Catch of a Lifetime
Catch of a Lifetime
June 1, 2016
Chris Dillman caught this 64.6-pound catfish out of Lake Maumelle using bream.

Catch of a Lifetime

That's how Chris Dillman described this 64.6-pound flathead catfish he pulled out of Lake Maumelle recently. Dillman shared details of the catch on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Facebook page. The fish was 49 inches long and 12 inches across the head, and took Dillman's bait, bream. He's hoping an even bigger one is waiting for him, and Jolly Rogers Marina has reported an 80-pounder being caught in the lake in recent weeks.

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Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
(updated 6-1-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said water conditions were stained and the level was normal, with no report on surface temperature. Fishing overall was good to excellent. Bream were excellent, biting in 8-10 feet depth around the banks. Worms and crickets were working best. Catfishing was excellent on trotlines with goldfish and minnows. Crappie were biting in 8-10 feet depth, especially around the Highway 89 bridge, on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good around lily pads and cypress trees. Best baits were a white spinnerbait and a topwater frog.
(updated 5-25-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that crappie fishing remained fair, particularly using Bobby Garland Baby Shad in barbecue chicken and Cajun cricket colors, and jigs. Fishing remains good around the Highway 89 bridge and Gold Creek. No other reports came in on other fish.
(updated 5-18-2016) Dan Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said that, again this week, bream are biting well on crickets, redworms or wax worms. Bass are doing fairly well on spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Crappie are biting fair on jigs fished around the cypress trees. 


(updated 6-1-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said that with the recent rains putting some water in the Greers Ferry Lake, they are seeing 3-4 hours of daily generation. This generation pattern is providing wade and drift fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. For fly fishing, Myers suggests sowbugs, midges, Woolly Buggers  and micro-jigs. For trout magnet fishing, red- and hot pink-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads are working well. Always check before heading to the Little Red 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 6-1-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the fishing is improving slightly with a small hatch of blue-winged olives (mayflies). This hatch is mainly in the afternoon after about 2 p.m. The bite continues to be slower than normal since the caddis hatch ended about two weeks ago, but as the mayfly hatch improves, so will the bite. The river is clear with about 4-5 hours of generation in the afternoon and evening. The lake remains in the normal pool and we have missed most of the heavy rainfall. Midge pupas, small mayfly nymphs, sowbugs and micro jigs have been the most productive flies.
(updated 5-25-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) reported that fishing has improved over the last week. The water levels have been low with one unit of water being released each day for at least one hour. The hot flies have been midges, sowbugs, and pheasant tail nymphs. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.52 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is is 0,02 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet for the period of June through September. The water temperature is still in the mid-70s. The bass fishing is good shallow out to 30 feet of water as a lot of fish are setting up for the summer, but some have gone back shallow to eat bream that are bedding along the bank, and some fish are hanging out at mid-depths as well. All are eating a variety of baits. Some schooling is going on as well; try buzzbaits and topwater baits, all day-rig’s and Texas rigs for the deeper fish, jighead worms, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits. The bream are guarding fry and can be caught with crickets and crawlers from real shallow out to 20 feet of water. With crappie, some are still spawning in the lake and the rest are post-spawn and are hanging out in the pole timber and in and around and over brush piles in 15-20 feet of water and can be caught on minnows and jigs. The catfish are eating well all over the lake on live and cut bait, baited on jugs, lines and rod and reels at various depths. The walleye are eating crawlers and crankbaits drug from 6 feet out to 18 feet on gravel flats. The hybrid and white bass are chewing all over the lake, and can be caught on top and out to 35 feet of water on topwater baits, in-line spinners, spoons and live bait.
(updated 5-25-2016) Cody Smith of Fish Greers Ferry guide service reports that the lake is starting to slowly settle into its summer pattern. Rising water over the past few weeks sent the first wave of offshore fish back to the bank; over the last week they have pushed back out and are setting up nicely on brush piles and Corps habitat. Surface temperatures are in the low 70s lake-wide with good water color and clarity. Shallow fish are highly pressured and seem to be scattered at best in shoreline cover. The walleye bite is good right now with a limit to a couple limits showing up with regularity. Fourteen to 22 feet around staging bluegills has been his best pattern. White bass and some hybrids are sporadically surfacing throughout the morning and evenings. The lack of baitfish in the reservoir is resulting in very little surface activity as there is not enough shad to push and corral.


(updated 6-1-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) reported the water level was high and the clarity was dark-greenish. The bream fishing and catfishing both were good, however. Customers were buying crickets in large numbers, and worms were also selling. Crappie fishing was fair in 4-6 feet on crickets. There was no report on any bass being caught the past week. 
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said that crappie were biting and moving to the banks and in the creek biting on BBQ Chicken and Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and on Penny Back Shad, and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Crappie is biting at nighttime, too. Catfish are biting good on minnows, worms and shad. Bass are biting on buzzbaits, worms and minnows, as well as topwater baits. White bass are hitting baby shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, Cajun Spin and silver minnows. Bream are biting great on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.


