Clean, Drain and Dry
Clean, Drain and Dry
Corrected Version: Lake levels listed at all Corps of Engineers lakes had not been updated properly in the fishing report sent earlier today. This version includes corrected lake levels for those bodies of water. 
Jan. 13, 2016

Clean, Drain and Dry

Last week, a marina on Norfork Lake was contracted to move a boat from Bull Shoals to Norfork. The boat had just been purchased, and was carrying adult zebra mussels on its hull and in its bilge area. The marina workers reported the vessel to the AGFC, and it was quarantined until it can be thoroughly cleaned and dried to kill the mussels and prevent their spread. The AGFC would like to thank those marina workers and everyone else who takes the time to clean their boats of all debris before moving from one lake to the next. Visit cleandraindry.org for ways you can help fight the spread of invasive species in our state’s waters. 
Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said bream are fair on worms fished about 20 feet away from the bank. Crappie are slow, but a few have been caught on minnows and jigs in deeper water (8 feet or so). Bass are slow. Catfishing is very good on limb lines baited with cut shad, worms and stink bait.  
Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) had no report.


Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the lake is 12 feet above normal seasonal conservation pool, so expect continued heavy water releases for the foreseeable future. This pattern will eliminate any wade fishing opportunities and those planning to drift fish should exercise caution. Egg patterns, San Juan worms, micro jigs and weighted nymph patterns tend to work well. Streamers are an effective pattern during high water conditions. For Trout Magnet fishing, use long leaders and heavy weight with hot pink, cotton candy and purple colored bodies on silver and chartreuse jig heads. Key for both fly fishing and Trout Magnet fishing during heavy generation is the ability to get and maintain a good presentation of the fly or Trout Magnet using long leaders and heavy weight.  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 schedules.   
Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said generation continues to be one unit around the clock.  This will change to the equivalent of two generators (using the flood gates and one unit) as soon as the White River at Georgetown reaches a stage of 22 feet and will continue until the lake returns to normal. This could take 50 to 60 days, without any more large rains. Drift fishing is the only option during this time. The river is clear to slightly stained according to the distance below the dam and the areas around feeder creeks. Large weighted flies, such as microjigs, San Juan worms, large nymphs and egg patterns are the best choices.  Please use care when drifting the higher water.
James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said expect high flows for the next several weeks as the Corps of Engineers begins to lower the lake level. The fishing will still be great, but will have to be done from a boat.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 474.14 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 12.14 feet above normal pool and is holding steady. Crappie have moved shallow in some of the flooded bushes up the rivers and some good ones are being caught on jigs and minnows. The deeper lake fish can be caught 15 to 25 feet deep around any wood on the same baits. Walleye are staging for their run upriver and are gathered around bridge pilings and points. More walleye are suspended for the most part off the ends of big flats next to the channels. Try trolling large crankbaits in both areas. Bass fishing is good right on the bank on sunny and cloudy days with a spinner bait. Deeper fish can be caught on a crankbait, jig or Carolina rig. White bass and hybrid bass are in the rivers chasing shad and out in 25 to 70 feet of water chasing shad in the main lake. Spend some times looking for schools of bait in your electronics and you’ll find the whites and hybrids nearby. Spoons, in-line spinners and swim baits are working well. On some days, you can catch the river fish on grubs up as shallow as 5 feet.


Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) had no report.


Overcup Landing had no report.


Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water is 0.5 feet above the spillway and the surface water temperature is 49 degrees. Bass are biting well in 10 to 15 feet of water on jerk baits and dead-sticked wacky-rigged worms. Spotted bass are biting well on jigs and crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water. White bass are excellent west of the Old Jolly Rogers Marina and at the Arkansas Highway 10. They’re hitting deep-diving Bomber and Bandit crankbaits on the east side of the bridge and Rooster Tails and a jig-and-grub combo on the west side of the bridge. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around brush on the edges of river channel bends in 20 to 25 feet of water. Bream are slow. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers, live bream and stinkbait fished in 15 to 20 feet of water.  


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.


River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) had no report.


The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is way too high, swift and muddy to put a boat on right now. The current is strong enough to pull a boat under. No one should try to venture on the river until the flow gets back down below the small craft advisory. 
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is extremely high, swift and muddy. No report.  


