Trout Fishing with the Arkasnas Freedom Fund
Trout Fishing with the Arkasnas Freedom Fund
Sept. 9, 2015

Trout Fishing with the Arkansas Freedom Fund

The Little Red River’s cool waters are known far and wide for their incredible trout fishing. But these waters also have the power to heal. For the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning home often presents its share of challenges. The Arkansas Freedom Fund is helping veterans overcome those obstacles through the simple pleasure of the great outdoors.
Arkansas and White river levels are available at:
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit:  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
(Updated 9-9-2015) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and came up a little over the weekend. The surface water temperature is 89 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets about 10 feet from the shoreline. Crappie are fair on minnows and white jigs in 6 to 0 feet of water around green cypress trees near the Highway 89 bridge. Bass are fair on white spinnerbaits and dark soft-plastic worms in 3 feet of water around lily pads. Catfishing is excellent on trotlines baited with minnows and goldfish around creeks near bridges. 
(Updated 9-9-2015) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) had no report. 

(Updated 9-2-2015) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ’em All Guide Service said current afternoon generation is providing opportunities for wading and drift fishing in all sections. Streamers, midges and sowbugs are working well for fly-fishermen. For Trout Magnet fishing, red and pink bodies on gold and chartreuse jig heads are working well. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Greers Ferry Lake Powerhouse recording or check the Corps of Engineers website for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration forecast generation schedule.  
(Updated 9-2-2015) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said all is well on the Little Red. The river remains clear with about 4 hours of generation in the afternoon starting about 2 to 3 p.m. As long as this continues, the fishing should continue to be good.  Water temperatures continue to be good and the fish are strong and active. The clear water requires lighter tippet and smaller flies. A 6x-size tippet is a good choice on the upper stretches of the river with size 18 and 20 flies. Small nymphs, soft hackles and midge pupae seem to be the best choices. Brown trout are beginning to be more active and many fishermen have landed and lost some nice browns lately. We are catching quite a few small browns. This is a good sign for the future.
(Updated 9-2-2015) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been excellent. The Corps has been releasing water for a few hours each afternoon and evening, making water levels perfect. Wading opportunities can be found along the entire river right now. The hot flies have been midges and San Juan worms. Pink Trout Magnets have been working very well also.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.40 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
(Updated 9-9-2015) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 1.36 feet below normal pool and falling. Bream have been biting well on crickets, nightcrawlers, small crankbaits and bream flies all over the lake in shallow spawning areas. Bass are biting well all over the lake along the shore on topwater lures, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. In deeper water, bass are biting well on Carolina rigged soft-plastics and jighead worms. Crappie are hanging out around brush piles and pole timer in 12 to 18 feet of water. Anglers are having the best luck fishing minnows with some biting on jigs. Catfishing is still very good on cut and live bait all over the lake. Hybrid and white bass are excellent on topwater baits, spoons, in-line spinners and swim baits. They are putting on the weight for winter, so they are tearing up the shad schools right now on the surface and below. Look for the shad on your electronics in 25 to 45 feet of water.

(Updated 9-9-2015) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well around the shoreline on crickets in 3 to 4 feet of water. Crappie are biting excellently again on white jigs and minnows fished 9 feet deep in 12 feet of water. Catfishing is good on worms. Bass are biting fairly well on spinnerbaits fished along the shoreline. 
(Updated 9-9-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) had no report.

Overcup Landing had no report.

(Updated 9-9-2015) Jan Johnson at Brewer Lake Bait Shop (501-354-4108) said Conway Corporation reports the lake level at 326.8 msl (normal pool level is 330.0 msl). Arkansas Collegiate Series is having a bass tournament Saturday, Sept. 12. with up to 40 boats. They will launch at the south ramp at daybreak, so prepare for extra traffic and crowded parking. Fishing for all species has been very good, although it did slow some over the holiday weekend. Crappie are very good on live minnows and crankbaits fished 10 to 14 feet deep. Limits of 10- to 14-inch fish are being caught early in the mornings and at night. White bass are chasing the abundant shad at the surface, and spoons are effective. Catfishing is still good at night and early morning using nightcrawlers, large minnows, shad and bream. Bass are biting well on live minnows, crankbaits or soft plastics, although many anglers have commented on the number of small, 10- to 12-inch bass. Bream are along the shore in 2 to 4 feet of water and taking crickets and redworms.