No report.
(updated 6-1-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said water was murky but at a normal level. Bream fishing was excellent using worms and crickets. Crappie was good using minnows and jigs and crappie niblets. Bass were just fair, and the best bait to use was either spinnerbait or topwater. Catfishing was fair with worms bringing in a few 5-10-pound fish. 
(updated 6-1-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported water is 0.4 feet above the spillway and the water temperature is 77 degrees mid-lake and 79 on the west end. Black bass fishing is excellent. Bass are biting wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and just about everything else for shallow water. They can be caught in 8-12 feet  of water. The temperature is about 80 degrees on the banks. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off the weeds. Kentucky bass fishing is bood, and are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water on the same lures as black bass. White bass fishing is good and they are all over the lake; use deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. They are being caught in the main lake area on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. Crappie are fair, being caught on minnows and jigs. Crappie are 15 feet deep; try the edges of the channels. Bream fishing is excellent and can be found at 13 feet on the bottom. Use crickets and live worms. Catfishing remains excellent with some big ones to be had. The catfish are being caught in 15-20 feet depth and being caught on stinkbait, small bream and chicken livers. 
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on  baby shad and minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting on Cajun Spin and silver minnow. Bass are biting on buzzbaits and topwater baits
(updated 5-25-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported no change in the fishing from last week. Bass fishing was excellent using spinnerbait, topwater lures and creature bait. Catfishing was poor, and white bass fishing was poor. Crappie fishing was good with minnows and red and white jigs. Bream fishing was fair with redworms and crickets.


​No report.


 No report.


​No report.


(updated 6-1-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley said the water color is still pretty muddy on the main river and surface temperature is around 73-75 degrees. Bass fishing is decent with many fish being caught on typical current breaks. The topwater bite is getting better as the water warms. Try loud baits like a Crock-O-Gator Head Knocker buzzbait or a Whopper Plopper. Catfishing was a little slower this week. Kelley suspects that the majority are close to spawning, making them a little more scattered and tougher to catch. Most cats were caught on cut bait in 10-20 feet of water in the last deep water before the spawning area. Bream are still good and can be caught in numbers with crickets and small grubs. 


(updated 6-1-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water remained clear and at a normal level the past week, while the surface temperature inched upward to 77-78 degrees. Bream were working in shallow water, biting worms and crickets, and rated good. Crappie fishing was good in 6 feet depth with minnows. Bass were working the shallow water, with spinners and crankbait having good success. Catfishing was good on trotlines. Not many white bass were seen, rating poor.
(updated 5-18-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass fishing was excellent using spinnerbait, topwater lures and creature bait. Catfishing was poor, and white bass fishing was poor. But crappie fishing was good with minnows and red and white jigs. Bream fishing was fair with redworms and crickets.


(updated 6-1-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water was dingy and a surface temperature near the mid-70s. Water level was high. Bream fishing was good in 2-3 feet of water using redworms and crickets. Crappie fishing ranged from poor to fair, with maybe three to eight total fish reported caught on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was poor. Catfishing was fair using nightcrawlers. (updated 5-25-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water was at normal level but muddy with a surface temperature of 70 degrees. Catfish could be pulled in shallow water using chicken liver and nightcrawlers. Bream fishing was good in 2-5 feet depth with worms and crickets. Crappie rated good, especially around brush piles, taking a liking to blue jigs, minnows. Bass could be found in the main river and the fishing was good with crankbaits, plastic worms and lizards. (updated 5-18-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent, using chicken liver, skipjack, shad and worms in the river near David D. Terry Lock and Dam. Near Murray Lock and Dam, white bass were excellent using white plastic worms and Twister Tails. Catfishing was good with skipjack, snagging and shad.


(updated 6-1-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water remained at a normal level and the clarity was dingy. Surface temperature of the water was 73 degrees. Bream were biting worms and crickets, and the fishing was good. Catfishing also rated good with worms and blood bait attracting the cats. Bass fishing was fair, with spinners and crankbaits doing best. Crappie fishing improved a little in the past week to fair using minnows and jigs. 


(updated 5-25-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bream fishing was fair using worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was mostly poor this week, as was bass. Catfish were biting skipjacks and the fishing was fair.


(updated 5-18-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent using chicken liver and chicken hearts, along with nightcrawlers. Crappie fishing was fair around the stumps with pink minnows. Bass fishing was fair with black crankbait and black and blue jigs. Bream fishing was poor.


