subsided. The rainbow trout season is underway with the November stocking in place and December numbers on the way. Trout from 11 to 14 inches are being caught below the dam by fly-fishermen, boaters and bank anglers. Fly-fishermen are having success casting egg patterns with a strike indicator on the edges of current flow at the head of the shoals. Trout tend to congregate just out of the main flow in order to reserve energy. San Juan worms in red and hot pink are also working well. Micro-jigs in black or white are an excellent choice when current is present. Boaters are able to anchor and fish points and sand bars that hold trout even in shallow conditions. Silver Super Dupers, white/chrome Little Cleo's and white/brown Rooster Tails are productive in current or slack water conditions in addition to being an excellent bait for locating schools of fish. Trolling shallow running crankbaits below the bridge has produced the largest trout some of which were in the 15-inch range. Bank fishermen are recording limits of trout using wax worms, redworms, nightcrawlers and crickets fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater or under a bobber in slack water over sand bars and exposed rock structure. White bass move into the tailrace in mid-December chasing threadfin shad. Black/silver jerk baits work well on the white bass, as will live minnows small jigs and crankbaits. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is cautioned to be aware of the low water conditions and many underwater hazards. 

East Arkansas

(Updated 11-24-2015) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said crappie are hitting on live minnows and jigs. Chartreuse jigs have worked well when fished off the bottom. Catfish have been good on chicken liver and stink bait. Largemouth bass have been hitting crankbaits off the points. Small black bugs have been producing bream.

(Updated 11-24-2015) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said bream are slow. Crappie have picked up on live minnows and chartreuse jigs fished about 10 feet deep.

(Updated 12-2-2015) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the rain has really muddied up the water and increased the current through the system. There haven’t been many people fishing right now. Deer season and muddy water has most anglers off the water.   

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