(Updated 9-2-2015) Charley's Hidden Harbor at Opello said bass fishing has been good on tops of jetties with shaky head worms in the mornings and crayfish-colored square-billed crankbaits during the day. Catfishing is good on worms fished 15 to 20 feet deep drifted around points and jetties. White bass are schooling around jetty tips that have about 25 feet of water on them. Spoons vertically jigged around schools of shad near these jetties will catch the white bass. Bream are fair around riprap with grass on crickets and Mepps spinners. Spotted bass are holding around the same areas as the bream and will bite bream-patterned crankbaits and topwater lures. Stripers are biting fairly well in the evenings on wobble spoons fished on the upriver side of jetties near the generators. 

(Updated 9-9-2015) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water is 1.7 feet below the spillway and the water temperature is 86 degrees. Black bass are biting well on wacky rig worms, spinner baits, buzzbaits and jerk baits. They can be caught in 10 feet of water or less and evening seems to be the best time to fish. Spotted bass are being caught on crankbaits and jigs in 10 to 15 feet of water. White bass are excellent just west of Jolly Rogers Marina and on the east side of the lake trolling deep-diving Bandits and Bombers about 15 feet deep. They also are being caught on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. Crappie are biting well in 15 to 20 feet of water around brush on minnows and jigs. Bream are excellent in 10 to 15 feet of water around brush on crickets and live worms. Catfish are being caught in 10 to 15 feet of water on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.

(Updated 8-26-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said some small bream were caught last week on crickets. A few nice-sized crappie have been caught on no. 6 crappie minnows, but most fish caught were very small. 

(Updated 9-9-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bream have been biting fairly well on crickets and redworms. Chicken livers are catching catfish in the evenings. Bass fishing has been slow to fair with mostly small ones hitting minnows and small plastic worms and lizards. Some small crappie have been biting slow on minnows right at sunup.

(Updated 9-9-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said the river is low, but fishing has been fair to good in deep holes and in the current. Catfish are biting chicken liver, nightcrawlers, minnows and black salties. Bass fishing has been good with minnows and small plastic worms and lizards. Crappie have been caught recently on minnows fished in some deep spots around logs where there is some current. Bream are always quick to bite a cricket or worm on a small hook and light line. 

(Updated 9-9-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well on chicken livers, bait shrimp and minnows. Bass fishing has been fair at night and early in the mornings on floating worms, Carolina-rigged lizards, topwater lures and buzzbaits. Bream are biting well on crickets and redworms fished on tight lines and around deep structure, docks and walls. No recent reports of crappie being caught.

(Updated 9-9-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been good tight lining with crickets in deep water. Crappie have been biting fairly well on no. 6 minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad grubs. Bass fishing has been good with Texas-rigged plastics. Early in the mornings and at dark, floating worms and topwater baits are working well. Catfish have been biting well on chicken livers and nightcrawlers.

​(Updated 9-9-2015) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and a little high. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets in 1 to 2 feet of water around lily pads. Crappie are excellent on minnows fished 5 feet deep in 8 feet of water along the edge of the channel. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and soft-plastic worms fished around the banks. Catfishing is slow, but a few have been caught on the main river. Not many anglers are reporting many catfish, period.

(Updated 8-26-2015) The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is clearing and flows are in the 20,000 to 30,000 cfs range. Bass fishing has been very good, with topwater lures and crankbaits catching quite a few bass on the main river around current breaks. 
(Updated 9-9-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is low and clear from lack of rain. Fishing is tough for all species, except catfish. Catfish are biting very well on shrimp fished close to the main channel below the dam. 