(updated 5-18-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported crappie fishing to be fair in the channel using minnows. Bass fishing was excellent with plastic worms, topwater baits, frogs and buzzbaits. Catfishing was fair, with minnows and nightcrawlers working best.


(updated 5-18-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent with chicken liver, chicken hearts and nightcrawlers working best.



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 661.52 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said he lake is on a steady rise with the recent rains but is still mostly free of debris. Will continue to rise until the elevation reaches 662.00 ft msl. This is now the new power pool set by the Corps. (Pool was raised to 659.00 from 654.00 to accommodate the new Minimum Flow Act set by Congress. That has now been changed for a summer seasonal pool, adding 3 more feet.) Neadless to say, the boat launch at the end of K Highway will have limited access. Lower road access was lost when we hit 660.00. But, the fishing is great! Bass and walleye are the hot species right now. Water temperature is 74 degrees and the water is stained. Black bass are good on topwater Spooks, buzzbaits and other plugs. Also good on Ned Rigs, 1/2-ounce jigs and small to medium plastics. Crappie are biting fair on live minnows; it's hot and cold from day to day. There aresStill reports of Crappie in 8 to 10 feet, but have had some hitting around trees in 15 to 20 feet. Swimming minnow color has been pear and glitter. Walleye fishing is good dragging nightcrawlers on the flats, about 15-20 feet. Also hitting on medium-size crankbaits.
(updated 5-18-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said tthe fishing continues to be very good. The same patterns are working for bass plus the addition of all topwater patterns. Most of the spawning is done for bass. The majority are done and moving into post spawn patterns. There might be a few spawners lift but shouldn't be many. The walleye are moving down some with the surface temperature warming up into the low 70s. The reports on the walleye show them in the 15-20-foot range. Still seeing some white bass and crappie caught on the same patterns. We are seeing lots and lots of hand-size bluegills being caught, probably the product of the high water years we have had lately. The lake is holding around the normal level give or take a few feet. The water temp is low 70's on the surface. Seems to be a thermocline forming around the 15-18 foot level. Visibility is good with it being exceptional past 50 foot. For bass, crankbaits, swimming minnow plastics, spinnerbaits, jigs, french fry worms, Carolina-rigged plastics, stickbaits and topwater. Yes, that's right! Just about anything you want to throw. For walleye, trolling deep diving baits is working in 15-20 feet of water, bottom bouncing with nightcrawlers, slow retrieval of a spoon, slow retrieval of a split shot and nightcrawler. White bass are hitting trolling crankbaits, casting swimbaits, casting small jigs, night fishing with lights. We are seeing lots of crappie being caught. The main pattern being reported is swimming an 1/8-ounce to 1/64 jig just off the bottom along the shoreline. They were spawning so they were not grouped up. You might have to fish a lot of shoreline to catch a bunch.


