Public Input Sought on Trout Rules in Greers Ferry Tailwater
Public Input Sought on Trout Rules in Greers Ferry Tailwater
November 2, 2016
Public comment is being sought about new trout fishing regulations proposed for the Greers Ferry Tailwater.
Public's Opinion Sought on New Trout Rules
A public survey has been placed online to gather comments before new trout fishing regulations for the Greers Ferry Tailwater are presented for approval at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s next regular meeting Nov. 17. 
The AGFC Trout Management Program formulated a list of proposed regulations and presented them at last month's Commission meeting. Earlier this year, the Trout Management Program held a series of public meetings to revisit and revise the Greers Ferry Tailwater Management Plan. The plan calls for a regular review period including public involvement to ensure that the fishery is being managed with the expectations of the angling public in mind.
The following regulation changes are being presented for public comment through Nov. 12:
• Replace 16- to 24-inch protected slot limit for all trout species on Greers Ferry Tailwater with a five-fish-per-day limit where only one may be over 16 inches.
• Enact a no culling rule for all trout species on Greers Ferry Tailwater.
• Allow mobility-impaired anglers to fish downstream of wooden vehicle bridge in JFK Park.
• Convert the JFK and Mossy Special Regulations Areas into year-round catch-and-release areas.
• Convert the Cow Shoals Seasonal Catch-and-Release Area into a year-round catch-and-release area.
• Clarify the sunset/sunrise times for Cow Shoals Catch-and-Release Area.
An explanation of each regulation is available on the public comment survey, Click the box below to access the survey.
Greers Ferry Tailwater Public Survey
(updated 11-2-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said water is stained and the surface temperature was 82 degrees. Water level is normal. Crappie fishing has been excellent in the lake. Crappie appear to be about 3-6 feet deep and are in good number around the Highway 89 bridge and in Gold Creek and Cain Creek. Anglers were using minnows and jigs. Bream are fair off the bottom using worms and crickets. Bass fishing is fair, with a good bite around the lily pads. Use plastic worms or topwater frogs. Catfishing is good with minnows and nightcrawlers around trees and on yo-yos and limb lines.
(updated 10-26-2016) Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) reported crappie have been doing well for the past 2-3 weeks. People are catching anywhere from 5 to 25 fish most days, all pretty good-sized fish. They are getting in the pads some and little on the brush piles, but mostly feeding in the pads. Minnows and jigs are both doing well for bait. Pink minnows on some days, while shiners are doing fine, too. Looking like it will be a better season than the last couple of winters. Water level is good, about 5 inches low. Clarity looks good. Temperature is bouncing down, getting below 70.
(updated 10-19-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie fishing was fair using pink or regular minnows, as well as Baby Shad and jigs. Catfishing is excellent on limbs and trotlines using slicks or shad. Nothing else was reported.

(updated 11-2-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said they are receiving weekday afternoon generation and less amounts of generation on weekends. For fly fishing, Myers recommends midges, pheasant tails, sowbugs and streamers. For Trout Magnet fishing, he recommends white and cotton candy-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads. 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 ( for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website ( to see forecasted generation schedule. 
(updated 11-2-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said afternoon generation remains the rule during the week with little or no generation on the weekend. Warmer weather has increased demand, so the generation during the week has increased slightly. The river remains clear and water temperature is good. With cooler temps in the forecast, times and amounts of generation may change, so it would be wise to check projected generation before your trip. The brown trout are beginning to move, with more browns being caught the last couple of days. Greg said he has not seen any spawning activity, but the brown bite is improving and he is seeing more browns moving on the shoals He has seen some rainbows spawning on a couple of the shoals. Small flies (midge pupas and pheasant tails) still seem to be the most productive, with midge hatches in the morning and blue wing olive mayfly hatches in the afternoon. Combine these with light tippet in the clear water and the chances of success improve.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.80 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 11-2-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.81 feet and falling, the temp has stayed about the same mid-70s to low 70s. The fishing overall is off and on when conditions are right. Still need rain and cooler weather to get everything going good, as the dew point is low. The bass are scattered from the surface to 40 feet deep. Use a C-rig with a lizard or Senko working best deep, and spinnerbaits and small crank baits working shallow. In the mid-depths, go with a jig and jighead worm as well as drop shots. The bream are guarding fry and are pretty active from shallow out to about 30 feet; use crickets and crawlers. There are no reports on walleye. The catfishing is good all over the lake on several different methods with cut, live and prepared bait. As for crappie, some are still being caught on Road Runners and jigs with minnows in the pole timber or in and around brush piles, while some are just roaming like everything else out in the middle of nowhere in 12-40 feet of water. The hybrid and white bass are pretty good if you have some wind early and late in the day. It is sporadic; try using live bait, in-line spinners, spoons and swimbaits.