(Updated 9-9-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is low and clear from lack of rain lately. Catfishing is about the only thing going on at Clear Lake right now, with catfish being caught on shrimp and worms near the channel. 

(Updated 9-2-2015) Herman's Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is fairly clear and low, with stumps showing all over the lake. Bream are fair on worms and crickets fished around the channel. Crappie are biting well around stumps in the channel on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair around the stumps near the channel as well. Catfishing is good on shad and hot dogs. 

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 682.22 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(Updated 9-9-2015) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said the lake remains very high with a small amount of water being released through the generators at Bull Shoals Dam. The lake is still about 25 feet above normal, making it difficult to fish normal patterns for walleye and crappie. The bass have been hot and cold the past few weeks, but are starting to feed on shad and crawdads. The lake may be high, but it is extremely clear. The water level should be back to normal by mid-November. The surface water temperature is 85 degrees. Black bass are best on topwater lures early in the mornings and on jigs, green pumpkin soft-plastics and crankbaits fished off points once the sun is up. Walleye are fair on large shiners and crankbaits. Bottom bouncing has been very difficult because of the high water. Spoons are working well on suspended walleye off the sand flats. Crappie are slow to fair. Live minnows fished around trees and brush piles may start working better once the water temperature cools below 80 degrees. Bream are biting well on crickets and pieces of nightcrawler fished under a bobber along rocky bluffs and deep coves. 
(Updated 7-29-2015) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said summer fishing patterns are in full swing. We have been seeing air temperatures in the 90s, during the day so the water temperature is in the mid 80s. There is a thermocline around 25 feet deep. The water is still very clear, even with an extra 30 feet of water. The fishing patterns are in the classic summer mode. Topwater or shallow-running baits in the morning and late afternoon. Most of the fish seem to be shallow at these times before as the sun is low in the sky. During the day, you have to fish 25- to 30-feet deep around the thermocline and past the brush or you can fish around the large trees that are around the shoreline that have shade. The walleye fishermen are still having good success, but you have to downrig or lead core troll over 40 to 70 feet of water with your baits running 25 to 35 feet deep. The night bass fisherman are still catching fish just before dark shallow, then after dark anywhere from 5 to 30 feet deep. There haven't been any good crappie catches lately, which is typical for high water.  
(Updated 9-2-2015) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and eight generators are running around the clock. Trout fishing is good, but wading is all but impossible with the high water and flow. Pink Power Worms and Power Bait fished from a boat or the bank continues to catch plenty of rainbow trout. 
(Updated 8-26-2015) Jim Brentlinger with Linger's Guide Service said six to eight generators are running most of the time, and the larger brown trout have moved to the bank. Fish deeper banks around cover with Rapalas or Smithwick Rattlin' Rogues for best results. Don't give up as it is a painstaking endeavor, but you will like the results. When the water starts receding and gets noticeably lower switch to the Varimax Blue Fox spinner in a size 2 or 3.  
(Updated 8-26-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said on the White, we had high generation with no wadable water. On heavy generation, the best way to catch fish is to switch to longer leaders and heavier weight. The hot spot was the catch-and-release section at Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (size 8-10), Y2Ks (size 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead size 16-18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with an orange egg suspended below it). Hoppers are producing as well. I favor shorter leaders (seven-and-a-half foot 4X) and a stiff six-weight rod for these weighty flies. My favorite flies are Dave’s hoppers (size 10) and the western pink lady (size 8). To increase hook ups I always use a dropper. I am currently using a ruby or root beer midge in size 18 on a three-foot or longer tippet (depending on the depth of the water I am fishing).
(Updated 7-29-2015) Paul Bobby at GI on the Fly Guide Service (907-350-6610) had no report.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 567.63 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(Updated 8-26-2015) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said Norfork Lake continues to drop but it’s like watching paint dry, an inch or two a day. The oxygen content for the stripers is at 30 to 35 feet and 70 to 85 feet. The morning bite continues early. Stripers and hybrids are feeding heavy until the sun gets bright then they move into deeper water. The deep bite continues to be around the dam area. Where I have been fishing I can see the dam right in front of me. The stripers are holding from 70 to 85 feet right on the bottom in small groups of 3 or 4 fish. Most of the bites are very light. I have trained my clients to watch the rod tip. If they see it start to bend I have them reel very fast and that has been hooking the stripers. Many people have been missing the fish since you really have to pay attention to your rod. 
(Updated 8-26-2015) Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has been good for the last couple of weeks. The stripers and hybrids are doing what they should be doing this time of year. Big schools of stripers and hybrids can be found right before daybreak in 30 to 50 feet of water. They will be on the bottom or suspended 25 to 40 feet down. Main lake points and secondary points back in the creeks are good places to look, especially where the old river channel swings in close to the shoreline. My guests and I have found stripers in the Robinson area and down towards the dam. Threadfin and gizzard shad for live bait and spoons and swim baits for artificial baits are great choices. Most of the stripers being caught in the shallow water early in the morning are in the 5 to 10 pound range with the bigger hybrids just starting to show up. The bigger stripers are being caught out in deeper water 70 to 80 feet down on the bottom. When the sun gets high in the sky is the best time to find the deep stripers. Look at main lake points for these deep fish. Live bait and spoons are your best choices for deep fish. I expect to see these fish go a little deeper very soon. Walleye, smallmouth, largemouth, spots, catfish and white bass will be found in the same general areas as the stripers. 25 - 35 feet of water is the best place to start. The fish will also be suspended at this same depth following the baitfish into deeper water.
(Updated 7-29-2015) Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is 571.9 and the water temp is in the upper 80s. The stripers are suspended 40 to 60 feet. Early in the morning, they are close to the bottom down at 40 feet. As the sun gets higher they start moving toward the deeper water. We caught a few small stripers on topwater back in Barren Creek. The bigger fish are in the deeper water within a few miles of the dam. Bass are coming up early and will hit topwater baits like a Spook or a Pop-R. After the topwater bite slows, throw a jig to the edge of the brush or a worm. When you mark fish suspended or close to the bottom, drop a jigging spoon.
(Updated 8-26-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said there is a substantial amount of water leaking around one of the flood gates that was being repaired. As a result, the water temperature on the Norfork has risen to near dangerous levels. There has been no observed fish kill, but the trout are stressed. Any fish caught should be carefully released. During periods of generation the temperatures are near normal.  The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18-22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14-16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). There have been daily hatches of sulphurs around noon. The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite combination has been a grass hopper with a root beer or ruby midge dropper. There is a major construction project at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. You can still access Dry Run Creek. It has seen more pressure with school out. It still 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 8-26-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the warm weather, the smallmouths are active. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