(updated 6-1-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water clarity was fair with moss still present. The water level was normal, with two generators running. Trout fishing was good with the power worm working best. The heavy moss requires fishermen to clean hooks often. 
(updated 6-1-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said it was a very busy holiday weekend on the White; lots of visitors and happy first-time fishers. They were glad to see Arkansas Game and Fish enforcement officers on the river helping keep everyone safer. Yellow was the color for trout eggs, Rooster Tails and other baits this past week. Varying shades of yellow worked, too: sunrise, orange, chartreuse. The water level was a little higher the last few days, but not over much -- still mostly wade-able. Jigs are a great change of pace and are still producing some nice catches.
(updated 6-1-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) ) said the lake level at Bull Shoals rose a foot to rest at 0.7 feet below seasonal power pool of 662 feet. This is 33.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.1 feet to rest at 0.7 of a foot above seasonal power pool and 14.9 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.5 foot to rest at 0.5 of a foot above seasonal power pool and 8.1 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had little generation last week with wade-able water every day. On the White, the bite has been erratic. 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, 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 pink San Juan worm with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. Our sulphur hatch provides some of our best dry fly fishing of the year. This is a big mayfly, about a 14. Before the hatch I fish pheasant tails. When I see topwater activity but no insects, I fish with a partridge and orange. When I see trout taking adults from the top, I switch over to a sulphur parachute. The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy 24-30-foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier). You will need an 8- or 9-weight rod.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 553.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said fishing continues to be good and the fish are starting to transition to their early summer pattern. Basically, he says, the fish are starting to go deeper as the water warms. Stripers are being found 20-40 feet down in 50-100-plus feet of water. At this time they seem to be relating to the sides of the main channel on the main lake, especially in places where the channel swings in close to the shoreline. If things are typical this year, you will find them on the deep flats early in the mornings, then in the deep channels late morning and during the day. The stripers are feeding on shad and crawdads, so there should be a good bite before daylight. The hybrids and white bass are being found at all depths, including good topwater action for both. The problem is that they are traveling all over the place and may come up along the shoreline or out in the middle of the lake. When you are traveling, keep a close eye out for whitewater as it could happen anywhere at any time. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing have also been good. Early in the morning they are still coming up for topwater baits, and as the day wears on, jigs and swimbaits are the way to go. The after-dark bite has also been good. The best spots to find these fish are on shallow points with buckbrush. The deeper fish are out in 15-25 feet of water on the bottom. Rocky points are a great place to start fishing for bass. Walleyes are continuing to bite and can be found in the same locations as the largemouth bass. Again, early in the morning they are up shallow feeding, then as the sun comes up they move out to 15-25 feet of water on the bottom. Vertical jigs and crawler harnesses are picking up some nice fish. The current lake level is holding fairly steady with one generator running continuously. The surface water temperature is warming and is in the mid 70s. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are once again starting to clear. All in all, the lake is in great condition for fishing and for the summertime vacation lake lovers.
(updated 6-1-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said striper fishing continues to improve. The north and northeast winds have turned into south and southwest winds and warmed up the lake. Stripers are still being caught on topwater in the 101 Area and around Cranfield Island and points and bluffs. The south end of the lake is now in the summer mode of catching stripers with spoons, trolling and live bait fished at least 30 feet deep over water that ranges from 50-100 feet. Reynolds has not found them on any flats yet, all the fish he’s catching are in the river channels. He continues to catch them with weighted floats and down lines set at 30 feet. The stripers are feeding on shad and crawdads. They are moving shallow and feed on crawdads, then move out at daylight into the channel. The bite has been good up to 9 a.m. Every once in a while Reynolds gets the pleasure of introducing someone to fishing. Sunday was that opportunity this year. A client said he wanted to bring a young man who had never caught a fish. His name was Zack and he was like a sponge. Everything Reynolds said to do he listened and continued to ask his advice on what he should do when he hooked a fish. That day fishing was slower, the day before they had limited out but with all the new boat traffic on the lake the fish were slow to bite. They did hook a nice striper early, and Zack worked the rod like a pro and landed his first striper and fish. They caught a limit, but Reynolds said it’s not always about catching a limit; it’s more about the experiences you have when you’re on the lake. 
(updated 5-18-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said said the lake level is up to 554 feet msl, which is about a half-foot from last week, and the water temperature is in the upper 60s. Look for stripers chasing baitfish to the surface early and just before dark. The hybrids, whites and bass are also coming up. They will hit a spook, soft jerkbait and a swimbait. Look for this activity on points and in coves where the wind is blowing in or has within the last day. After the topwater is over, try throwing a swimbait and you may pick up an extra striper or hybrid or two. Bass are hitting jerkbaits, jigs and worms. A lot of them are in 5-20 feet depth. Try a shallow-running crankbait, too. For more information on the area and lake go to Lake Norfork.com.
(updated 6-1-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the lake remained steady last week at 2.9 feet below seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet and 26.2 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had no wade-able water. The Norfork has cleared somewhat and has fished better lately. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (Nos. 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 #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 fly has been the green butt. Dry Run Creek has cleared some and fished well. 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 5-25-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. John Berry says his favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. 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 5-25-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. Try his 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.



Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,121.57 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 5-25-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported that the lake was at normal level and the water was stained. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream fishing rated good with crickets working best. Crappie bites were fair in 8-12 feet depth around brush piles using minnows and trolling baits. Bass were working fair in the early morning and hitting topwater lures and spinnerbait. Catfishing was improved, rating good with prepared and line bait.
(updated 6-1-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper activity forecast for the week is good. Stripers are making their way back out of the river/creek arms feeding on bait. There has been some nice topwater action! Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Try lightly weighted lines, free lines, balloons and planer boards in presenting your baits and it will definitely get you some fish. Expect good action using live shad fished on free lines and down lines from surface to about 20 feet deep also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs flat lines or slightly weighted lines like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in the 5-6-inch model. Jerkbaits like flukes will also produce. Water temperatures have been in the low- to mid-70s. There areas are hot spots: Near the dam, Hybrid Cove, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, Point 5. Stripers  are being taken in Cedar Creek, Ford Creek and Goat Island at Larue as well. Walleye are now back down on the main lake in numbers and on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-20 feet depth depending on areas you fish. Three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.