(updated 11-2-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said water is clear and at a low level. Surface temperature was 72 degrees. Bass fishing is good with crankbaits. The crappie bite is good on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is good using stink bait. Bream are fair. 

(updated 10-26-2016) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is normal and surface temperature is 71 degrees. Bream are good around the banks in 3-4 feet of water, fishing 1 to 2 feet. Bass are doing well on plastic worms and crankbaits. Catfish are slow but still catching them on jugs and yo-yo's using bass minnows and Magic Bait (chicken blood). Crappie are slow but still catching 8-15 a day at different depths, from 4-5 feet and 8-10 feet of water, on jigs and minnows. Looks to be improving daily.

(updated 11-2-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported good black bass are biting on wacky rig worms and spinnerbaits both early in the morning and late in the day. Blacks can be caught in 3-8 feet just off the weeds. The cooler weather has activated the bass. Roger suggests trying shallow lures and spinnerbaits. Kentucky bass fishing has been excellent and are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They are being found in 4-9 feet of water. They are mixed in with the black bass. White bass are good. Use Rooster Tails. CC Spoons and deep diving Bandits and Bombers. They seem to be all over the lake. Reports of catches are coming from the east end right off the point on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. The crappie are very good right now. They are being caught on crappie minnows and with chartreuse and white jigs with a very light line. Crappie are in 15-20 feet depth; try the edge of the channels and on the old road beds. Lots of 6- to 9-inch crappie are being caught, so it should be a great winter fishing. Bream are good and can be found at 15 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good. The catfish are being caught in 15-20 feet of water and are being caught on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. Catfish in the 30-pound range are very common for Lake Maumelle.
(updated 10-26-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said bream are good around brush piles using worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good on spinnerbaits and jigs. Catfishing is good using nightcrawlers, spinnerbaits, dough bait and chicken liver. No white bass reports. Fosters has all anglers’ needs in the way of bait and food, and also sells non-ethanol gas. 
(updated 10-19-2016) Hatchet Jack's (501-758-4958) said crappie fishing is fair, with crappie in 14-20 feet of water. Use small crappie minnows for bait. Bass are fair around the main lake points on spinnerbaits, Sinkos and jerkbaits. Reports on catfish were fair, with shad, slicks and skipjack working best. Nothing on bream or white bass.

(updated 11-2-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some customers are catching catfish on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream fishing has been slow with crickets and redworms. Bass have been biting fair on minnows, small plastic worms and lizards and some small topwater baits. Crappie have been slow to bite but a few have been hitting pink minnows right at daylight for one customer.

(updated 11-2-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said two customers caught a very nice stringer of crappie Saturday on the Saline with No. 6 and pink minnows. Bass fishing has been good with big minnows and plastic lizards. Catfish have been biting fair on minnows, black salties and goldfish. Bream will bite a cricket or redworm almost anytime on the river. 

(updated 11-2-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well for customers baiting trotlines and jugs with goldfish, black salties and No. 12 minnows. Bream are hitting crickets and redworms. Bass are being caught on minnows, plastic worms and lizards and topwater baits early in the mornings and at night. No recent reports of crappie being caught.

(updated 11-2-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few customers have been catching some nice stringers of crappie on size 6 and size 12 minnows. Bass have been hitting minnows as well. Catfish are biting chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream are biting fair on crickets and redworms.

(updated 11-2-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said flows in the river pool are coming down, but because of hunting, few people are fishing. Black bass were fair on a Red Bug in 2-4 feet of water in the backwater areas. Some fish are beginning to go to the upstream side of the jetties. So, use a red or shad-colored jig. Bream are slowing down so much, there were no reports in the past week. White bass schools are scattered chasing shad on the back side of jetties. Use crankbaits in shad color or, if the water is mud-stained, use Fire Tiger color. White bass bite is good. Catfish are on top of jetties in the midday; use white shad to catch them. As the day moves on, fish the tips of jetties. Catfishing overall was fair. Kentucky bass are biting fair on top of jetties as well. Use a Rapala Fat Rap; the fish seem to like them on the way back up.

(updated 10-26-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley had no report.

(updated 11-2-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said water conditions were perfect for clarity and at a normal level. No surface temperature was unavailable. Bass rated from good to excellent. There appeared to be a flood of shad into the river and the bass were following. Spinnerbaits and topwaters worked well. Catfishing is good on chicken liver and cut bait. White bass are biting excellent as were stripers. Crappie were good on minnows. Bream were fair on worms.

