Crappie cakes featured in Arkansas Outdoors
Crappie cakes featured in Arkansas Outdoors
March 30, 2016

Crappie cakes featured in Arkansas Outdoors

Most anglers will tell you the Crappie is king of the kitchen. Simply rolling it in cornmeal and frying is a great way to enjoy these tasty panfish. With all the fish you can nab during the spawn, finding a new way to cook them never hurts. AGFC Fisheries Biologist Matt Schroeder offers a tasty change of pace for anglers to try and some tips on how to "collect" the main ingredient in this week's edition of Arkansas Outdoors later today. 
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Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
(updated 3-30-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is at normal level and is stained. The surface water temperature is 56 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets in 1 to 2 feet of water. Crappie are biting very well in 3 to 5 feet of water on Lil’ Hustler jigs fished in between trees in the live cypress stands. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and soft-plastic lizards in 3 to 6 feet of water. Catfishing is good on trotlines baited with bass minnows. 
(updated 3-16-2016) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said said crappie are biting fairly well early and late in the day. Bass fishing is fair on small jigs and small spinners. Bream are fair on redworms. Catfishing is good on live and prepared bait.


(updated 3-30-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said we are seeing early morning and late afternoon generation patterns. We expect this to continue unless we receive significant rainfall. This pattern is providing drift- and wade-fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. In low water and warmer temperatures, we are seeing some hatches coming off on the lower section of the river. We expect hatch activity to increase as we move into the warmer days of April. Currently streamers, pheasant tails, hares ear, micro jigs and sow bugs are working well for fly-fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, use hot pink, cotton candy and white bodies on gold and chartreuse jig heads. 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 (www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (www.swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.  
(updated 3-30-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the generation schedule is a daily challenge to predict at this point.  The best plan is to check the forecast the night before and plan accordingly.  The river is clear to slightly stained with the clearest water closest to the dam.  If you are able to stay ahead or behind the rise, fishing falling water, the fishing is good. There are times when wading is available. Remember, it takes about 4 hours for one generator’s water to reach Winkley Shoal and about 1 1/2 hours for the water to fall at JFK Park after generation for wading water. On low, clear water, midge pupas are working, and for the stained water size 14 nymphs are a good bet.(updated 3-23-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been excellent. Lower flows are expected the rest of the week as long as heavy rains do not fall. Be mindful of rising water while wading. The hot flies have been prince nymphs, pheasant tail nymphs and San Juan worms. Trout Magnets have been working very well for spin fishing anglers as well.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.11 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
(updated 3-30-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 2.91 feet below normal pool and falling. Fishing has been good, but every cold snap sets things back. The crappie are good on some days away from the bank suspended in about 5 feet of water and some can be caught in the few bushes that are in the water. Some can be caught trolling crank baits and jigs over shallow flats as well. Bream fishing is fair and will improve quickly after this rain. Try crickets and night crawlers, as well as small crank baits and in-line spinners. Catfishing is getting better each day on cut and live bait all over the lake. Bass are biting well on points and humps around spawning areas and deeper points and humps outside of spawning areas. Smallmouth, spotted bass and largemouth bass are all pre-spawn and can be caught on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Carolina-rigged lizards and football head jigs. Hybrids and white bass are up the rivers, but the cold weather has set them back. Most are getting ready to spawn, but a few are still in the main lake and can be caught 25-38 feet on live bait, spoons, in-line spinners and swim baits. Walleye keep showing up up the rivers but most are small males. Try live bait, small jerk baits, in-line spinners in the river arms. In the lake, look for walleye with spoons and drop-shot rigs baited with live minnows, crawlers or soft plastics. 
(updated 3-30-2016) Cody Smith at www.fishgreersferry.com said Greers Ferry has been fishing extremely well over the past few weeks.  Many male fish of all species are headed to the bank and are on flats and in the rivers near prime spawning areas. Last week’s cold snap brought howling winds and cold temperatures, which delayed the spawn. The last few days we have seen another rise in temperature and fish activity. 