(Updated 8-26-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With the warm weather, the smallmouths are active. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are 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 1,126.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(Updated 9-9-2015) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear  and high. The surface water temperature is dropping to the high 70s some days. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets fished in brush from 5 to 20 feet of water. Crappie are biting well on small crankbaits trolled in 15 to 20 feet of water. Trollers using minnows have caught a mixed bag of crappie and catfish at 20 feet deep as well. Bass fishing is good on black spinnerbaits slow rolled at night and on watermelonseed and purple soft-plastic worms. Some good flathead catfish have been caught on live bait fished from jugs and noodles. 
(Updated 9-9-2015) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said water temperatures are in the low to mid-80s. Stripers are leaving their deep water summer haunts as the water is beginning to cool. Watch for surface activity from stripers, whites and hybrids. Beaver Lake Striper are using main lake points, humps, ridges, rock piles, brush lines and ditches on their annual up lake migration and in the search for food and scattered throughout the lake. They will be making their way into the creek arms soon as the water temp is beginning to cool. Fishing will be good with stripers taken on live shad fished from the surface down to 30 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs. For trolling crankbaits, try weighted lines or flatline trolling Rapala no. 14 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors. Stripers also are being caught at night by casting main lake points with large surface lures like Redfins and Rapalas or large Rat-L-Traps. Hot spots include points 1, 3, 5, and 6, as well as the mouth of Indian Creek and back to the power lines. Most walleye have moved to deeper drops and are being caught about 20-30 feet deep. The best methods to catch the walleye are three-way rigging Rapalas, trolling Rapala Shad Raps or Rat-L-Traps at 1-2mph or jigging Bink pro scale 1-oz. jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse.

