(updated 9-7-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said water is clear and at a normal level. Bream are good, and worms and crickets are bringing bites. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Reports on bass were just fair, with spinnerbaits and topwater baits working best. Catfishing is fair.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie are fair in about 12-14 feet depth. Use pink and crappie minnows.
(updated 9-7-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red River continues to receive two units of generation for several hours each day. Even with the increased generation pattern, you can find opportunities to wade fish early mornings on the upper and middle sections of the river. For fly fishing, we recommend streamers, sowbugs, midges and Woolly Buggers. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend candy cotton, hot pink and red-colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads. This Saturday, Sept. 10, is the annual Little Red River Cleanup. More information on the cleanup can be found on the Little Red River Foundation and TU Chapter 722 Facebook pages. 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 website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 9-7-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips
(501-690-9166) said fishing was good over the holiday weekend. The generation was stepped up to 9 a.m. on Saturday but it had dropped back to 11 a.m. on Tuesday and was forecast for 10 a.m. on Wednesday. With the earlier generation mid- and lower river was the best choice. Staying ahead of the new water is the best bet for a good catch. Greg said his fishermen are having good catches of rainbows with a few browns. There is a blue-winged olive hatch in the afternoons just ahead of the generation. The fish are taking nymphs and emergers. Pheasant tails, fox squirrel nymphs, hare’s ear nymphs and midge pupas are good choices in small sizes (16 to 20s). Hope everyone had a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend and don’t forget to meet with Greg and his group at Red River Adventure Resort at the Old Swinging Bridge on Saturday, Sept. 10, for the annual river cleanup. Lunch will be furnished for the volunteers.
James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co.
said the fishing has been excellent. There have been consistent water releases each afternoon/evening from the dam for 3-5 hours. Wading opportunities are best in the upper river in the mornings, while wading the lower river is best in the afternoons/evenings. Drift fishing from the boat is best to cover the most amount of water. The hot flies have been egg patterns, sowbugs and San Juan worms. Pink and yellow Trout magnets have been producing good numbers of fish as well.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 464.41 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said the hybrid and white bass bite are both good with some schooling fish doing their thing at various places and times all over the lake. Some are roaming and some are staying on structure. The spoon bite is really picking up as well as topwaters, in-line spinners and various other baits are working. The bream are still doing well on crickets and crawlers in real shallow water out to about 20 feet now. Catfish are more active than a couple of weeks ago. Use your favorite bait for whichever species you prefer close to deep water on flats. The crappie are eating Road Runners and jigs, as well as minnows in the pole timber suspended in 10-18 feet of water. Many walleye are roaming under the hybrids and white bass, eating what they spit up, but others are eating crawlers in 12-28 feet of water. The bass fishing is picking up in the shallow water with the cooler weather on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs. The deeper fish can be caught with C-rigs and Texas rigs, as well as drop shots.
(updated 9-7-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) said catfishing was slower this week but there were still reports of fair numbers of catches and nice size catfish. The water at the resort is clear. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. Good reports of bass on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures.
(updated 9-7-2016) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is still high,about 1.5 feet above normal. Clarity is good, temperature is 87. Crappie are picking up in 11 feet of water, fishing 6-8 feet, using minnows. Bass are slow but still chasing shad late evening and early morning. Bream are slow 10-15 feet off bank in 3-4 feet of water, using crickets. Catfish are doing fair on jugs, Yo-Yo’s and lines, using shad, rice slicks and nightcrawlers. Banks says, “Come enjoy our little slice of HEAVEN” off state Highway 9.
(updated 9-7-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina
reported that the lake has changed with the recent weather, and crappie are hitting again while the black bass have improved. Jolly Rogers will be wrapping up its black bass tournament schedule with the Fish Off on Sept. 17. Black bass are biting well on wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits early in the day and late in the evening. Blacks can be caught in 15-20 feet of water. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. The rain and cooler weather have activated the bass. Kentucky bass rate good and can be caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water mixed in with the blacks.
White bass fishing is excellent. Use CC spoons or deep diving Bandits and Bombers. They are all over the lake and are being caught in the main lake on CC spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. Rain did improve the crappie fishing in the last week and it rates good. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs. Crappie are 20 feet deep; try the edges of the channels and on the old road beds. Bream fishing is excellent and can be found in 15 feet at the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good. They are being caught in 15-20 feet of water using stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.
(updated 9-7-2016) Fosters Four Seasons
(501-868-9061) said fishing is still good, with the water clarity clear and at a normal level. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie rated good
on minnows and jigs. The bass bite is good, with anglers using spinnerbaits
and topwater lures. Catfishing is good; try chicken livers or cut bait.
(updated 9-7-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that crappie fishing is fair. Crappie are around the main lake points and are found in 10-20 feet of water. Jigs of all colors are working, as well as minnows. Bass fishing was reported fair. Bass are mostly deep and are biting spoons, 3 ½ jigs and deep-diving crankbaits. Catfishing is fair on trotlines baited with shad, goldfish or minnows. No reports on bream or white bass.
Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff
(501-834-5733) had reports that bass were good on drop-shorts and crankbaits, while bream were good and biting redworms.
(updated 8-31-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream fishing has been fair with crickets and redworms. Bass fishing has been "OK," according to one customer using minnows and green pumpkin trick worms. Reports of only a few crappies biting pink minnows.
(updated 8-31-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said the river should be great for this weekend. Bass will bite large minnows, four-inch lizards in almost any color, small crankbaits or small spinnerbaits. Catfish have been biting minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Crappie are starting back up in some deep holes and back waters. No. 6 minnows and small crankbaits fished fast have been working fairly well for some. Gar fishing is fun and challenging with minnows fished on strong hooks and heavy line. Bream will almost always bite crickets or worms on the river and are usually abundant and fun to catch regardless of size. Take a kid fishing this weekend and everyone stay safe.
(updated 8-31-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are deep and biting crickets and redworms fished 12-18 inches off the bottom. Catfish are biting minnows, black salties and goldfish on jug lines and trotlines at night. Bass have been hitting live minnows, plastic worms and lizards or early in the morning a small topwater bait. Crappie are tight-lipped – or anybody that's catching them is.
(updated 8-31-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said the crappie have slowed down for our Winona customers but they are still catching enough to keep them going for now. Size 6 and 12 minnows are the baits they seem to prefer. Bass have been biting those minnows as well. Bream fishing is fair with crickets and redworms. Catfish are biting good in the evenings on nightcrawlers, chicken livers and minnows.
(updated 8-31-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said there are few people fishing but the water is getting right. White bass are chasing shad early in the morning and late. The fishing is good around the creek opening and around jetties; go with a crankbait in shad or pearl colors. Also, where you have schools on the graph in front of jetties, use a CC spoon or a Critter Getter. Catfish are good and are moving in and out of the jetties in 5-10 feet of water, up to 15-25 feet by mid-day. Use worms. Bream are better in the backwater on worms. Black bass are in the timber; use a June bug-color bait. Kentucky bass are active when the the water levels are in the grass. Try a Firetiger color for them. Stripers are below the dam, so float a bream or shad about 6-feet deep.
(updated 8-31-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley reported bass fishing at the Cadron Pool has been a little better the last two weeks. With flows around the 20,000 cfs the fish will keep feeding pretty much all day long. Just remember to work the main river areas with moving water. The fresh water will typically be cooler and more oxygenated than the hot backwaters. Although you can definitely catch fish by fishing slow, Kelley said he prefers to stay on the move, fishing all of the main river structure that he comes to. Try squarebill crankbaits, bandit crankbaits, and 1/2 spinnerbaits tight to cover that has the most current on it. Catfishing has been consistent, but not great. Definitely spend the majority of your efforts chasing cats after dark. You still want to focus on deeper areas, but because there are times of slack current, you might need to drift over multiple holes before you get that good bite. Live shad and bream have been working the best lately.
River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said water level and current were normal, and the clarity was fair. Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are in about 5-7 feet depth and biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good both early in the day and late in the evening; try using spinnerbaits or topwater lures. Catfishing is good on chicken liver and hot dogs. No reports on white bass.
(updated 9-7-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reported the water was clear and at a normal level. Bream are good on worms and crickets. There were no crappie reports. Bass are biting fair on spinnerbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing is good by the dams. Chicken livers seem to be working best.
(updated 9-7-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said reports from Clear Lake were clear water conditions and a normal level, with fair reports of fish. Bream are fair on worms and crickets, while crappie are biting minnows and jigs fairly well. Bass fishing is fair on plastic worms, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish reports were poor. Near Terry Lock and Dam, the water is clear and normal, and crappie are active in the backwaters on minnows and jigs. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Bass are active around the jetties and there were reports of good catches on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is best here with cut bait, and rated good.
(updated 9-7-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported water is clear and at a normal level. Bream reports were good with worms and crickets working well. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. Bass are good, with the earlier you go the better; try spinnerbaits or topwaters. Catfishing is good and working best with chicken livers. Further south in the pool near the Terry Lock and Dam, bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are active early and rate good, with spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater baits all bringing in good numbers of bass. Chicken livers are the way to go for good catches of crappie.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing was fair in the Terry Lock and Dam area. Most success was through snagging and baitfishing using shad, skipjack and goldfish.
(updated 8-31-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is clear and at a normal level. Catfishing is excellent using shad or cut baits. Bass fishing is good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. There were no reports on bream or crappie catches.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is good on the levee. Try chicken livers, chicken hearts and night crawlers.
(updated 8-24-2016) Hatchet Jack’s
(501-758-4948) said that catfishing in the lake is excellent using nightcrawlers, minnows and chicken hearts. Bream are fair around the docks on worms and crickets. Bass are fair on the deeper side of Willastein. Try using spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and squarebill crankbaits. No reports on crappie.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported fair catfishing at the lake. Nightcrawlers, hot dogs and stink bait are working best. Remember to sign up for the Seniors fishing event at Lake Valencia scheduled for Sept. 9.