(updated 5-25-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said water temperature and generation have been consistent this week, which is normal for this time of year. The white bass are still biting if you can find the traveling schools. Most have been marked between Houseman Access and Beaver. The whites have been biting on various Rapalas trolled at 6-12 feet. Bait fish are still being marked, but mostly in warmer waters downstream from Houseman. Crappie are still biting on live minnows fished under a slip bobber. Try fishing stick-ups and brush piles in 6-10 feet of water. The trout are very active biting on Rapalas, spoons and various powerbaits fished with light terminal tackle. Walleye are being caught in much deeper water in the river and up into the lakes. Trolling Flicker shads and Rapalas have been the preferred method. Smallmouth bass are being caught in coves and around stick-ups throwing various Rapalas and spoons.  
(updated 5-25-2016) Beaver Dam Store said fishing has been good; the hatchery truck just dumped trout last Friday morning and the bite is on. Good lures are gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons, Flicker shad in pro series Nos. 4  and 5. Good power baits are white, red, orange, yellow and chartreuse. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in Blue Dunn, black and olive. The white bass and stripers are hitting really well at White Bass Cove. The Zara Spook in bone color is the hot ticket along withe pearl white 6-inch Sluggos. Jerkbaits are also producing numbers of fish.
  


(updated 6-1-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the lake is up a few inches, the water is clear, and the crappie fishing is on! Overnight guests here Saturday cleaned 30 crappie they caught on jigs, some vertical jigging, and some on casting and retrieving slowly. It appears that the crappie have come up from that old 10-foot mark, and can be caught at lesser depths, depending on where you are fishing. Several bass have been caught on plastic worms,  with pumpkin brown/pepper flaked being the best. Topwater action early and late is good. Try a frog, or popper. The bluegill and redear "perch" bite  is still pretty fair, if you find the bedding spots. Key suggests going to Goose Island, take a right, and take some crickets, and also go up into the brush creek entrance to the lake.  Shoreline fishing is always good with redworms. Catfishing was good for a little while up in the creek area,  for two rained-out linemen , using stinkbait. They showed off a 2½-pounder and a 6-pounder. Try fishing just after a storm, they said.
Lucky reminds readers that the information he gets does not reflect, in any way, all the action on Lake Elmdale. Many catches here go unreported to the bait shop. Please be respectful of other fishermen, and abide by the "no wake " law on this lake.


(updated 6-1-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported that water clarity was murky and the level was normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Fishing across the board was good. Bream were biting worms and crickets. Crapping fishing was good on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing rated good with crankbaits working best. Catfishing was good on worms.


(updated 6-1-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the clarity was dirty and the surface temperature was 72 degrees. Water level was normal, but only catfishing was productive. There were no reports of bream, crappie or bass catches. Catfishing was good, however, with chicken liver and shad working best.



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 6-1-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said it’s still minnows and crickets in the bait shop. In just a couple of hours one day last week, two fishermen got 32 bream using crickets. The park did sell nightcrawlers and goldfish on Tuesday, so they are still bringing in the catfish.  


(updated 6-1-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water clarity was dingy and the level was normal, and overall fishing was good. Bream are working well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are deep and the fishing is fair, with minnows the best bait. Bass fishing has been good with topwater baits in the morning. Catfishing is good using chicken liver and nightcrawlers.


(updated 6-1 -2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels were running at 490 cfs and water was beginning to clear, they're just hoping they have no more rain. Y2K’s and Old Yeller’s have been hot on the fly, and gold spinners and yellow/orange trout magnets also have worked. Wading has been not so easy with higher water. 
(updated 6-1-2016) John Berry in Cotter said the 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 over and fishing is better. 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 6-1-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said very muddy conditions limited anglers and there was no report this week.



Southeast Arkansas

(updated 5-4-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures on the main channel and in backwaters was in the low to mid 70s. Water clarity was low throughout; only inches in the main channel to a max of about 6 inches in Lake Langhofer. The water level was rising throughout last weekend and was about 2 feet high by the end of the day Sunday. Black bass are biting fairly well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Use caution navigating the main channel of the river, as logs large enough to cause damage were present. Floating debris was light. 


(updated 5-18-2016) Cane Creek State Park said bream are biting like crazy on crickets. Catfish are biting very well on live bait. Crappie are doing OK on shiners. Bass are biting very well on chatterbaits.