(Updated 9-9-2015) Beaver Dam Store said fishing is still very good. The river level is slowly dropping, and there is more wadable water accessible using a kayak. There is a little wadable access below Parker Bottoms, but there are some clay spots along the bank that can cause you to slide into the water if you're not careful. Micro jigs fished under a strike indicator or PJ's jigs are working well for fly-fishermen. Spin-fishing has been very good for rainbow trout with Rapala crankbaits, Berkley Flicker Shad crankbaits Colorado Spoons and Little Cleo Spoons. When the fishing is slow, a worm or white and yellow Power Bait always manage to find a few fish for the bait anglers.
(Updated 8-26-2015) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said the water has been high in the tailwater, but that has not slowed the fishing. Temperatures at Houseman access are in the mid 50s during the early morning, topping out to the low 70s. Further upriver to Spider Creek they are in the low 50s to high 40s. Some very nice trout are being caught throughout the tailwaters on Rapalas and Power Bait. Further downriver from Houseman, you can find the white bass. Most bass are being caught on Rapalas and umbrella rigs. The bite has been excellent this month.

(Updated 9-2-2015) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the lake is at normal level and the water is a little dingy. Bass fishing has been good on spinnerbaits, soft-plastic worms and lipless crankbaits. A limit was easy to catch today, according to one angler. The crappie have been a little slow, but one man showed off an 11-inch beauty on Friday, which he caught on minnows fished 8 feet deep in 18 feet of water. Some of the biggest bluegill ever are being caught on redworms.

(Updated on 9-9-2015) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is a little dingy and at normal level. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets in 4 to 8 feet of water on the east end of the lake. Crappie are slow to fair on jigs and minnows trolled slowly. Bass are biting well on jigs and minnow-imitating crankbaits. Catfishing is good on worms on the east half of the lake. 

(Updated 9-2-2015) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and the surface water temperature is right at 80 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets fished around rocky areas. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 8 feet of water right off the channel swings. Bass are biting well on topwater lures in the mornings and soft-plastics later in the day. Catfishing is good on shad and chicken livers fished right off the channel.  

Northeast Arkansas

(Updated 9-2-2015) Lake Poinsett State Park said some anglers have reported excellent bream fishing lately at Poinsett. Catfishing also has been excellent. Crappie fishing is fair to good, and September usually sees an increase in crappie catches. No report on bass. 

(Updated 9-9-2015) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and about a foot low. Bream are excellent on crickets fished around shallow docks in 5 to 10 feet of water. Bass are fair on ledges and drop-offs going from 10 to 15 feet deep in the morning and evening. Catfishing is excellent on worms and chicken livers around 10 feet deep and shallower. 

(Updated 8-19-2015) Lake Frierson State Park said catfish have finally started biting more regularly as the water has warmed. Channels have been good all over the lake on nightcrawlers, liver and dip bait. Blue catfish have been caught on similar baits and cut bait in the deeper portions of the lake. More flatheads have been caught on small bream and minnows hung from jugs and on rod-and-reel from the bank. Bass are scattered and chasing schooling shad all over the lake throughout the early morning, day and early evening. Topwaters and crankbaits fished around the schooling shad are producing some nice fish. Flipping tubes or other soft plastic baits into likely cover is also producing some fish; make repeated casts to laydowns and brush to get a reaction bite. Bream can be caught on any shoreline on redworms or pieces of nightcrawlers fished under a float. The larger fish are a little deeper and a little further from shore. Vary your depth if you aren’t having any luck or the fish stop biting. No reports on saugeye or crappie.