(updated 8-31-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are being caught on chicken livers, bait shrimp and minnows. Bream are biting crickets. Bass are being caught on minnows, red shad-colored plastics and wacky-rigged plastic worms. Crappie are biting slow but some are hitting pink and size-6 minnows.
(updated 9-7-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bream was fair in the Maumelle River. Bream were in 6-12 feet depth and biting worms and crickets. Bass were fair and hitting crankbaits as well as flipping jigs and black buzzbaits. Catfishing was fair, with shad and chicken hearts the best baits. There were no crappie reports.
(updated 8-31-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said water is dingy. There were no reports of any bream or crappie catches. Bass fishing is fair using spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is fair, with shad and chicken livers getting the best bite.
Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900), now run by Larry and Shirley Walters, said the water level this week was low but was clear. Surface water temperature was 84 degrees. Bream fishing reports were poor. Crappie are good and are suspended deep. Minnows and jigs are working to bring in crappie. Bass are staying in deep water and are favoring 10-inch worms. Catfishing is fair, with the best baits being bloodbait, chicken livers and cut up shad.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 661.13 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 8-31-2016) K Dock Marina
reported that lake conditions have really changed in the last recently. Rain and cool nights have dropped the surface temps down about 10 degrees from last two Saturdays ago. Water is also stained, making it great for bass fishing. The walleye and crappie bite should get better now that we are reading water temps in the low 80s instead of the middle 90s. Been seeing a lot of large catfish being caught on a variety of methods. Both channel and flathead cats are starting to feed. Most recent water surface temperature was 82 degrees. Black bass are good topwater, including Zara Spooks, Ploppers and buzzbaits. Also good on large plastic worms and jigs in 18-25 feet off of points and steep bluffs. Also good on large crankbaits in the same range. Walleye are fair to slow on bottom-bouncing nightcrawlers in 30-plus feet of water. Crappie are slow on live minnows in brush piles. They are suspended in 20 feet. (Crappie should start to come up better with the surface temp cooling down.)
(updated 8-31-2016) Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock
reported water temp has come down quite bit. Cold nights have come through, some big changes on the lake. The 92-, 94 is down to 84 for the high. Over the apex. Rain coming in, water coming in back of creeks, big fish are beginning to move around a little bit. Guys are catch8ing walleye trolling right now, using deeper crankbaits. They’re trolling the flats up around Oakland, some of the main lake points. Those walleye are suspended about 25-30 feet and the baits in that general area too. We;’ve got a thermos, about 30 foot. You don’t have to fish deeper than 30 feet to get some action, For bass, the ledges are still holding a lot of fish. The Whopper Plopper is working. Fish the conditions. If you have wind and cloudy conditions, start fishing the PowerBaits. You can flip a jig up around the ledge rock. The fish are starting to come up into the bushe, try a Right Bite ½-ounce jig there. There is a ton of shad back in the creeks. There aren’t a lot of bass there yet, but it’s just a matter of time before the bass move back in there. If it’s sunny and calm, a drop-shot will work well. Pulled a lot of fish on the drop-shot the other day. Robo worm with a 12-14-inch leader so they’re being caught off the bottom. Most of the presentation is vertical over the trees, channel swings. A lot of times you’ll three or four fish from the same school. Topwater has been on and off. If it’s sunny out and not a lot of wind, they’re hitting the Lucky Craft Sammie and the old Biffle Bug, and the Green Pumpkin Red and Green Pumpkin Orange. Lot of fish are suspended at about 20 feet and jerkbaits are working. Early in the morning they will be a little bit shallower. Fish the conditions.
(updated 9-7-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported an excellent week of trout fishing on the White, with great clarity and normal level of water. There were lots of rainbow catches on PowerBaits and worms. Good reports came in on bream fishing. Brown trout were biting crawfish tails. Fly fishing has been great the past week.
Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock
said that, by now, school
's back in session most everywhere; they always experience a lull (the August doldrums) just before school starts. Now it’s time to get back to business as usual. That applies to the baits that are producing good catches, too. Nice batches of rainbows are being rewarded to anglers using standard PowerBait – shrimp-corn combos; switch them up, change colors when the bite slows and wait for the trout. A favorite spoon this past week was the bronze Colorado, smallest size available because the water level is low until late afternoon. Looks like a pattern has been established regarding releases from the dam: low all morning and dropping until SWPower begins generation early in the afternoon. By 5 in Cotter, they begin to see the rise, and some days it can be 4-5 feet of additional water.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said there was no rain, moderate temperatures and moderate winds last week. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.1 feet to rest at 0.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 33.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell a foot to rest at 5.1 feet below seasonal power pool and 19.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.3 feet to rest at 4.8 feet below seasonal power pool and 13.4 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, they had heavy generation in the afternoon last week with wadable water every morning. The bite has been excellent. The hot spot has been Wildcat Shoals. They have had reliable wadable water. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16 or 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a size 14 hare and copper nymph with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it). John also relates this story about this fishing at Roundhouse Shoals:
“When I moved here 16 years ago, it was because of the fishing. I chose to live in Cotter for the same reason. We have about three and a half miles of fly fishable water within the city limits and most of it is wadable. It was a small railroad town at the turn of the last century. It still has some charming cottages built for the railroad workers. I bought a small fieldstone bungalow built in 1921 (it is now 95 years old) that I have lovingly restored over the past few years. With all of this water, I have my favorite spot, Roundhouse Shoals. It is a large limestone shoal with a sizable island and some nice gravel runs. It is on the south side of town across the street from the rail yards. It got its name from the railroad roundhouse (a locomotive repair facility) that was once located there. It is easily accessed, as there is a road (Arkansas 345) that runs along it. The North Arkansas Fly Fishers (our local fly fishing club) built a set of stairs, to make it easier to scramble the bank. It is four blocks from my house. One recent weekend my wife, Lori’s, sister, Terri, and her husband, Larry, came in for a visit and to do a little fishing. They stayed in our guest house. My in-laws had fished, on Sunday at the Ackerman Access, on the Norfork, and had done well. I had Monday off and Lori and I decided to fish with them at Roundhouse Shoals (we call it behind the house). We began the day with a hearty breakfast at the White Sands Restaurant in Cotter. I needed a ham and cheese omelet to keep my feet in the gravel. We drove back to our house to put on our waders and gather up our fishing gear. We then went to Roundhouse. It was 72 degrees, with no wind and a few clouds. The river was at minimum flow. We waded over to our favorite spot and began fishing. I opted to nymph a fast run but after several fly changes and trying another run I was fishless. I took a moment to look around and noted that Lori, Terri and Larry were all catching fish (a bunch of fish), on the olive Woolly Bugger. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I knew it was time to switch to the olive Woolly Bugger (don’t leave home without it). It took me a couple of minutes to switch over but I was soon in fish. I covered a lot of water and caught quite a few nice trout. Despite my success, I wanted to try something else. I waded back to the run, where I had begun. I wanted to figure out what would work there. Even though there were no fish rising, I thought about the Green Butt, my signature fly. It is a buggy-looking soft hackle and it always produces for me. I stripped off the Woolly Bugger and lead and tied on some fresh 5X tippet and a Green Butt. On the second cast, I felt a gentle take but I missed it. Two casts later I landed a decent cutthroat. I caught several more cuts but they were smaller than the first. I waded downstream and caught a few nice rainbows. Larry joined me a picked up a few nice trout on a partridge and orange soft hackle. We fished till around 2 p.m. and ended the day eating hamburgers and fries at Warrior Station, Cotter’s other restaurant. The hearty breakfast was a faint memory and it was time to replenish. I must say that the hamburger and fries hit the spot. We returned to our house for a well-deserved nap. It had been another great day, fishing close to home!”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 554.24 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 9-7-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
said the Norfork Lake stripers are being inconsistent. One day it’s fast and furious, then the next day it’s very slow. The weather last week as was up and down; we started off hot and then it turned cold. The water temperature dropped 8 degrees with a north wind, and now this week it will be hot with a south wind. Fishing should get back to a heavy bite early in the morning and in the late afternoon. The fish are still in 32-35 feet of water early, then move out to deeper water feeding on shad. I have found them in 40-80 feet of water after 8 a.m. If you hit a school of stripers, they will hit every line. The fish can be found near the dam. Start looking at all the points within a mile of the dam and you will find them feeding before light. Walleyes are being caught on points and flats using bottom bouncers and spoons in 28-35 feet of water. The best live bait this past week for stripers has been gizzard shad.
Tom related that he took Kevin and Will out for their first time using live bait. Last year they tried using spoons with little success, so they wanted to see how a live bait guide uses shad. They started off where Tom had been catching fish every day, but the fish had moved since the cold wind and lake temperature dropped. Tom’s son, Sean, was fishing near the dam and was marking fish and caught one, so the group headed his way. It sure helps to have another person fishing the same way you do, Tom said, and it helps finding and staying on fish when they move around. The group arrived at Sean’s location and immediately hooked up. Tom start off with 41 gizzard shad to catch a limit of stripers. On this day, the group went through 39 shad to catch six stripers. The bite was so fast that they could not keep up with the hits. Both Kevin and Will were getting bites but just could not hook the fish. Sean only used eight baits to catch six stripers – some days it works out that way. They finally caught their limit by 7:15 a.m. Both guys were very happy using live bait. The fall bite will continue this way into November.
(updated 8-24-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort
said Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort Norfork Lake's summer fishing pattern is showing signs that it is starting to change. Typically around beginning to the middle of September the striped bass move from the south end of the lake and scatter throughout the lake with a tendency to move upriver to the cooler water. This year appears to be a little different. The lake has great oxygenated water down to and a little past the thermocline and then the oxygen level drops to a very low level. This is keeping all species of fish above 40 feet with most concentrating around the 30-35 feet level, regardless of the water depth. The lake surface water temperature has cooled off a bit and currently is in the low 80s down from the 90-degree water temperature of a week ago. I am sure the cooler water is a big relief to the striped bass, as they prefer temperatures in the 60s and low 70s. Because of the change that is occurring, Lou says he is starting to find feeding striped bass up in the mid to northern parts of the lake, which is a little earlier than normal.