(updated 3-9-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is murky and the surface temperature is slowly rising. Bream are fair. Crappie are biting excellently on minnows fished deep out near the island. Bass are biting well on chartreuse jigs. Catfishing is fair on minnows. The fishing should get really good after the lake settles from the incoming rain.  
(updated 3-2-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Itty Bit Swim’Rs in monkey milk, pennyback shad, blue ice shimmer and Cajun cricket in 4 to 10 feet of water. Catfishing is good on worms, shad and minnows. Bass are biting buzzbaits and worms. White bass are biting well on Johnson Silver Minnows and Bobby Garland Itty Bit Swim’Rs. Bream are biting on crickets and worms.  


Overcup Landing had no report.


(updated 3-30-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said crappie are biting well on pink minnows and no. 6 minnows. Bream are biting on crickets. White bass are biting well on white Roadrunners and no. 20 bass minnows. A lot of people are running trotlines with minnows right now.  
(updated 3-16-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water level is 0.61 feet above the spillway. The water is 55 degrees at mid-lake and 58 degrees at the west end. Largemouth bass are excellent on wacky-rigged worms, buzzbaits and jerk baits in 4 to 8 feet of water around the Highway 10 bridge. Spotted bass are biting well on jigs and crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water. White bass are west of the Highway 10 bridge and are biting well on grubs, Rooster Tails and jigs. CC spoons also are working when the whites are schooling. Crappie are biting well. They are suspended about 15 feet deep in 20 to 25 feet of water around the edges of the channel around brush. Minnows and jigs are the best bet. Bream are slow, but a few can be found in 20 to 25 feet of water around brush on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers fished in 15 to 20 feet of water.


(updated 3-23-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few people did well over the weekend on catfish using nightcrawlers and chicken livers. A few bream are being caught on crickets. No report on the crappie or bass.


(updated 3-23-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said even with all the rain, we finally got a few reports of bass being caught on brood minnows and bass minnows. The high current and heavy winds left a lot of logs and limbs in the channel, so be careful navigating the river.


(updated 3-23-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said some people are reporting a few bream being caught on crickets in deep water. Crappie are biting well on no. 6 crappie minnows. No recent reports of bass or catfish have come in. 


(updated 3-23-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bass been biting well on black salties and brood minnows. Catfish are biting well on chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Crappie are fair on no. 12 bass minnows. No report on bream. 


(updated 3-30-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at 60 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms in 3 to 4 feet of water along the edges of the channel. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished 4 feet deep. The best bite has been on yo-yos baited with minnows at night. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and soft-plastic worms fished in 2 to 4 feet of water. Catfishing is fair on yo-yos baited with minnows.  


(updated 3-30-2016) The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is muddy. Crappie have been fair on minnows fished along the backside of jetties in 6 to 15 feet of water. Bass are biting well on jigs in black/red and California craw. No report on bream or catfish.
(updated 3-30-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is high and muddy. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs, but they’re scattered. Bass are scattered as well, so cover water to catch a few. No report on catfish. Bream are starting to pick up. 


(updated 3-30-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is clearing and is at normal level. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around brush in 3 to 4 feet of water. Catfishing is good on hot dogs and minnows. No report on bass or bream.   



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 658.65 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(updated 3-23-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said the water temperature is 50 to 55 degrees and the water is stained. Black bass are biting well in the 10 to 15 foot range. Try jigs, jerk baits and pearl-colored swim baits and flukes. Wiggle Warts and spinnerbaits are working well on breezy days. Crappie are slow but improving on live minnows and small soft plastics. They are not on the banks yet, so concentrate on brush and trees in 10 to 15 feet of water. Walleye are slow, but a few can be caught on crankbaits and night crawlers. White bass are slow right now. 
(updated 3-30-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said fishing is still good. Walleye are still up spawning in the bushes. A jerk bait fished along flats with bushes and gravel bottom should work well. White bass are still in the backs of some creeks. Small jerk baits, grubs and Alabama rigs are working well, just keep the lure white. Black bass are biting very well right now, but you have to work with the conditions. There’s been some strong wind. Early in the morning, there’s a shad bite going on, but throughout the day, you can do well on Fish Head Spins, tubes, Brush Hogs and spinnerbaits. Look for deep water near the spawning pockets to find the fish.  