(updated 11-2-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is muddy. Bass are biting fair in the backwater on spinnerbaits. Poor reports on bream, crappie and catfish. Miller has mentioned previously that fishing is off in his area due to construction of the Broadway Bridge.
(updated 11-2-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said it was a slow week all around for fishing. Water level is normal. There were some catches of bream around brush piles using worms, but overall reports were poor. Crappie also bit occasionally with a few catches on minnows and jigs, but rated poor. Bass were fair on spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing was fair.
(updated 11-2-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said water was clear and had a surface temperature in the upper 70s. Level and current were normal. Bream were fair on worms and crickets. Crappie were in about 6 feet of water and the bite was fair on pink minnows. Nearer the Terry Lock and Dam, crappie hit minnows and jigs and were in the 6-7-foot range. Bass were good in the pool around jetties and were hitting spinnerbaits and crankbaits, and also favored topwater lures near the Terry dam. Catfishing was fair with blood bait. White bass were good and were all about the white Rooster Tails for anglers having success.
(updated 11-2-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie fishing is good around the Murray Lock and Dam using white or chartreuse jigs. Catfish are biting well on skipjack and slicks. White bass fishing is good; try a red and chartreuse jig. No reports from that area on bream or bass.

(updated 10-26-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said this is the last week the landing will be open until next Feb. 6. The past week was slow, with poor reports of bream, crappie and bass. Catfishing remains good on blood bait.

(updated 10-19-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that crappie are fair at around the stumps at the end of the lake; use minnows or twister tails. Catfishing is fair on chicken liver, nightcrawlers and shad. No reports on bream or bass.

(updated 11-2-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is excellent. Use chicken liver, chicken hearts, nightcrawlers or hot dogs.

(updated 11-2-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported excellent catfishing in the past week. Nightcrawlers and chicken hearts were the baits of choice.

(updated 11-2-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few catfish have been caught recently on nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream have been biting fair on crickets and worms. Most of them have been small but still fun to catch. Bass fishing has been slow. A few small crappie have been biting pink and size 6 minnows.

(updated 11-2-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said water was clear and had a surface temperature in the upper 70s. Level and current were normal. Bream were fair on worms and crickets. Crappie were in about 6 feet of water and the bite was fair on minnows and jigs. Bass were good on topwater lures, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing was fair with blood bait. White bass reports were good; white Rooster Tails.
(updated 11-2-2016) Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900), now run by new owners Larry and Shirley Walters, said water is clear; level and temperature were unavailable. Crappie are being caught and that was about it at the lake. Crappie reports were good on minnows or jigs. No other reports as far as bream, bass, catfish or white bass. 

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 653.98 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 11-2-2016) K Dock Marina reported that very warm water temperature has not helped the bite. Had 71 degrees surface temperature last Thursday afternoon at the dock, and temps have ranged 68-71. Water is clear to stained. Water level is almost back to the old power pool normal level of 654 feet msl. All species are slow. They were hoping for great weekend temps for fishermen, though – still in shorts and a T-Shirt for Halloween! Showing 83-85 degrees this week. Hit the lake early before the sun bakes the surface of the water. Fish slow and off the banks. Crappie and walleye should start hitting soon when the cold snap comes. Live minnows on crappie, spoons on walleye and small plastics on bass. Been getting some good reports on catfish. They are feeding on live bluegills, nightcrawlers and crawdads. 
(updated 10-19-2016)  Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock reported water temperatures were about 71 degrees last Saturday and fish are moving. Had some crazy days recently, some cold rain come through, a couple of fronts as well. The thermocline dropped a little bit and the fish are starting to move back some into the creeks. Don’t think the majority of them are back in there, but you can catch them early in the morning. There’s a good topwater bite going throwing a Sammy, a Zara Spook or a Rebel Pop-R. You’ll see ‘em. Y ou might not want to chase ‘em down, but if you get in the vicinity and get it in there, it’s over like that. Drop-shot bite is going. Some of those fish we’re targeting in 26-28 feet of water. We think the thermocline’s dropping a little bit, we’re seeing shad balls in 30-40 feet of water. Really pay attention to your graph. It’s a tough time of the year;  you have to put the trolling motor down and keep fishing. If you’ve got wind, you can pick up a spinnerbait, they’re bringing in fish. Still catching fish on jigs, isolated cover is really w here you want to focus. Back into those creeks, if you run around a dock or a channel swing, you want to fish it. Throw a squarebill. A Whopper Plopper is working in the backwater; that’s going to get you your bigger fish. Starting to get a few on the wake-style or the bigger swimbaits in the backwater. Also, with the water coming down, whatever bushes or laydowns are left, those will hold some fish. So if you come across some cover, make sure you’re flipping in every bit that’s there and keep moving. It’s that time of the year, and everything’s changing. The crankbait bite is starting to go but it’s not quite there yet. Picking up a few on Wiggle Wart, the temperature went back up to 80 and was going to be in the 80s the next couple of days, so you have to fish the conditions. If it’s laying flat, pick up some spinnerbaits, a Shaky Head, a drop-shot, whatever to get a bite.