Two weeks ago, Lou was fishing the south part of the lake with his granddaughter using threadfin shad and they were limiting out most days with stripers and hybrids. After she went back home, Lou changed his tactics and switched from live bait fishing to vertical jigging with a spoon and to casting lures for largemouth bass. Lou says he has mainly been fishing within 6 miles in all directions from Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. His best bite has been in the late afternoon. Large schools of fish are feeding in 25-35 feet of water mainly on large flats. If you find the bait, there will be fish not far away. The south end of the lake continues to be very productive for striped bass early in the morning with live bait in the same 30-35 feet of water. Look for stripers off of points within 0-2 miles of the dam and you should find some nice fish. The walleye, white bass, catfish and spotted bass bite has been improving and they are in the same type of areas as the stripers and hybrids. One great thing about vertical jigging with a spoon is that they will catch all species. Earlier this week, Lou caught every species in the lake except crappie by vertical jigging. He also likes to horizontal jig by casting out a Kastmaster type of blade bait, letting it sink to the bottom then jerk it back to the boat bouncing it along the bottom. Lou says he’s used his spoons the same way, but have had more success with the blade type baits. He has caught most of his walleye using a ¾-ounce spoon, but instead of vertical jigging he has been moving slowly with his trolling motor and dragging the spoon along the bottom and jerking it as he is moving. Most times they attack it as it hits the bottom after a jerk. Crappie appear to be scattered out on the same flats as all the other fish. They have not moved into the brush as of yet, but will do very soon. He is picking up a few while jigging my spoon, and the catches have been 15-plus-inch monsters. There are some nice largemouth mixed in with all the other species in the same areas, but have had more luck on rocky points going into a creek or cove. Most of the fish caught have been suspended 10-20 feet down and a wiggle wart has worked great. There has also been some sporadic topwater action with a Zara Spook puppy since they wanted smaller bait. For you nighttime bass fisher people, work the bottom with a jig and pig along the bluff lines or use a tube jig or dark spinner bait by docks after dark.
Guide Steve Olomon of Steve’s Guide Service
said the lake was 554.2 feet msl over the weekend and the water temperature ws in the mid 80s. Look for stripers on the lower end of the lake from Point 2 to the dam and a couple miles east up in Big Creek near Hand Cove and Jordan. Most of them are suspended down 40 feet and can be on the bottom in 40 feet or out in 100 feet of water. Check the bays down by the dam and out off the points or the deep side of the points. On a clear day Steve lies to use a silver jigging spoon and on cloudy days he likes white. Use at least a 3/4-ounce and use a barrel swivel on your spoon. It helps eliminate line twist. The Fle-Fly bendable spoons are working well. Early in the morning there are some bass hitting topwater. For the deeper fish in the 15-40-feet range, throw a jig, Texas-rigged worm, drop-shot with a small minnow-type bait or a 4-inch worm. Try a jigging spoon for the deeper ones. Some walleye have been hitting jigging spoons down around 35 feet. There are some nice whites and hybrids suspended around 35 feet.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake fell 0.1 feet to rest at 1.5 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 25.7 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had reliable wadable water every morning, with light generation in the afternoon. The Norfork has fished better on the lower water and has not been as crowded with wadable water on the White. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning. My favorite fly has been the Green Butt. Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with school back in session. It has fished a bit better and is yielding some trophy trout. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).
(updated 9-7-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. John Berry's favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the river. There are no dams and the river is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
(updated 9-7-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. Try John Berry's favorite lure for smallmouths, the Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering. There are no dams, there are large drainages and the creek prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,116.44 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 9-7-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported water is clear, and water level fell four feet below normal level before getting back to its usual level for this time of year, leading to outstanding fishing. Bream fishing is excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie can be found in 10-12 feet depth in the river arms and around brush piles. The reports on crappie have been excellent; use bright crankbaits and jigs. Black bass fishing has been excellent early in the morning and late in the day. Topwaters like the Whopper Plopper, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are all getting excellent results. Catfishing is excellent on trotlines using chicken livers or goldfish. Walleye reports were good. Anglers have reported good, consistent success trolling in the past week.
(updated 9-7-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) reported that the lake turnover has begun. You will notice the green stuff building up on your line as you are fishing and this has got Beaver Lake stripers on the move using main lake structures and mouths of coves, etc. Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, treetops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing weighted down lines will definitely get you some fish. There has been some topwater activity from stripers and white bass. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad fished on downlines from 30-60 feet deep, and also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs like Rapala size 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on downriggers. Jerk baits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. On the mid and lower sections check out these areas that have been hot spots. Water surface temps are in the low 80s: Dam, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, Point 5, Point 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch and the bluff in front of the marina, the island and smaller islands in front of Larue Cove (check the main lake structures and secondary points there). White bass are surfacing in Prairie Creek, Beaver Shores, Hickory Creek, War Eagle and the War Eagle/White River junction (Point 12).