(updated 5-18-2016) Matthew C. Gillum, the ranger at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said crappie can be found under docks in 3-5 feet of water using chartreuse jigs and pink jig heads. Catfish can be caught using nightcrawlers. Bream are biting wax worms better than crickets. Bass can be found in shallow water and caught using chartreuse crankbaits. Watermelon-red baby brush hogs can be used when fishing in thick cover.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.75 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said lake level continued to fall on Memorial Day, and was approximately 6.5 inches above normal conservation pool. Current exists in Little River with gate discharge around 4,700 cfs. Navigation is considered cautious this week. Surface temperature rose slightly over the past week and was ranging 68 degrees early to 79 later in the day. Clarity and visibility had slightly improved in most areas on the main lake from the past few weeks, ranging approximately 6-10 inches away from the current. Little River's visibility is heavy stain and ranges 8-12 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity is improving, ranging approximately 15-20 inches deep. Largemouth bass continue in a feeding mood thanks to more stable weather patterns and temperature of late. During the early morning, buzzbaits, frogs, Bass Assassin Shads and Pop-R's are getting a fairly good reaction bite at the surface. Later morning after the topwater bite is done, and throughout the afternoon, chatterbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are working. Chatterbaits in black and blue, spinnerbaits in Spot Remover and Fire Tiger, and big 10-inch worms in black grape, watermelon candy and plum have been working well for largemouths from 3 up to 5-6 pounds. Bass Assassin Shads in Grey Ghost, Houdini and black shad colors are catching nice 2-5-pound largemouths in newly sprouting lily pad stems and shoots near cypress trees in the cleanest water you can find away from river current. Fat Jobs are working with a wacky rig, upriver in the oxbows in the same area, with best colors the past two weeks being Houdini and blueberry. Lightest wire hook available works best. Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic, Stumpknocker and red chrome colors all continue working on sunny days in creek channels deflecting off stumps and timber, around cypress trees/knees. Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits are working in creek channel bends in the deeper sections of creek channels around 8-12 feet of depth. Echo 1.75 squarebills continued working as well over the past week with improving water clarity; Ghost, Millwood Magic or gold shad color patterns on cloudy days seem to draw best reaction. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working for 2-6 pound largemouths in 8-12 feet behind stumps along edges of Little River with the reduced current over the past week. Little River current is positioning the bass behind stumps and timber along the old river channel bank and along secondary points that extend out into the river.  Best colors working over the past week continue to be the Texas Craw, Habanero or Candy Bug with black trailer. Jumbo, magnum 4-inch Megabass tubes and Gizits with loud, internal clacking rattles are working around stumps on flats, and in creek channels. Best colors over the past few days have been black neon, black/blue tail, pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail, and bluegill. Using small, unpegged weight that knocks against the internal rattle of the tube will draw good reactions in the off-colored, stained water. In clearer water in back of the oxbows, smoke/black/red flake or purple smoke colors seems to be what will work better.
Schools of whites continue roaming Little River and the creek mouths dumping into the river, between Horseshoe Lake and Cemetery Slough. Whites were surface schooling on shad over the past week in Horseshoe. Sloughs feeding Little River, just out of the main river current, were holding some good schools of whites over the past week, feeding in lily pads on shad. These bass were hitting Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits, Rat-L-Trap Tail Spinners, Little Georges, Little Cleos, and Johnson chrome or gold spoons in 2-5 feet depth. Cats continue biting consistently the past week in Little River on trotlines using Catfish Charlie, chicken livers, blood bait and hot dogs, set 8-10 feet deep. There was no report on crappie. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.64 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said black and white bass are starting to school up. Rooster Tails and silver spoons are landing fish. Crappie on minnows or jigs 8-12 feet deep on brush piles. Since the water temp is entering the 70s, catfish and bream are starting to spawn.
(updated 5-25-2016) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said reported surface temperature is 78 degrees. Water is clear throughout the lake. Crappie are good on brush piles in 10-15 feet. Bass are roaming the banks and are hitting buzzbaits and topwater plugs like Chugbugs and Pop R’s.  
(updated 5-25-2016) Dustin Holmes of Action Fishing Trips reports the water level is 1.92 feet below normal pool. The water temp is 78.0 degrees at the surface. Crappie are being caught in brush piles with the top of the brush being 10-15 feet down and the brush piles setting in 15-25 feet of water. We are doing the best with live minnows and Tennessee shad crappie jigs. You can jig the brush or cast around the brush piles and do quite well. Bass are mostly being caught on points from 5-20 feet deep. The bass are being caught on a Carolina rig, a shad-colored crank bait running 12-15 feet deep, and a spinner bait. Catfish are being caught on chicken liver and worms on north end of the lake from 10-25 feet of water. Bream are being caught on crickets and worms up next to the bank by the buck brush.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.75 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) Local angler George Graves said the surface water temperature is in the mid-70s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is fair early in the morning and late in the evening. Look for fish on main lake points and throw topwater lures in the morning such as Zara Spooks, Flukes, Pop R's and a host of other topwater patterns. The lure is not as important as the placement. Make sure you hit as close as possible where the fish "breaks." During periods of high light, try a medium running crankbait or spinnerbait. Natural shad works well for the cranks, and white/chartreuse is good for the spinnerbaits. Also try a Texas- or Carolina-rigged worm on the same points. Red shad and green pumpkin/red flake are good bets for the plastics. Crappie fishing is slow but a few can be caught from the deep brush attractors. Look for the attractors on the main lake between Edgewood and Shrouse Ford and at 18-25 feet deep. Drop a Curly Tail grub or tube on a 1/16-ounce jighead to just above the brush. Tennessee shad and black chartreuse are always good colors. Hybrid and white bass fishing are good with the fish schooling at mid-lake in the area of Point 10 and along the south side between points 6 and 4. Look for the smaller white bass feeding on top and the bigger hybrids will be under at about 20 feet down. Use a 1/6-ounce white Rooster Tail for the whites and a heavy spoon to get down to the hybrids. Another good way to catch hybrids is with the small 5 arm umbrella loaded with 4-inch swimbaits or Curly Tail grubs. Troll the rig on a long line at about 100 feet and about 2 mph. When you catch a fish, now you can cast the spoon or a big in-line spinner. The umbrella is a great way to locate fish. Catfish are biting fairly well on noodle rigs. Bait with nightcrawlers, chicken livers, Catfish Charlie, hot dogs or cut shad, also try big minnows and small bluegills. Drop the noodles in big coves or the major creeks such as Big Hill and Brushy.
(updated 6-1-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said water surface temperature is 77-78 degrees in the mid-lake area. Lake level is at 406.74. There is considerable amount of grass and debris in the lake from all of the holiday activity. State Park Marina reports hybrids schooling up in Caddo Valley area. Throw Zara Spook or Devil Horse for surfacing bass. Crankbaits like the Rebel or a Rapala are good for fish below surface. Spoons can be thrown for fish below surface, also. Watch your electronics for schools to move in. Some mixed schools are showing up mid-lake. Caddo Valley Bait Shop reports bass are being caught with lizards and worms on points using Texas rigs. Catfish are still biting well in the back coves on trotlines set around 6-10 feet deep. Live bait is the bait of choice. Bream are definitely biting better in the back of coves and around brush. Crickets and worms are the best bait. Crappies are being caught over brush piles from 6-15 feet deep. Minnows are the preferred bait. Tight lining with a pink or chartreuse jighead with Tennessee shad tipped with a minnow will get the bigger bite. Due to the lake traffic and trash in the water from weekend activity the hybrids are not surfacing as well. Duncan fished Tuesday and the crappie bite was fair, but hybrids surfacing slower. 