(updated 11-2-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said the he fishing season has been extended for our fair-weather fishers. Looks like mild autumn temperatures are going to continue for another couple of weeks at least. Although the brown bite is slower than some months, minnows seem to be the trick to getting their attention; sculpins are still working their magic, too. The rainbow catch has been very good to excellent using your longtime favorite spoons or shrimp/PowerBait lineup. Add the bronze Colorado Spoon to your collection if you're having trouble getting them to take your bait. Keep anglin' and enjoying the river.
(updated 10-26-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported perfect water conditions, with the level of the river low and 2 generators running. Rainbow trout fishing has been excellent. Use PowerBait. Brown trout appear to be spawning and the fishing was good, though mostly small catches.
(updated 11-2-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) reported that Cotter had no rain, cool temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals remained steady at 4.5 feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is 40.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.2 feet to rest at 5.7 feet below seasonal power pool and 19.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 feet to rest at 5.5 feet below seasonal power pool and 15.1 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation in the afternoon last week with lower generation in the morning and no wadable water. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With cooler fall weather and lower lake levels, we should see more wadable water. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed from Nov. 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017, to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. 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 size 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a cerise San Juan worm with a ruby midge (size 18) suspended below it). The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier) on bigger water. You will need an eight or nine weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.56 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).(updated 11-2-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said this was a busy week of fishing and deer hunting. The bite continues from Calamity Beach past Point 10 in Missouri. The warm weather has kept the lake from turning over, so the only good bite is in the river. Stripers are moving up and down the river chasing shad. It seems the only bait the stripers will hit on a regular basis is live shad. Tom says he watches trollers going up and down the river and in two weeks he has only seen one striper caught, whereas he has been limiting out or his clients have had enough bites to catch a limit. The best bite is the flat next to the river channel in 25 feet of water. There are huge schools of shad roaming the river. Just keep moving up and down the channel. We are catching stripers using down lines, weighted floats and planer boards; the lines are set at 16 feet. Tom says he had Rick and his daughter, Courtney, in for three days of deer hunting and striper fishing. Rick is in a wheelchair so it was a challenge getting him close to deer. But they both had opportunities to harvest a buck multiple times. Courtney missed the biggest buck of her life, a big 10-point. They also wanted to try striper fishing, so they all fished Saturday and Sunday. The bite was on both days. The first day, Tom says, they missed their limit because they were new to striper fishing, but on Sunday they were on the fish and had their limit by 9:15 a.m. Rick was a great sport and Tom says it was his pleasure seeing farther and daughter have such a great experience. 
(updated 11-2-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the Norfork Lake fishing pattern is trying its hardest to get into the fall pattern, but Mother Nature has thrown them a curve. They have had unseasonably warm weather with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the low 60s, which is almost 15-20 degrees above average. It has been great for the vacationers enjoying the area still being able to wear shorts and T-shirts, but it is confusing the fish. Lou says he is conflicted because he does love this warm weather, but he is also ready for the fish to start feeding heavily for the cold weather. “I guess I will enjoy whatever nature brings my way,” he said. Lou has been fishing for striped bass and doing OK until the last couple of days. He is finding good fish in the mornings and late afternoons, but they are not real aggressive in biting. He has been fishing on some of the flats heading up river, but one day this week he decided to check out other areas where stripers are typically biting at this time. He found a lot of big fish suspended at 40-55 feet in 120 feet of water off of deep-water bluffs. He dropped live bait as well as jigged a spoon, but had no takers. He believes these fish are hovering in the deepest, coolest water they can get to, that still has good oxygen. From the last oxygen report that he’s seen, at depths below 55 feet the oxygen level is very low, indicating the lake has not totally turned over. The good news for fishing is that assuming the long-term weather forecast is correct, the weather will cool starting this Thursday or Friday and stay at normal temps. The lower ambient temperatures will lower the lake water temperature and allow the lake to finish its turnover and the fish will truly start their fall feed. It won't be long.
Gabric also said that even though the striper bite has slowed for him, the largemouth bite has been excellent. He found surface feeding fish around the bridge columns and said he had a blast. Any topwater bait would have worked, but he had a Kastmaster tied on so he starting casting. Every cast for 45 minutes he either caught a good-size fish or had a bump and missed it. Crankbaits are working for the suspended fish, and plastics worked along the bottom are also working well. Deep-water bluffs either in a cut or at a point are great areas to catch some nice fish. He has also picked up some nice bass near brush piles jigging a spoon in 35 feet of water. The crappie bite is also pretty good. He has caught some nice slabs on a 35-38-feet-deep main lake brush pile. The fish were suspended 20-25 feet down on the top of the brush pile. Sunrise and sunset are two great times to catch crappie, but you can also pick up some fish during the day. Catfish were biting well for a couple of his guests using jugs set in 30-40 feet of water. Their best bait so far has been nightcrawlers. The surface water temperature is in the 72-74 degree range, which is slightly higher than Lou’s last report. A rise in lake temperature is not normal for this time of year. The lake level is fairly stable and currently sits at 552.55. The creeks and coves as well as the flats on the main lake are stained. The deep water of the main lake appears to be clear on the surface.
(updated 11-2-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake fell 0.3 feet to rest at 1.2 feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and 27.4 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation all day with some wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With cooler fall weather and lower lake levels, we should see more wadable water. There has been precious little wadable water on the Norfork. The lake has turned over and there is a sulphur smell on the upper river and with lower dissolved oxygen, in that area, the bite has been slow there. 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 ruby midge. Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with school back in session. A large number of brown trout have moved into the creek. 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). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.