(updated 9-7-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy
(479-244-0039) said the river this past week has been quite low, but that has not slowed the trout bite. Trout are biting well on various spoon, and PowerBaits fished under light terminal tackle. Trolling has been more productive between Houseman and Beaver town in the deeper waters. A few white bass are still being caught when the school is located. Walleye bite has slacked off in the tailwaters, but you can still get a few farther downstream toward Holiday Island. Generation has mostly been happening in the evening hours, so morning is the time to get out and fish. Don't look for the water levels to rise unless we get a good bit of rain. For the bank fisherman, the low levels offer up better spots to get into the trout.
(updated 8-31-2016) Beaver Dam Store
reported the fly fishing in has been exceptionally good. Fishing the tailwaters of Beaver Dam should remain good. Norfork has been dumping trout last Friday and fishing s should be excellent below the dam. Good news for fishermen wading: Water levels have dropped significantly and many arears that were not accessible during higher water have opened up, creating more areas to fish. The big tree blocking access on the upstream sidewalk at Parker Bottoms has been removed. The AGFC has removed gravel blocking the stocking at Parker Bottoms. Now fish are being stocked in this area. The browns can be caught using midges, streamers and hopper patterns. For Rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, numphing and swinging small soft hackles. Good lures continue to be gold and silver Colorado spoons, red and gold Bouyant spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series Nos. 4 and 5. Good PowerBait colors are white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blud dun, black, olive and hares ear, tungsten copper John’s. WD40s and Trout Magnets. Catfish are biting on Wicked Sticky catfish bait, along with Magic Bait crawfish/chicken blood bait.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said he closed the bait shop the remainder of the year.
(updated 9-7-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported water being clear and at a normal level. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie reports were fair, with no other details. Bass are biting fair on topwater lures and flukes. Catfishing also was fair.
(updated 9-7-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported clear water with a surface temperature of 84 degrees. The water at one point got as low as 3 inches below the normal level. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are found in about 8 feet deep water and are biting minnows and jigs. There were reports of some really good catches of black bass in the past week, with topwater baits getting the bite. Catfishing is best using live bait like shad.
(updated 9-7-2016) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said what a good three-day weekend Lake Poinsett anglers enjoyed, and the fishermen were out in droves. They were buying crickets, worms, nightcrawlers, minnows, goldfish and more. Coleman said the crappie report was great, with lots of keepers. The fishing was great on everything. Lake Poinsett is low right now, but the fishing is still good.
Seth Boone at Lake Poinsett State Park
said Lake Poinsett is still doing well with minnows and goldfish. Prime suspects to catch are crappie, catfish and, of course, bass. The bream have slowed down a bit, but are biting OK on nightcrawlers.
(updated 9-7-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and at a normal level. Bream are good and biting crickets. Bass are working early in the morning and late in the day, with anglers reporting success on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good using chicken livers and shrimp. No reports on crappie.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are running at 325 cfs (350 cfs normal) and water clarity is clear. The river is as low and clear as it has been all year. Over the last week, midges were coming off the water. Hot flies this week have been the Crawford’s Guppie, burnt olive Woolly Buggers and Y2k’s when the trout turn off. If you do see fish busting the surface and jumping, then tie on a small black dry fly and drag it across the surface. Many times the brown trout will chase the midges up through the water and jump. Looks like a really nice fall season shaping up, and canoe hatch ended with the Labor Day holiday weekend. Get out and enjoy.
(updated 8-24-2016) John Berry in Cotter
said the Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is in full swing and there are a lot of boats on the river. You should fish during the week, if you can. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 8-31-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear but hot. The level measured at 7½ feet. Bream are fair and are biting crickets. Bass fishing is fair using plastic worms. No reports of crappie, catfish or walleye.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures have dropped down into the mid 80s. Water visibility is around 1 foot on the main channel and in Lake Langhofer. Small black bass are schooling with white bass on the main channel of the river near certain jetties with water flowing over them. Larger fish are very difficult to find, but you can at least get some bites chasing these small ones. Use small shad colored crankbaits and work the lures with the current, not against it. Fish can be caught from shallow brush, docks and rocks in Lake Langhofer, but these fish have been pressured so much this summer that they are extremely difficult to catch right now.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 258.16 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said that lake drawdown and shoreline work has been completed, and Millwood is about 11 inches below normal conservation pool and rising. There is reduced current of Little River with the gates releasing around 328 cfs as of Monday. Tailwater level was at 224.8 feet msl on Monday. Water temps were stable over the past week, ranging about 80 degrees early to 90 degrees late in the day, depending on location. Lake clarity and visibility have been consistent over the past couple of weeks due to low water conditions, ranging about 8-12 inches (8-10 inches in Little River depending on location and current). The oxbow's clarity currently ranges 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Little River above McGuire oxbow is stained 3-6 inches, while some areas have better clarity. Navigation is cautious for Little River as of Monday while lake is returning to normal pool elevation.