(updated 3-30-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water clarity is good, but it’s been very green lately. Two generators were running this morning, and the water is at its lowest since Christmas. Trout fishing is excellent on frozen shad, jigs and stickbaits. Many anglers are reporting some of the best brown trout fishing they’ve had in decades this month. 
(updated 3-30-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the hot spot has been 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 sow bugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with a hare-and-copper suspended below it). The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy 24- to 30- foot sink tip lines (350 grains or heavier). You will need an 8 or 9 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 553.70 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(updated 3-30-2016) Guide Steve Olomon ssaid the water temperature is in the low to mid-50s. There were a few bass coming up chasing shad early that would hit a Zara Spook Jr. or a jerk bait. It will get better when the water warms a little more. They were also hitting a 4-inch swim bait reeled very slowly. The stripers, hybrids and a few walleye are hitting stick baits at night. The bite starts right at dark. They have been caught all over the lake, just remember to reel your lure slowly. 
(updated 3-16-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said surface water temperature has been 55 to 58 degrees the last few days. Stripers have moved all the way up the creeks and are being caught on live bait and Rattling Rogues. I heard one report of stripers busting shad in Panther Creek in the evenings. Stripers are shallow in the mornings and evenings. If you're using live bait, set your lines 20 feet behind your floats and run your planner boards next to shore. Norfork is in prime condition to have an awesome March, both day and night. We are seeing a good top water and night bite for the rest of this month and into April. This is going to be an incredible spring for you early bird anglers. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! Be sure to check out the spring striper tactics article.
(updated 3-2-2016) Larry Olson of Hand Cove Resort said the night bite for stripers has been very good. Last night Larry boated 15 fish by 2 a.m., two hybrids and the rest being stripers. All fish were under 15 pounds, but they were aggressive and striking a Smithwick Rogue. All were caught east of the dam in the main Big Creek area. Surface water temperature is in the 50s. Last night was a good night. By 2 AM I boated 15 fish, 2 hybrids and 13 stripers the largest being about 15 pounds. They were all pretty aggressive, all but one took my Rogue in the mouth. All were caught east of the dam in the main Big Creek areas. The water temperature was in the 50s.
(updated 3-30-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork Tailwater had no wadable water last week. The water has been off color, but clarity has improved significantly. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (size 18-22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead), and soft hackles (size 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 and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite combination has been a cerise worm with a Sunday special dropper. Dry Run Creek has seen more pressure with spring break. It is still a bit off-color, but fished well. There is another phase of the project to repair the Norfork National Fish Hatchery going on. Access to the creek is not impaired. The hot flies have been sow bugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). 



Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.43 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 3-30-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said said the water is at normal level and the surface temperature is in the mid- to low 50s. The water clarity is stained at about mid-lake. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around brush in 8 to 10 feet of water. Bass are biting well very shallow on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and green/red soft plastics. White bass are fair on Lil’ Fishie swim baits, Rooster Tails and live crayfish. Walleye are fair on white crankbaits and large minnows dragged on the bottom on a jig or rig.  
(updated 3-30-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper are making their way up the river and creek arms to feed. There has been some nice top water action! Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Beaver Lake Striper in the White River and War Eagle arms are feeding heavily throughout the day, gorging on shad.  Run live shad on lightly weighted lines, free lines, balloons and planer boards for some good results. The white bass run is in full swing. They can be caught using a variety of methods, including grubs, spoons and Rooster Tails in orange, chartreuse and white. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water. This week’s hot spots for stripers include Hybrid Cove near the dam, Indian Creek, Coppermine, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Blackburn Creek, Monte-Ne, War Eagle and the War Eagle/White River Jucntion.  Walleye are in the creek and river arms finishing their spawn. Walleye can be found from 5 to 15 feet deep, depending on areas you fish. Three-way rigging Rapala Original Floating Minnows has worked well. Try orange/chartreuse slow-death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers baited with night crawlers and minnows.