South-Central Arkansas

(updated 5-25-2016) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said that on Lower White Oak Lake, regulations state that catfish daily limit is 5, bream daily limit is 50, and bass must be at over 16 inches. Crappie is still catch-and-release only. Bass are hitting on crankbaits, brush-hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live bait and catfish baits, and tightlining using worms and catfish baits. Bream are starting to bite well in the mornings and evenings on crickets. On Upper White Oak Lake, bass are hitting on crankbaits, brush-hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live bait, catfish baits and tightlining using worms and catfish baits. Crappie are biting on minnows and jigs. Bream are starting to bite well in the mornings and evenings on crickets. 


(updated 5-11-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said the water still 13 feet high, bass are slow, no report on bream or crappie, catfish being caught in the backwater.
(updated 5-4-2016) ​Local angler Jaret Rushing said the torrential rains of last weekend slowed angling tremendously on the Ouachita River oxbows. Some angers are still running yo-yos and trotlines to catch catfish, but sportfishing opportunities are limited. River reports indicate a steady water rise for at least a week, making accessibility to the oxbows and tributaries almost impossible.


(updated 5-11-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are fair, bream starting to bite. No report on catfish or crappie.


(updated 5-4-2016) ​Local angler Jaret Rushing said Tri-County has been rather productive after the drawdown from this past summer. Anglers are starting to catch bass in the channels of the lake again and crappie tend to be staged around wood structures and artificial structures. Bass are feeding up after their spawn. Baits that resemble their food sources will increase your chance of landing a boat-load. Crappie are finicky as the strikes seem to be staggered.  Keeping a lighter-colored jig in the strike zone for the crappie will increase your chances of landing a few slabs as well.



West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 341.87 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 6-1-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water was clear and at normal level. Surface temperature was 77 degrees, leading to a good week all around. Bream fishing was good on worms and crickets. Crappie were good in about 8 feet depth on minnows and jigs. Spinnerbait and crankbait were pulling the bass in at a good rate in shallow water. Catfishing was good using worms and chicken liver. White bass were all that fell off somewhat, rating just fair.
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie is biting and moving to the banks and in creeks, biting on  BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, Penny Back Baby Whad, Slab Slay’r  and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. Live minnows are working as well, and crappie are biting at nighttime, too. Catfish are biting Yo-Yo’s with minnows and shad. Bream are biting great on crickets, worms and Rock Hoppers. Bassare working buzzbaits and topwater bait.
(updated 6-1-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no report due to high waters.


​(updated 6-1-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said fishing had picked up a bit from two weeks ago. Water level was high, however, and the clarity was cloudy, with no report on surface temperature. Bream fishing was good on redworms and crickets. Crappie fishing rated fair. Bass fishing was good in shallow water; plastic worms and topwater lures were the best choices. Catfishing was good using shad and bass minnows. 