Bass have been very good over the past few weeks’ drop in surface temps, and are best at 2-3 pounds on topwaters early and late out of the current and Little River. Most bass are aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands and shallow vegetation where you can find the clearest water away from current in backs of the creeks, flats and oxbows. Buzzbaits in Avocado, Casper Ghost and Bleeding Bream colors are working well. ChugBugs, Jitterbugs, PicoPops and soft plastic frogs are all a good topwater choice early. You’ll get good reactions at dawn working topwaters around pads and vegetation across flats adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels. Good bites continue on the soft plastic frogs and Bass Assassin Shads this week around pads in clearest water you can find. Johnson chrome spoons with curly tail grub trailers continue taking some good fish in the lily pads. Bass Assassin Shads in Silver Phantom, Salt & Pepper, and Houdini colors continue working with the current water clarity and conditions. Rat-L-Traps in Ghost and Millwood Magic colors, 1.75 Echo crankbaits in Millwood Magic and Oxbow colors continue working in creek mouths, dumping into Little River. Chartreuse Shad or Citrus Shad Bomber deeper diving crankbaits continue to be best reaction colors in the oxbows over the past several weeks by largemouths and white Bass alike. Berkley Craw Fattys in black neon, black/blue, or grasshopper colors continue working also in the oxbows, near cypress trees and lily pads close to drops. Big, bulky 10-inch worms in Blue Fleck, Watermelon Candy and June Bug-Red, or Red Shad are still working along Little River in 6-10 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River.
Whites and hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus or Chartreuse Shad colored crankbaits in the back of the oxbows. Over the past few weeks, with the heavy cloud cover, the whites were again surface-breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows. Those fish were hitting small, Ken Pop's, Pop-R's and ChugBugs with a rear feather tail hook, and Little Cleos, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and chrome Rat-L-Traps. Crappie continued to bite well over the past week on Blakemore Roadrunners and vertical jigging Southern Pro Little Hustler tubes in planted brush piles from 10-15 feet of depth. There were no reports for blues or flatheads this week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.97 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
No reports were submitted for this week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 404.02 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 9-7-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is good early in the morning for fish feeding in the vast shad schools. Look for surface activity off most any point in the lower end of the lake. Some of the better areas are in the big coves at points 2 and 4 along with most any cove along the State Park. Also try around Point 10 and Alpine Ridge. Throw medium-size surface lures such as Zara Puppies, Pop-R's, Rapala minnows, small flukes and 3-inch swimbaits. A few nice bass reported coming on 11-inch worms fished in the grass off long shallow points. Hybrid fishing is fair with mostly those who know how to fish deep water reporting some decent catches. Most of the fish are suspended in the deep thermocline at 50 feet in over 100 feet of water. Use the sonar to locate the fish, which will be mostly singles and very small schools. Drop a heavy spoon in chartreuse or white to just above the fish. The fish are not feeding very much because they are in extremely cold water in the low 50s. Therefore it is important to get the lure as close as possible to the fish because they will not chase it very far. Try the Iron Mountain area and the river channel at points 2 and 4. There are a few surface feeding fish early in the morning in the vicinity of Alpine Ridge.
Bream fishing is good with lots of small fish in the shallow coves around rock or wood cover. The bigger fish, mostly shell crackers, will be deeper at 20-25 feet near the bottom. Drop a short Carolina rig to just above the bottom and bait with redworms or crickets. Catfishing is pretty good at night in the big creeks such as Big Hill and Brushy. Both noodles and trotlines are working. Bait with cut shad, nightcrawlers, hot dogs, chicken livers and prepared baits such as Catfish Charlie. A surefire way to catch catfish is to chum the area with a live stock food such as pig starter. Pick a cove with standing timber at about 30 feet deep. Drop the chum in the evening and be sure to mark the spot with a GPS waypoint. Next morning fish the spot where you chummed with most any catfish bait.
John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina
said the lake is holding water with slow draw-offs. Water temperature ranges from 82 to 86 degrees depending on the area of the lake. Shorelines have muddy water with a considerable amount of loose debris. Fishing is slower now. Bream are off the beds and hard to find. Best bet is rocky points or deep cover. They seem to be spread out throughout the lake. Bass fishing is also suffering. Reports are minimal bites, if any. No report of any good action on catfish this week. Crappie can still be picked up in deep cover. They are right in the brush. Drop-shot a minnow into the piles and pick it up a couple of feet. Right now you pick up a few in each providing piles. You have to have several deep habitats to fish. There are some surfacing fish around the State Park Lodge and Edgemont area. Mostly whites and small black bass are in the bigger schools. There are hybrids in the same area. The bait fish are tiny minnows an inch to an inch and a half in length. Use either topwaters (that will get reaction strikes) or spoons to imitate the bait fish in size.
(update 8-24-2016) Local angler Jaret Rushing said the Ouachita River in Camden hit a pair of spikes over the past week and weekend, pushing water levels up to flood stage for several hours. Areas affected were the river, backwaters, oxbows and creeks/streams that are part of the Ouachita River systems.
Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said crappie are biting fair on the upper side, bass biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, no report on bream or catfish.
(update 8-31-2016) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said said there were no fishing reports.
Local angler Jaret Rushing said there were no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 336.83 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl).