(Updated 9-9-2015) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are at 305 cfs and water clarity is clear. Nymphs and smaller woollies are hot now. There have been some really good bug hatches coming off the water the last few weeks - mainly mayflies. Hot pink Trout Magnets fished below a float have caught bigger trout lately. There's easy wading with low water levels.

​(Updated 9-9-2015) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is high and has a dark stain to it. Bass are biting well on crayfish-colored crankbaits. Walleye are excellent around Newark on crawfish-colored crankbaits as well. 

Southeast Arkansas

(Updated 9-9-2015) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are back in the mid- to upper 80s in protected backwaters. Water visibility on the main channel of the river is just under one foot, to just over one foot of visibility in Lake Langhofer. The river is creeping along, if moving at all, this week. Black bass are still biting best during the first couple hours after sunrise. Buzzbaits, bladed jigs and square-billed crankbaits have been producing well. After the sun gets up, slow down with worms and small jigs around brush piles and any shade you can find.

(Updated 9-2-2015) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park in Star City said bass and crappie are picking up. The bass are biting well on medium-sized crankbaits. Crappie are biting well on the northern end of the lake in shallow water on jigs. Catfishing is good on live bait early and late in the day. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets still.

 Lake Chicot State Park had no report. 

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.62 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(Updated 9-9-2015) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service  said the lake level is 4 inches above normal conservation pool and steady. There is only light current in Little River with the gates releasing 174 CFS as of Monday. Surface temperature ranges from 85 to 90 degrees, depending on location. Water clarity continues improving. Visibility is 15-25 inches on the main lake away from current. Little River above McGuire remains stained, but is improving. Clarity in the oxbows is anywhere from 20-40 inches. Largemouth and spotted bass are excellent on topwaters early and late. Most bass are the most aggressive at dawn around shallow vegetation on frogs, Bass Assassin Shad, buzzbaits, Cordell Crazy Shads, and shallow jerk baits. Later in the heat of the afternoons, Largemouth bass are best on crankbaits, squarebills, and bulky 10-inch worms around cover and cypress trees in 5-10 feet of water. Spotted bass continue to congregate at creek mouths that dump into Little River. Spots are aggressive on smaller lizards and tubes with best colors over the past couple weeks being pumpkinseed/chartreuse, appleseed, or green pumpkin/blue. White bass continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and are schooled up in creek mouths dumping into Littler River. Whites continue being caught on red/white Rooster Tails, chartreuse/white Little Cleos, shad-colored Rocket Shads, and shad-colored crankbaits in creek dumps and mouths of sloughs connecting with Little River. Crappie have improved on planted brush over the past week now that the clarity is getting better.  Cordell smoke, paddle tail grubs on light wire jig head and Southern Pro Lil’ Hustler tubes were working early this week in 12-15 feet of water on planted brush piles. Blue catfish and channel catfish continue biting well in Little River on trotlines on chicken hearts, gizzards, livers, cheese balls and stink bait running 12-14 feet deep.  In back of the oxbows, folks were having some good reactions on yo-yos using live shiners hung under cypress trees in 8-11 feet of water.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 541.27 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
(Updated 9-9-2015) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said surface temperature is 88 degrees. The water is clear throughout the lake. Schooling activity has been good in the mornings and late in the afternoons. Fish are hitting small CC Spoons in chrome, 2-inch twister tail grubs and small topwater lures like the Zara Puppy and Spittin' Image Jr. White bass are holding 15 to 20 feet deep under schooling  spotted and largemouth bass and are hitting shad-colored crankbaits. If you can’t find schooling activity, a few bass have been taken on Texas-rigged worms along rocky banks in 12 to 15 feet of water. No report on crappie or catfish this week. This is the time of year when water levels really begin to drop from decreased rainfall and power generation, so practice safe boating and be aware of shallow areas and obstacles just below the surface. Click here for more water safety tips.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 397.93 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
(Updated 9-9-2015) Local angler George Graves said the surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is only fair with only a couple of decent catches. The best early morning pattern has been surface feeding fish in the big coves in the Iron Mountain area between points 2 and 4.  Try surface lures such as Zara Spooks and Pop R's, and 3-inch swim baits. You have to hit the fish exactly where it broke because hey are coming up for a shad and immediately go back down. Texas- and Carolina-rigged worms and lizards are producing fairly well on main lake points at mid-lake between Edgewood and Point 15. Try green pumpkin/red glitter for the worms and lizards. White bass are feeding on the big schools of shad fry most everywhere in the lake from Iron Mountain to Caddo Bend. There also are quite a few hybrids holding under the white bass. Keep the lure small for the white bass, because the shad they are feeding on are only about 1/2-inch long. Small spoons, 1/8-ounce Rooster Tails and even small crappie jigs are producing. For the hybrids, use a 2-ounce spoon, count it down to about 30 feet and yo-yo it up through the fish. The heavy spoon works best because it sinks fast which attracts a reaction bite. Try white or yellow for the spoons. Early morning around sunrise is the best time for both white bass and hybrids. Bream fishing is good in the major coves at mid-lake.  Look for secondary points and drop a tight lined redworm near the bottom for redear sunfish in about 15 to 20 feet of water. Fish shallow with a float and worms or crickets for bluegills. Several nice catches of catfish were reported coming from coves on the south side at mid-lake. Bottom fish with cut shad, night crawlers, hot dogs, Catfish Charlie or chicken livers. Early in the morning and evening are the best times for the catfish bite.