(updated 6-1-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said river clarity is poor; there is very little clear water. Bass fishing has been excellent. Bass are feeding up on the flats early and late. And on the drops midday, topwater early and late; jigs, crankbaits and plastics midday. Striped bass still in the creeks. Topwater and swimbaits working best. White bass are with them holding in the current. Small crankbaits, inline spinners and small swimbaits. Bream has been excellent on crickets and worms in the creeks around stumps, and in the river around grass on the rocks. Catfish has been excellent on cut bait and worms off of River Point and the mouth of creeks.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.08 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
(updated 5-18-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said lthe lake water was clearing with a surface temperature of 72-76 degrees. The lake level was 577.92 feet msl. Black bass are fair to good and being caught with topwater and creature baits. Main lake and secondary points are producing the best results. Walleye are good and are being caught with shallow running crankbaits, small jerkbaits and CC Spoons. Stripers are still good on top water C-10 redfins. The central area of the lake is the hottest right now. Bream are still excellent. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 8-15 feet deep. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 8-15 feet deep near brush. Catfishing are excellent. Try live bait or cut bait in depths of 15-20 feet. 


(updated 6-1-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported black and white bass are starting to school up. Rooster Tails and silver spoons are landing fish. Crappie on minnows or jigs 8-12 feet deep on brush piles. Since the water temperature is entering the 70s, catfish and bream are starting to spawn.


(updated 6-1-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita is now out of flood pool and Entergy has closed flood gates and reduced flow from all area dams. Water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 58 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Catherine is now at normal summertime pool and will remain at this level until late November. Rainbow trout are present in very good numbers below the dam and thriving in the nutrient-rich water. Trout in the 12-16-inch range are plentiful and roaming the shallow waters searching for prey. Bank fishermen are doing well during slack water periods with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Wax or meal worms are also effective presented in the same manner. Corn closely resembles fish eggs and will draw strikes from hungry rainbow's in calm water or current flow. Live minnows floated under a bobber has accounted for the largest trout this week as these fish tend to feed on larger prey items. Fly fishermen can still access areas that hold schools of trout, but must use extreme caution when the turbines are running. Micro-jigs in white or black casted with a strike indicator is a consistent technique because the tailrace holds thousands of shad that rainbow trout feed on daily. San Juan worms in red or hot pink give an angler a nice change of pace when the bite is slow. Egg patterns in yellow or white are always the bait of choice when conditions are tough and the fish are finicky. Boaters trolling shallow running crankbaits against the current are recording limits of quality catches with most of the action best below the bridge. Anchoring behind rocks and fishing the current breaks with small jigs and jerkbaits have caught trout in the 18-inch class by experienced guides. Overall, trout fishing is excellent and will remain good until the middle of June.
White bass are making a strong spawning run toward the dam from the main body of the lake. Little fishing pressure due to high water has allowed these fish to gather in big numbers on both sides of the tailrace. Current flow drives white bass to feed heavier than slack water and trolling crankbaits and casting Alabama rigs over sandbars and rock structure will produce good catches. Jerkbaits in bright yellow have been the ticket in the stained waters of last week, but now a silver-and-black pattern has proved to be more effective of late. Live minnows tightlined over deep water around the dam has targeted bass that moved up earlier in the flood. A few hybrid bass have been caught on the same lures with better numbers migrating in the area in June. Some striper activity has been observed this week but no big fish hooked or caught. Freshwater drum continue to spawn the tailrace with fish over 20 pounds caught and larger fish lost. Nightcrawlers and live shad are the best baits. Carolina rigs tipped with either bait can draw vicious strikes so rods should never be set aside in a boat or the bank and left unattended.



East Arkansas

(updated 6-1-2016) Ranger Natalie Carter at ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said bream are on their beds and responding heavily to crickets. Crappie are off their beds and biting at moderate depths. Bass have been hitting heavily on topwater poppers and some crankbaits, mainly at 10 feet or deeper and around underwater structure. No reports on catfish activity. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center, located in Marianna off of state Highway 44, is selling bait (minnows, redworms, nightcrawlers, shad and crickets, along with a variety of jigs and artificial baits) and is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. every day. Call 870-295-4040 for more info or to book a campsite. 


(updated 6-1-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported crappie are off their beds and responding well to live bait, including both crickets and worms. Moderate bream activity off of the bank and fishing pier, responding to crickets. Smallmouth bass responding to worms and crankbaits. Mild catfish activity in coves. 


(updated 6-1-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said fishing has picked up a bit in the last week. Water clarity continues to be dingy and the level is high, however. Bream fishing is good using worms and crickets. Crappie are biting minnows and jigs and rated good. Bass are hitting spinnerbait, topwater lures and plastic worms. Trotlines continue to bring in a good amount of catfish.



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