(updated 3-30-2016) Beaver Dam Store said water levels are returning to wadable conditions, and the trout are hungry. Many people are catching plenty of trout on Power Bait in white, chartreuse and pink, tipped with wax worms or night crawlers. Trolling Flicker Shads, Rapala Floating Minnows and Colorado spoons also has worked very well downstream from Bertrand Boat Launch. Fly-fishermen are doing well on egg patterns, big nymphs, hare’s ears, midges and pheasant tails. The walleye run is fishing up. 
(updated 3-30-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said fishing week has been excellent. Generation has slowed, and many baitfish have worked their way up the tailwaters, bringing sport fish with them. The walleye spawn is pretty much over, but we are still catching them on various crankbaits. White Bass are being caught between Beaver Town and Holiday Island on Rapalas. Trout are being caught on spoons and on Power Bait loaded onto light terminal tackle. Pay attention to the bait balls and thermocline and you will get on the fish.


(updated 3-30-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said surface water temperature was 55.7 degrees. The water is clear and the lake is about 6 inches below normal. Wind, rain and cold fronts kept most fishermen inside last week, but a few die-hards came out on Saturday. On Saturday, from sunup to noon, two Northwest Arkansas Bass Catchers Club members, David Royal and Jeremiah Thompson of Rogers, caught their limit of lunkers , showing off several bass ranging from 3 to 5.3 pounds.  They were using a shaky head jig, rigged with a red bug finesse worm. All were caught in 10 to 16 feet of water. No one showed up to crappie fish until around noon, and by then the bite had stopped. A few bluegill were caught on redworms. There was no report on any catfish being caught.


(updated 3-23-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is murky and at normal level. Bream are fair. Crappie are picking up on jigs and twister-tail grubs. Bass are biting well on Zoom Flukes. Catfishing is slow.     


(updated 3-30-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and at normal level. The temperature dropped to 50 degrees during the last cold front. Crappie quite biting because of the cold snap, but had been hitting well in 4 feet of water on minnows and jigs. Walleye are biting on minnows and crankbaits below the dam. White bass are running and are being caught very well on any minnow-imitating lure you want to throw.  



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 3-30-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said some bass are being caught, and a few people have already reported some bream bedding activity. There have been some good reports of crappie catches lately and the bait shop is selling a lot of minnows. No report on catfishing this week. 


(updated 3-30-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is very clear and at normal level. The surface temperature is 54 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets around the dock. Crappie are biting very well on minnows and jigs fished 8 feet deep in 20 feet of water. Bass are biting well on crankbaits. Catfishing is good on worms and chicken livers fished around the dock.       


(updated 3-16-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 430 cfs and water clarity is clear. The river is looking great. Y2Ks and Guppies have been hot on the fly and hot pink Trout Magnets and yellow spinners have been hot spin fishing.


(updated 3-30-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are fair on minnows fished in brush around the river. The fish seem to be holding at 6 to 7 feet deep. Bass are fair on crankbaits and green pumpkin tube baits around any creek mouths intersecting with the river. No report on bream, catfish or walleye.    



Southeast Arkansas

(updated 3-30-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are around 58 degrees in the main channel of the river, but up to 68 degrees in protected backwaters. Water visibility is low all around, about 6 inches in the main channel to just under a foot in Lake Langhofer and protected backwaters. Fishing pressure has returned and the banks are getting beaten hard, making it tougher to get bites shallow. Some fish can be found on the first ledge from spawning flats. We're not having much luck on the main channel at all. Shallow- to medium-diving crankbaits and soft plastic craws are producing the most bites.


(updated 3-30-2016) Cane Creek State Park said bass are starting to hit a wide variety of worms and Rapalas. Crappie are biting well on shiners. Catfish are really biting well on live bait. Bream are starting to bite well on worms.