South-Central Arkansas

(Updated 9-2-2015) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said in both the upper and lower lake, bass are biting fairly well on flukes, spinnerbaits and Zoom Brush Hogs in the mornings and evenings. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good on trotlines baited with live bait and prepared catfish baits. Catfishing also has been good on rod-and-reel on tightlined worms and catfish baits. No report on crappie for the upper or lower lake. Remember that the lower lake still has a catfish daily limit of 5, a bream daily limit of 50 and all other fish are catch and release. 

Tri-County Lake will be undergoing a 5-foot drawdown until late fall. This is being done to compact the silt which has been building in the lake, reduce some of the aquatic vegetation in the lake, make repairs on jetties which have deteriorated over the years and address the lake's stunted crappie and bream populations by forcing these smaller fish into areas where they are more susceptible to the lake's predator fish. 
Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.

(Updated 9-9-2015) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting fairly well. Crappie are biting fairly well. Catfishing is very slow right now, as is bream fishing. 
(Updated 9-2-2015) Jaret Rushing said a few anglers have caught some nice bass on the Ouachita River by flipping jigs and plastics around fallen timber once the sun is up. The morning bit still is fairly good on buzzbaits and other reaction baits.

(Updated 9-9-2015) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had no report this week. 

West-Central Arkansas

(Updated 8-26-2015) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.82 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 
(Updated 9-2-2015) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is pretty clear and getting back to normal level. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs slow trolled around brush. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits fished near brush piles. Catfishing is good on shrimp in deep water. 
(Updated 8-19-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting very well on Bobby Garland Baby Shads and Slab Slay'Rs as well as minnows and trolled Rat-L-Traps. Catfishing is good on minnows, worms and shad. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. 