(updated 11-2-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Buffalo is navigable. The smallmouths are still active. His favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the Buffalo River. There are no dams, it has large drainages and is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

(updated 11-2-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the water is navigable. The smallmouths are still active. His favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek. There are no dams, it has large drainages and is 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 1,114.72 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 11-2-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said clarity in the lake is good and the temperature was in the low to mid-70s this week. Water was reported low. Bream reports were coming in good, with bream at about 6-8 feet and biting redworms and crickets. Crappie appeared to be at about 14-15 feet deep and best success was trolling bait around brush piles. Reports were fair. Bass also were fair, with spinnerbaits, topwater lures and, in particular, Shaky Heads working well. The catfish bite was fair as well; livers, worms and prepared bait were the way to go for cats. 
(updated 11-2-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said the lake turnover has occurred, getting the stripers on the move using main lake structures, mouths of coves, etc., as they move into tributaries. Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, treetops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing free lines, balloons and planers will definitely get you some fish. There has been an abundance of topwater activity from striper and white bass. Striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad fished from 0-30 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs for stained water; use plugs like the Rapala No. 14 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on downriggers. Jerkbaits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow – current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure. Check the daily lake level and flow data link on Mike Bailey’s website. The go-to approach on Beaver Lake when fishing for trophy stripers is to use live shad. Water surface temperature has been in the mid-70s. On the mid- and lower sections of the lake, these areas have been the striper hot spots recently: Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Big Clifty, Point 5, Point 6, Rambo Creek arm, Rocky Branch, Larue, Coppermine, Ventris, and Shaddox Hollow. On the upper section, check out Prairie Creek (white bass are surfacing). Walleye are making their way out of the main lake in numbers in fall migration mode but can be found scattered still around the lake and are on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-30 feet deep 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 Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker Shad, Bandit 300 Series in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Also 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 combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.

(updated 11-2-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the river is exceptionally low; however, that has not stopped the trout from biting. This will be a short report. Trout are biting on various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. Various spoons are doing the trick as well. The deeper water between Houseman and Beaver are producing some very nice trout. Fly fishermen will enjoy the shallow waters between the dam and Spider Creek.
(updated 11-2-2016) Beaver Dam Store reported the browns are spawning. Please be respective of the reds that are being laid. Trout hatchery trucks have recently dumped trout below the dam and at the Bertrand ramp. Reports from fishermen are off the charts. People are catching limits of fish left and right! If you get the chance, fish the tailwaters; you won’t be disappointed. There are many areas to fish now that the water levels are down. Boaters, beware of the low water conditions. Many new gravel bars have exposed themselves causing dangerous conditions. Trout can be caught using midges, streamers, Y2Ks and San Juan worms. Try drifting zebra midges, nymphing and swinging small soft hackles, scuds and cracklebacks. Good lures are gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series No. 4’s and 5’s. Try PowerBait in white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive, hare’s ear, tungsten copper Johns, WD40s, Trout Magnets and San Juan worms. 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 11-2-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported that water was clear and the surface temperature was 68 degrees. Water level was normal. Bream were biting fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie were good on minnows and jigs. Bass were good on worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing was good on glowworms and goldfish.

(updated 10-26-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported that water was clear and surface temperature was 73 degrees. Water was 8 inches below normal level. Crappie are good and biting minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good on spinnerbaits and topwater baits. Catfish are biting well on chicken liver and shad. No reports on bream.