(updated 3-16-2016) Local angler Geoff Wright said few folks were fishing last week with the rain. The water is very high, covering many boat docks and piers. Boating conditions have been dangerous with the water so high and dirty. 



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.95 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 3-30-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water is 10 inches above normal pool and the current has decreased to 9,400 cfs. Surface water temperature is 59 to 65 degrees. Water clarity is about 8 to 10 inches in the main lake, 6 to 9 inches in Little River and 10 to 15 inches in the oxbows. Largemouth bass continue biting well with the warmer temperatures. During the warmest period of the day, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in firetiger, black/blue and Texas craw continue working on sunny flats near cypress trees and stumps. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in Texas craw, Okeechobee spice, or black/blue or black/purple continue working on sunny flats next to cypress trees and stumps close to creek channel swings. Blackberry, pumpkinseed/chartreuse, or green pumpkin lizards; as well as bulky 10-inch worms in blue fleck, black grape and black/blue continue catching bass near flats in the creek channels on stumps.  Red Shad, Orange Shad, or Toledo Gold Rat-L-Traps continue working on warm days in creek channels deflecting off stumps and timber and near spawning flats around cypress trees and knees. Bass Assassin Shads in Gray Ghost, Panhandle Moon, Mississippi Hippie, and Houdini are catching solid 2.5-lb. to 4-lb. largemouth bass on a light wire hook.  Schools of white bass  continue biting well between Highway 71 Bridge at Wilton and Patterson Shoals. Backwater sloughs feeding Little River, just out of the main river current, were holding some good schools of whites over the past several weeks. These fish were hitting Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits, Rat-L-Trap Tail Spinners, Little Georges, Little Cleos, and medium-running cranks from 4-9 feet depths. Crappie have been caught over the past 2 weeks hugging cypress trees in 6-8 feet of water on jigs and yo-yos baited with shiners. Catfish continue biting consistently over the past week in Little River on trotlines using cut bait, chicken hearts and gizzards, set 12-16 feet deep.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.25 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
(updated 3-16-2016) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported the water surface temperature is 61 degrees. The water is muddy on the north half of the lake and stained from Point 7 south. Bass are hitting 3/8-oz. KVD Special spinnerbaits in white with silver blades, shad-colored jerk baits and Alabama Rigs. Bass seem to be holding away from the bank a few feet. The sunshine and warmer temperature should have the males roaming the bushes. Crappie are biting well all over the lake. Use 2-inch Kalins grubs in shad or popsicle colors around brush tops and laydowns along the shore. For water safety information, visit http://watersafety.usace.army.mil.
(updated 3-30-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are staging and spawning. Check out shallow spawning areas with minnows and jigs for best results.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.54 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
(updated 3-30-2016) John Duncan of Action Fishing Trips has the following reports for DeGray:
Iron Mountain Marina said the surface water temperature is 59 degrees at mid-lake and is 62 degrees in the Point Cedar area. Crappie are 12 to15 feet deep in brush piles and are biting on jigs and minnows. The crappie are moving to bedding areas. Rat-L-Traps and finesse worms still are working well on bass. 
Jeffrey Lockwood with the Corps of Engineers said the lake fell out of flood pool on Friday March 25, 2016. Windy and cool conditions kept many anglers from the water despite spring break crowds. The surface water temperature is near 60 degrees. Bass have been good on Rat-L-Traps and Carolina rigs on the upper half of the lake. Bass also are good on Senkos if water temperature is above 60 degrees. Crappie are fair on brush piles. White bass action good on the far upper end of lake. Jonathan at the state park said bass in mid lake area are moving to bedding areas and are visible. Rat-L-Traps are still taking some good fish just outside of spawning areas. Frank at Caddo Valley Bait shop said drop-shotting a 4-inch Zoom watermelon/red finesse worm has produced some nice bass in brush piles as well. 
(updated 3-30-2016) Local angler George Graves said said surface water temperature is around 60 degrees. The lake is clear up to Point 14 and is slightly stained up to Point Cedar. Bass fishing is good with lots of smaller fish showing on secondary points and in spawning coves. The best lure choice has been a red lipless crankbait, such as a Rat-L-Trap. Throw the lure close to the bank and yo-yo it back slowly. A few fish are coming on Carolina-rigged worms and lizards in green pumpkin/red flake.  Look for bass at mid lake between Edgewood and Lenox Marcos. Also try the creeks such as Yancey, Big Hill and Brushy. A few crappie are showing in the Shouse Ford area on the deeper attractors at 18 to 20 feet. Drop a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube to just above the thickest part of the cover. A 1/16-ounce jig head and Tennessee shad-colored soft plastic works best. Also try black/chartreuse if the water is discolored. Hybrids and white bass are still scarce with virtually no schooling activity. Most hybrid fishermen have switched to bass fishing. A few bream were reported by crappie fishermen working the attractors. No need to fish the thick brush because the bream will usually hold outside the thick cover and near the bottom. Try redworms or crickets.