(updated 9-7-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025)
reported that water was clear and the surface temperature was about 80 degrees. The level is normal, and the fish are responding to the good temperatures. Bream are excellent on worms. Crappie are in deeper water and also rated excellent, including 22 crappie brought in by one fisherman. Bass fishing is good, especially early in the day. Try redworms about 10-inches long or try Rat-L Traps. Also crankbaits and topwaters are getting the bite. Catfishing is fair, use chicken livers. There were no reports on white bass.
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said they will be closed until mid-September.
(updated 9-7-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615)
reported water being clear, with the surface temperature rising to 90 degrees. The level is normal. Bream have moved deep, to about 8-10 feet. The bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are also staying deep in the cooler water and are good on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good with topwater getting the most bite. Chad and chicken liver on a trotline are bringing in the catfish.
(updated 8-31-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature has cool to the 80s. The lower end of the river is dirty, mid-river is stained, and upriver is clear. Fishing has been tough in the month of August with an overabundance of shad but will pick up with the cooler temperatures, with so many ways to catch them: buzzbaits, frogs in the lily pads and jigs, crankbaits, Rat-L Traps, spinnerbaits and topwater baits on jetties and wooded points. Using worms, beavers and scram shad around fallen trees will produce fish. Striper fishing has been really good on Rat-L Traps, crankbaits chatterbaits with a scam shad trailer, topwater, Spooks, prop baits and Poppers. White bass are still schooling mid-river and around main river points. Small crankbaits, Rat-L traps, tailspins, topwater, Chug Bugs, Pop-Rs and small Spooks will work fine. Bream have been good in the main river around fallen trees on worms and crickets. Catfish have been good on main river points and around steep drops in the main river. Worms, cut perch and stink bait have been working good. Minnows, dead or alive, have been working in the creeks.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 574.21 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort
(870-867-2191) said the water is clearing and surface temperature is ranging 78-84 degrees. Black bass are fair and still being caught with Texas-rigged worms, pig-n-jigs and Pop-R’s. Brush piles on main lake and secondary points are producing the best results for “spots” when fished with live crawfish. Walleye are very good and are being caught jigging CC spoons. Stripers are fair on live bait. The central and east areas of the lake are still the best areas for these fish. Bream are still good. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 20-25 feet deep. Crappie are still fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 25-30 feet deep fished on the bottom near brush. Catfish are fair. Try nightcrawlers, trot line minnows or hot dogs in depths of 15-20 feet. Contact Mountain Harbor’s guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) – for more information.
David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association
said the LOSBA can offer information to would-be anglers about striper fishing on the lake. Draper said he has not been out personally of late, but has a couple reports from others. The lake is clear again after the heavy rains but the lake is also up a couple feet. Fishing with live bait is hit and miss. You can be in one boat catching fish and the boat 50 feet away doesn't get a bite. Fish are scattered and moving, they seem to be following the main channel so Draper’s advice is to try numerous areas that you know the main channel flows through. You may catch fish in a spot one day and never see a fish in that same spot the next day. He said he has not received any information about artificial baits but does know fish are between 25-60 feet deep.
(updated 9-7-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 64 degrees and rises to 67 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace as the normal summertime pool levels continue until November. Entergy is currently running a 12-hour generation schedule per day due to all the rainfall of the past several weeks. Boaters should navigate the area slowly and always wear a life jacket. Sadly, the rainbow trout season is over until mid-November when the stocking program begins again. The vast majority of trout have either been caught or migrated away from the dam. The few fish that remain are extremely wary and almost impossible to catch. Thousands of threadfin shad have migrated into the tailrace in search of cooler water to spawn. Interestingly enough, few white bass or stripers have moved in to feed on the baitfish. No topwater activity has been observed and few bass caught in the past week. No catfish or drum catches reported. This lack of game fish catches is normal for this time of year below Carpenter Dam. However, with the big numbers of shad in the area – schools of stripers and white bass can migrate into the tailrace at any time. Fisherman must be patient and watch for schooling activity. The month of October normally brings good numbers of white bass into the area, along with hybrid bass. Until the fall weather pattern sets in, fishing below Carpenter Dam will be very poor.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 385.26 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.
Natalie Carter, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040)
, said the lake had an active weekend following cooler temperatures. Crappie are responding well to live bait – biting at moderate to deep depths on crickets. Fishermen reporting higher activity levels with bream in the lake’s coves than previous weeks. Bass are responding well to jigs and worms, especially around underwater habitat and near the shoreline. No reports on catfish.
(updated 8-24-2016) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported the cooler temperatures prompted a more active weekend at Storm Creek. Bream are on their beds and responding well, both from the shoreline and from the boat. Crappie are biting at more shallow depths (8-10 feet) on live bait and jigs. No reports on bass. Some activity with catfish, but nothing noteworthy.
(updated 8-31-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reportedthe water is clear and the level is high, leading to a slow week. Bass were fair, mostly spotty, though there were some areas where bass were being caught mostly on spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Bream fishing was poor, as were both crappie fishing and catfishing.