Northeast Arkansas

(updated 11-2-2016) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said that yes, it is a good time to go fishing. The bait shop is still selling the crickets for you bream fishermen. They are selling more minnows than the other live bait. They are catching the crappie, too. The crappie are in 6-8 feet depth. For the catfish fishermen they have plenty of goldfish. Lake Poinsett is still low.

(updated 11-2-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water surface temperature was 71 degrees and clarity was described as “perfect.” Water level is normal. Bass fishing was excellent, with bass hitting on anything thrown both early in the morning and late in the day. Bass appeared to be in about 20-25 feet of water. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, topwaters and Spooks all produced excellent results. Catfishing was fair. Crappie also was fair early in the day and late around the dock areas. Jigs worked best. No reports on bream.

(updated 11-2-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 300 cfs and water clarity is clear. The river has been getting really low and clear. Great bug hatches during most of the day. Tan caddis and mayflies have been the go-to matches. Pheasant tail nymphs and prince nymphs in sizes 14-10 have been working great. Some dry fly action early and late can be had on ants or black gnats in size 18. The leaves have been falling heavily on windy days and can be a problem. Cooler weather is needed to get the bigger trout moving. Easy wading and great sight-fishing conditions have made for a lot of fun on the Spring River. 
(updated 11-2-2016) 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 there are fewer boats on the river. 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 11-2-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said low water level and warm surface temperature resulted in slow fishing for the week. No specific reports came in. With normal water the previous week, crappie fishing is fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting crankbaits, plastic worms and grubs and the fishing rated fair. 

Southeast Arkansas

(updated 11-2-16) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team reported water temperatures are around 70 degrees and visibility is about 1 foot. Black bass are biting fairly well now that the water is cooling a bit and there is less fishing pressure. Both small and larger fish are being caught on wind-blown banks in Lake Langhofer that have baitfish activity. Anglers are having best success with squarebill crankbaits and small-bladed spinnerbaits in shad colors. Good-sized fish are also being caught with jigs worked around and in woody cover and brush.

(updated 11-2-16) Cane Creek State Park said the weather is still warm, but the water is beginning to feel cool, especially in the mornings. Crappie are fair, and biting on minnows. Minnows are available at the park bait shop. Bass are good, and biting on plastic worms. The water is murky with visibility of about a foot. Weather still isn’t right for catfish yet, but check back on catfish. 

(updated 11-2-16) Matthew C. Gillum, the ranger at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705), said catfish can be caught using nightcrawlers. Bream are biting waxworms better than crickets. Bass can be found in shallow water and caught using chartreuse and black crankbaits as well as purple shad spinnerbaits. Watermelon-red Zoom Baby Brush Hogs can be used when fishing in thick cover.

(updated 11-2-16) Pine Haven Bait and Tackle (870-367-4303) said catfish reports were fair, with no other information. Fishing appeared to be slow at the lake. Anglers were purchasing bait to fish nearby Cane Creek.