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


Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) is closed until Feb. 8, 2016.



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 684.93 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
Bull Shoals Boat Dock had no new report. K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) is closed until March 4, 2016.


Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water coming through the turbines has been stained. No one is fishing with the bad weather. No report. 
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the White River has seen heavy generation all week with no wadable water. All of the lakes on this system are well above seasonable power pool and we should encounter lower levels of generation, on our tailwaters, with some wadable water, until flooding clears downstream, when we will encounter high levels of generation. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed from Nov. 1, 2015 to 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. The hot spot has been Bull Shoals State Park. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (sizes 8-10), Y2Ks (sizes 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead, sizes 16-18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16).


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 571.33 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said Norfork Lake is maintaining its level at 18 feet above winter pool. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has generated about 6 hours each day to maintain that level. Once the Mississippi River crests and begins to go down we should see more releases. The water temperature has dropped, but is still above average for this time of year. Striper fishing continues to be good even in the high water. The stripers can be found near Blue Lady, U.S. Highway 62 bridge channel, Float Creek and the river channel south of the U.S. Highway 62 bridge in 100 plus feet of water. Find the bait and wait for the schools of stripers to follow them. The stripers are beginning to feed on small threadfin shad. 
Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no new report.
Guide Steve Olomon had no new report.
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork has been a bit off color, but has had some wadable water every day. 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 1,128.79 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is stained. Cold weather kept most anglers off the water, but a few fishermen managed to catch some largemouth bass on crankbaits fished in about 8 to 12 feet of water wherever the water clarity was still good.  
Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said stripers are using deep water next to road beds, gravel bars, tree lines and bluffs. Stripers up in the White River and War Eagle arms of the lake 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 will often concentrate stripers along its edge. Try dragging baits close to these areas including along the bottom on gravel bars will get you some fish. The mud line is in the Rocky Branch area, but is beginning to settle. Fishing is good ahead of this mud line. Fishing is good on live shad fished from the surface to about 30 feet deep. Small umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs or flat-line trolled crankbaits such as no. 14 Husky Jerks or Smithwick Rogues 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 three-way rigs. The hot spots for stripers have been main and secondary points in Indian Creek, Rocky Branch, Ford Creek, Cedar Creek, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris and Shaddox Hollow. In the upper section of the lake, stripers have been good around the Highway 12 bridge, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Horseshoe Bend and the War Eagle/White River Junction.


Beaver Dam Store said the tailwater is rolling with a lot of water. Fishing white, red, chartreuse or pink Power Bait tipped with a wax worm might catch a fish or two, but there is no wadable water with all the releases in the system. Fly-anglers are better off using this time to break out the tying vise and restocking their fly boxes. 


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


Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) had no report.


Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) is closed until Jan. 15, 2016.



Northeast Arkansas

Lake Poinsett State Park said the rain and cold has kept most anglers off the water. Some people are buying minnows for the crappie, but it’s been very slow. 


Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and at normal level. Only a few anglers have been on the water. The only luck lately has been on largemouth bass. Anglers are catching them on tight-wobbling crankbaits and soft-plastic lures.  


Lake Frierson State Park had no report. 


Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are at 500cfs at the spring and the water has a green color to it. The river has been slowly clearing up. It’s still a bit high for wading, but some can be done with extra care. White woollies and old yellers have been hot with Y2K’s doing well as always. Hot pink and red Trout Magnets and gold spinners have been working well spin fishing. It’s getting cold, so layer up and be safe. If you slip and get wet, get to a warm area as soon as possible.


Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is murky and high. No report.  



Southeast Arkansas

(Updated 12-16-2015) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the low 60s and water clarity is about 1 foot of visibility. Black bass are biting very well, thanks to cooler temperatures and reduced fishing pressure. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits worked slowly along steep rock banks are producing very good-sized fish with relative ease. Black/blue jigs worked in these same areas can also be effective on sunny, calm days. We have a few more weeks of good fishing before everything shuts down and gets difficult around mid- to late January.


(Updated 12-16-2015) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said right before the cold front, Crappie were biting very well on minnows in the beaver pond. Bass are biting well in the early mornings on watermelon worms. Catfish and bream are biting fairly well on live bream and worms.