(Updated 9-9-2015) Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said surface water temperature is in the mid- to upper 90s and the water is dingy with some clear creeks and backwater areas. The river has slowed, and fishing has gotten tough for largemouth bass. On the upper end of the river, you can catch some early and late on topwater poppers. Square-billed crankbaits are the ticket as the sun gets higher. Trick worms have been working as well. Mid-river bass have been scattered on sand bars, points and in the creeks. In the lower river, bass are hanging around surface vegetation and brush piles on drops. Try using Spooks, hair jigs, crankbaits and worms for these fish. Striped bass have been very good in the main river just outside the buoys. Large topwater prop baits, swim baits and spinnerbaits will catch these fish. White bass are working the same areas, but are easier to catch in the creeks. Tailspinners, inline spinners, spoons and small Rat-L-Traps will catch these fish. Bream have been good on crickets and worms in the creeks and in the main river round rocks 1 to 2 feet deep in the creeks. Catfish have been good in the main river channel on stink bait and chicken. Crappie fishing has improved upriver on minnows in 8 to 10 feet of water around brush. In the lower river, crappie are holding in ditches 10 to 15 feet deep.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 385.30 feet msl (full pool – 384 msl).

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 569.81 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(Updated 8-26-2015) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water temperature is 86 to 90 degrees and the water is clear. Black bass are fair on drop-shot rigs, Texas-rigged worms and jigs fished around brush and other cover near points. Early in the morning, buzzbaits, poppers, chuggers and Horny Toads are working around topped out grass and shorelines. Walleye are still very good on main lake points and humps on 3/4-oz. CC spoons jigged vertically around any cover you find. Stripers are biting well on live shad and hair jigs in the eastern end of the lake around main lake humps. Bream are biting well on worms, grubs and crickets near brush in 15 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are slow on minnows or crappie jigs about 15 to 20 feet deep. Catfishing is very good on nightcrawlers and stink bait. 
(Updated 9-9-2015) Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner with Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports Fishing Report in Hot Springs said the water level is dropping very quickly. Live crawfish pitched along a secondary drop in 20 to 30 feet of water should be heating up right now. The surface water temperature is in the mid-80s. The walleye bite is still good on a nightcrawler rig, but not as good as it was. There's a lot of good bass fishing in the moss on the northern end of the lake. There also are a lot of breaking fish about halfway in the creeks on the south side of the lake. 

(Updated 9-2-2015) Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner with Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports Fishing Report in Hot Springs had no report for Hamilton this week. 

(Updated 9-9-2015) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service reports water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 60 degrees, rising to 64 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions are the norm below the dam with the summer pool in place until mid-November when the drawdown will begin again for all area lakes. Rainbow trout fishing is over until November with very few fish being caught. The vast majority of trout stocked earlier in the year have either been caught or eaten by predators. White and hybrid bass fishing has tailed off considerably in the last week as schools of shad move in and out of the trailrace. These fish follow the baitfish and are prone to move out of an area at any time. Alabama rigs and live bait tightlined over deep water near the dam have worked well. Walleye have been caught in the same areas on Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers or live minnows. Most of the action is taking place at night when the turbines are not running. A few large blue catfish have been caught below the bridge in the main channel on hand-sized bream fished under a jug. No striper action has been observed in the tailrace this week.

East Arkansas

(Updated 9-9-2015) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said bream are staying on their beds and hitting crickets. Crappie are slowly picking back up on the lake. The bass are running deep and biting crankbaits and Alabama rigs off points. Spinnerbaits also have been producing some bass lately. Catfishing is still steady on hot dogs and stink bait. Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center is also selling crickets; worms, frozen shad, jigs and crank baits. Minnows will be coming soon in the fall. For any questions or more information please call the Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center at (870) 295-4040

(Updated 9-9-2015) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said crappie are still slow, but bream are biting well on crickets. Catfishing is very good on hot dogs lately. Mississippi River State Park is hosting a kayak tour at Storm Creek Lake on Saturday, Sept. 19. Call 870-295-4040 to sign up. Storm Creek Lake Clean Up this year will be hosted by the St. Francis National Forest and Mississippi River State Park on October 3.

No report.

No report.

No report.

(Updated 9-2-2015) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is still cool and high. Bream are biting very well on crickets in 4 to 6 feet of water. Crappie are fair to good on minnows fished deep, close to the channel. Bass are slow on crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on stink bait. 

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