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.30 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.32 msl).
(updated 11-2-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Monday (Oct. 31) the lake level was near normal conservation pool; approximately 1 inch above normal and steady. There is reduced current this week of Little River from last week, with the gates releasing around 214 cfs as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week, as surfaced were ranging 66-73 degrees Monday. Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure. It appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel; however, several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body. Tailwater water is consistent with last week, sitting at 224.3 feet msl, while clarity and visibility have been consistent over the last couple of weeks. Bass continue improving with the cooler nighttime temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week. Bass are best from 2-3 pounds on topwaters early, along points and creek junctions and creek mouths dumping into Little River. Most bass are aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, and shallow vegetation in the clearest water. Shad continue relating to creek channels, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures. Main lake grass beds are also a good choice early if there is good wind blowing in the grass. Cordell Crazy Shads, Baby Torpedoes, Heddon Spit'n Images in threadfin shad patterns and Stuttersteps are working. Bass Assassin Shads and soft plastic frogs are good topwater choices early. Around grass beds along Little River, use a bulky 10-inch Berkley Power worm, Rat-L-Traps worked parallel, frogs, and Bass Assassin Shads in the thick stuff. Good reactions continue on the spoons using a white or smoke-colored 2-inch or 3-inch fat, curly tail grub trailer. Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Silver Phantom, Salt & Pepper, Grey Ghost and Houdini. Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound largemouths in creek. The 1.75 Echo crankbaits in Ghost or Millwood Magic continue working on points and in creek channels. Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad and Tennessee Shad continue to be best choices for both largemouth and white bass alike in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels. 
Siefert also says that over the past few weeks, the white bass, Kentucky bass and largemouths all, were surface-breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire up Little River. Those fish were hitting small Ken Pop's, Chug Bugs with a rear feather tail hook, Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, as well as small, ¼-size chrome/black Rat-L-Traps. Crappie continue to bite well on Blakemore Road Runners and vertical jigging jigs in planted brush piles from 12-15 feet of depth. Blues and channel cats were biting well this week on trotlines from 8-9 feet deep along Little River using blood bait, cut shad and buffalo, and chicken hearts.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 538.26 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 10-19-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said a fall feeding frenzy with the spotted bass and crappie is underway. He said Greeson has had plenty of crappie biting in 10-15 feet of water on brush piles. They’re biting jigs fair but the best bet is to go with live bait.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 398.08feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 11-2-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 60s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is good, with fish being caught most anywhere in the lake, especially early in the morning. Some of the better locations are: the big coves between points 2 and 4; the coves along the state park between Caddo Bend and the marina; the big coves at Caddo Drive and Arlie Moore; Big Hill and Yancey creeks and the Shouse Ford area. Look for "breaking" fish early in the morning feeding on the vast shad schools. Throw topwater plugs, flukes or swimbaits. Stick to natural shad patterns in the clear water. Later in the day, fish across points with a Texas rigged worm or jig with a critter trailer. Lots of Kentucky bass are showing along the rock bluffs. Try a Texas rigged 4-inch finesse worm in green pumpkin. Crappie fishing is getting better with the cooler water. Look for fish in the main lake attractors at 18-25 feet. Drop a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube on a 1/16-ounce jighead to just above the thickest part of the brush. Use natural shad patterns in clear water and something with chartreuse in stained water. Look for fish between Edgewood and Shouse Ford. Hybrid fishing has slowed, with the fish now moving out of their 50-foot summer haunts. With the cooler water, the thermocline is dissipating, which means the fish can now be comfortable in the big coves at mid-lake. Look for "breaking" fish between Edgewood and Yancey Creek. Also November is a good time to find fish in Big Hill Creek, around Island 34 and Alpine Ridge. Catfishing is still pretty good at night in the major creeks such as Brushy and Big Hill on both trotlines and noodles. Bait with hot dogs, chicken livers, cut shad, nightcrawlers and stink baits. Also try live small bream, goldfish and big minnows.
(updated 11-2-2016) John Duncan of at Iron Mountain Marina said summer is not giving up easily. One more week of the heat. Water level is 398.07 feet msl, which is a slight drop since last week. The water temperature is in the low 70s. Catfishing is slow this time of year. Catfish are no longer concentrated in the brush piles. The cooler weather, shorter days and fall weather has bream fishing slowing down. Crappie are moving back into the shallower water. Fish brush piles in the Shouse Ford area. Jigs tipped with minnows, tight-lining, using a drop shot and slip corks all seem to work. Crappie are holding tight on cover. They can be found from 4-15 feet of water. Black bass fishing is slow. Reports are saying topwaters or drop shot is your best plan. Surfacing fish are still the best bet for some fast action. The surfacing fish are getting harder to find. Look for schools in the stillest water you can find. If there is a south wind, they can usually be found near the south bank around marker 2 and 4 where it is calm. There are not large schools of fish. Cast into the rings made by surfacing fish with a topwater, Rat-L Trap or spoon. There should be some big changes coming with weather changes. 
(updated 11-2-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are biting well on live bait on brush piles fished 8-12 feet deep. The whites and hybrids are starting to school and break early in the mornings again. Look for creek arms full of shad.

South-Central Arkansas

No report.

(updated 11-2-16) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting on spinnerbaits. Crappie starting to bite on the upper side. A few bream being caught. No report on catfish.

(updated 11-2-16) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said there was a report on a few crappie and bass being caught.

No report.

West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 337.14feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 11-2-2016) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported that fishing has been slow, but that depends on the fishermen. Water has been normal to high level. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is fair on blood bait. Crappie reports were poor; minnows and jigs were getting the best nibbles.
(updated 10-19-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water was too low in their area for any fishing in the past few weeks, and the shop is closed.

(updated 11-2-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said water is clear and the surface temperature was ranging 68-69 degrees. Water is low. Fishing tended to be slow the past week. Bream reports were good, but the catches were mostly smaller fish. Worms worked best. A lot of small crappie were reported as well, with good reports. Crappie appear to be moving to the banks. Minnows and jigs were working best. Some 6-7-pound bass were pulled in the past few days. Bass fishing was good on crankbaits. Catfishing was good on trotlines and yo-yos. 