Lake Chicot State Park had no report.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 265.43 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake is 8 feet above normal conservation pool and falling.  The gate discharge level is around 47,000 CFS. Navigation is extremely dangerous with increased current washing logs and other debris downstream. Surface temperatures range from 38 to 46 degrees. Many boat ramps and campgrounds have re-opened, from the flooding, but a few are still closed. Water clarity from 0 to 5 inches is the norm for the lake, with some oxbows having 6 to 12 inches of visibility away from current. Bass are slightly more aggressive during the warmest time of the day, typically noon until 3 p.m. They are hitting very slow-moving targets like crankbaits and large, ¾-oz. War Eagle Spinnerbaits, medium-diving Bomber crankbaits in Tennessee shad, citrus shad, or threadfin shad patterns, and Echo 1.75 Squarebills in chartreuse shiner on flats close to deep water creek channel swings.  Clear water in the back of McGuire was a good place to look. Crankbaits had to be moved erratically and slow to get bit. Real Deal Kustom Tackle jigs in Black/Blue, or Texas Craw will get a few random reactions from some decent keeper size Largemouths as long as they are hopped slowly with a big pork chunk or big plastic craw, around stumps and cypress trees in 9-12 feet of water near creek bends. Vertical jigging Johnson chrome/blue Splinter Spoons, Thinfisher, or Cordell jigging spoons with bucktails around standing timber in 10-17 feet depth ranges may work as well. White bass are scattered and random, but you might be able to find a few in the backs of the clearer water oxbows away from current in Little River. Crappie are dead slow with the muddy water and current. Catfishing improved with the increased current on points across Little River. Run trotlines baited with cut shad, buffalo and chicken livers from 12-18 feet deep.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.37 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had no report. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 405.95 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
Local angler George Graves had no report.



South-Central Arkansas

Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) had no report.


Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.


Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said the river being 7 feet high has slowed the fishing. There are still a few bass being caught in current. Crappie, bream and catfish are slow.


Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had no report.


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



West-Central Arkansas

Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 372.16 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is high and muddy. Crappie are biting excellently around the dam and backwater areas upstream on minnows and jigs. No report on catfish, bass or bream. 


Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the surface water temperature is in the mid- to low 40s. Water clarity in the river is muddy with some clear creeks. Bass fishing has been hit-and-miss because of the weather and changing water conditions. Bass in muddy water have been hesitant to bite, so slow your presentation and use dark-colored finesse jigs and small plastics. In clearer water, bass have been a bit more active on jerk baits, Rat-L-Traps and natural-colored jigs and plastics. Some crappie have been caught on minnows in the deeper clear water. Catfish have been good on live crawfish and worms in on main river points and creek intersections. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 582.27 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is still high, but clear. Black bass are biting well on jigs and crankbaits. Stripers are fair on Alabama rigs fished around major creek channels. Crappie are biting well on small spoons, minnows and crappie jigs fished around brush in 20 to 30 feet of water. No report on catfish, bream or walleye. 


Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said Lake Hamilton is mostly clear in the main channel but heavily stained to muddy in the creek arms. Stripers, white bass and yellow bass are stacked up near main channel drops. Vertical jigging spoons off the bottom is a great way to catch these fish once you find the schools with your electronics.


Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said very heavy generation has been the norm below Carpenter Dam. Extremely fast currents and muddy water have made the tailrace dangerous to navigate for weeks as Entergy and the Corps of Engineers work to bring lake levels back to winter pools. These conditions will continue to exist until Lake Ouachita has fallen out of flood pool. This is expected to take several more weeks or longer at all area dams. No one should attempt to approach the dam by boat until the heavy flows have subsided. Wade fishermen are advised to remain very close to the bank and out of the fast water. Despite the dangerous flow, rainbow trout are present in the tailrace and stocking will proceed as normal. Game fish adapt quickly to their surroundings and these fish will thrive in the fast flowing water and feed heavily on the injured threadfin shad fed into the area by the generators.  Fishermen can concentrate on targeting areas close to the banks as trout will move inward to dodge the heavy current. Sandbars and rock structure provide resting areas and ambush points and should be paid close attention when attempting to catch wary trout. Carolina rigs tipped with Power Eggs will give anglers the best chance to hook hungry rainbows. 



East Arkansas

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


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


Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is high and dingy. Between duck season and floodwater, there haven’t been many anglers putting in.   



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