(updated 10-26-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature is in the lower to mid-70s. The river is dirty with sporadic flow, and some creeks are dingy to heavy stained. Fishing has been hit and miss due to the dirty water and the sporadic flow. Largemouth bass have been caught using topwater baits such as frogs, buzzbaits, chatterbait with a scam shad trailer, spinnerbaits and Rat-L Traps. On the tough days, slow down and work the bottom with jigs and plastics. Striped bass have been slow. Stick to swimbaits, crankbaits and Rat-L Traps. When they moved to the surface, topwater popper baits will work great. White bass have been slow in the river, with the better bite in the creeks on crankbaits and Rat-L Traps. The surface bite has been on poppers. Crappie have been taken on Fire Tiger jigs and minnows in 8 feet of water in submerged trees. Catfish have been good on worms, stink bait and cut bait, perch and shad. Bream have been good around lily pads with crickets and worms.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 570.68 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
(updated 11-2-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 for out of state) said black bass are still good and being caught with spybaits and topwaters fished over main lake and secondary points. Walleye are fair and are being caught jigging CC Spoons. Stripers are fair on live bait. The central area of the lake is the best area for these fish. Bream are slow. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 20-25 feet deep. Crappie are very good. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 15-25 feet deep fished near brush. Catfish are slow. Try nightcrawlers, trotline minnows or crickets in depths of 15-20 feet. Water temperature has ranged 68-72 degrees on the surface. The water has been clear. Call Mountain Harbor guides Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104 to set up a trip or for more information.
(updated 10-26-2016) David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association said the weather has been great but the high pressure has made fishing tough. Finding fish has been hard; getting them to bite is even harder. Hoping a change in pressure will bring the striper around.
(update 10-26-2016) Phillip Kastner at Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said on US97 it's not your normal fall in the area, as the lake temperature has been about 15-20 degrees above normal. The lake ought to be in the mid-to-low 50s, but it's just not happening. However, even though the lake is a lot warmer, Trader Bills is still selling the same things they normally sell this time of year. Kastner said he's selling a ton of topwater baits, three-quarter and half-ounce Rat-L Traps, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, the list is basically the same for this point in the season. And Kastner said he thinks part of the reason why is that fish are still chasing shad the same. He says you've got to use downsized blades on your spinnerbaits -- a half-ounce Rat-L Trap will catch more fish than a three-quarter-ounce Trap will. A smaller framed spinnerbait will catch more fish than a three-quarter-ounce bait will. You’ve gotta downsize your lures because the fish are still eating small shad. It’s really some of the best fishing going on right now and it's crazy how hot Lake Ouachita is. A 1.5 squarebill shad-colored crankbait would be good to try; a half-ounce Rat-L-Trap or Strike King Red-Eye Shad or Zoom Ultra Vibe, or whatever you want to throw in lipless crankbait might catch every single fish swimming around in the lake right now. You cannot disregard topwater bait the first 2-3 hours of the day. Try a Stanley Ribbit or a Zoom Horny Toad; a Zara Spook would be a deadly weapon. Phil personally likes a Chugger because fish are chasing shad that are jumping; if you see shad being chased by a predator, they're jumping from them, and a Chugger resembles other shad jumping. Also, you can catch larger Kentucky bass now. You'll find them engorged with shad. 

(updated 10-19-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported that jigging spoons just off the bottom in the main channel will yield you striper, hybrids and walleye – check out the trip pictures on Darryl’s website. A fall feeding frenzy is under way in all the lakes Morris has been fishing, he said.

(updated 11-2-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 64 degrees and rises to 71 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace. The winter drawdown is underway on Lake Catherine with Entergy generating 3,600 cfs below Carpenter Dam from noon until 9 p.m. every day. This process will continue until Nov. 10. A 5-foot drawdown is scheduled and will remain in place until early March 2017. Boaters should use extreme caution when navigating the tailrace as underwater obstructions will be present as the water drops. Waders need to take notice of the fast currents and only use areas out of the main flow. The first rainbow trout stocking of the fall will begin the week of Thanksgiving. The Game and Fish Commission always have trout in Lake Catherine for the holiday and this influx of fish is a huge plus for an area that is nearly void of game fish for several months. 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 recent weeks. Bank fishermen have reported catches of blue catfish from the fishing docks on nightcrawlers. Most of these fish are in the 2-4 pound range. The 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 have to be patient and watch for schooling activity. The month of November 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 383.62 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.

East Arkansas

(updated 10-26-16) Natalie Carter, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said fishing don’t seem to be biting of late. They are hoping to see an upswing in reports when the fall cycle kicks in.

(updated 10-26-16) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported there has been some bite on live bait but mostly the weekends have been lackluster in terms of reported catches. They hope to see it pick up once the weather levels back out.

(updated 11-2-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported perfect water conditions with water low. Crappie were good on minnows and jigs. Bass were good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Bream and catfish reports were both poor.

Arkansas and White river levels are available at:
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit:  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
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