South-Central Arkansas

(updated 3-23-2016) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said bass are hitting on crankbaits, Zoom Brush Hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live and prepared catfish baits. Tight lining using worms and catfish baits also is working well. Crappie are biting on minnows and jigs in the upper lake. For lake information or a camping reservation please call White Oak Lake State Park at 870-685-2748 or stop in at the Visitor Center.


(updated 3-9-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting fairly well on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Crappie, bream and catfish are all slow. The rain will likely raise the water level dramatically again. 


(updated 3-9-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are fair. No report on crappie, bream or catfish. 


(updated 3-9-2016) ​Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.



West-Central Arkansas

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


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 344.71 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 
(updated 3-23-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is muddy and high, but the water level is dropping quickly. Crappie are fair. Bass are biting well. No report on catfish and bream. 
(updated 3-23-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) had no report. 


(updated 3-30-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said surface water temperatures are rising. In some areas, the morning temperature is in the high 50s, and in others it starts in the low 60s. Crappie fishing has been picking up in the creeks on minnows and jigs. Black/chartreuse and straight chartreuse have been the best colors. Stripers are starting to make their way to the creeks as well. Swim baits and spinnerbaits have been the hot lure for them. Catfish have been good off river points on cut perch and cut shad. Some smaller catfish have been good in the creeks off the flats on worms and minnows. White bass have been hard to find, but when you run across them you can catch a good bit on small Rat-L-Traps and tailspinners. Largemouth bass have been hit-and-miss with the cold fronts coming through. With the full moon and warmer temperatures,  the next wave of spawners should start moving up. Rat-L-Traps have been good off river points. Inside pockets and shallow spawning areas, try a spinnerbait, jig or lizard. Flipping plastics has been the way to go behind the wingdams and dikes upriver.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.55 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(updated 3-30-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the surface water temperature is 60 degrees. Black bass are biting very well on floating worms, creature baits, large lipless crankbaits and jerk baits. Main lake and secondary points are producing the best results, but some fish have moved shallow to spawn. Walleye are excellent and are being caught shallow in clear water on the east half of the lake. Stripers are very good on live bait and swim baits. White and yellow bass are still very good jigging a small CC spoon or casting a hair jig. Most of these fish are up the rivers. Bream are picking up. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 20 to 25 feet deep. Crappie are biting very well. Try using small spoons, minnows or crappie jigs around 10-20 feet deep near brush. Catfish are biting well on live bait or cut bait in 20 to 25 feet of water.
(updated 3-23-2016) The Trader Bill's Fishing Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner said anglers may want to start looking for white bass at the Highway 27 bridge and move upstream from there. The up and down temperatures and wind have likely pushed the white bass back a little deeper from where they were last week. It’s been difficult to find the white bass schooled up in the creeks.   


(updated 3-30-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said white bass are moving up the creek arms to spawn. Spoons and swim baits are working well to find groups of whites.
(updated 3-30-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said water temperature between the dam and the bridge is 54 degrees. The water is clear. The lake is at normal summer pool. Heavy rainfall is possible this week, so Entergy is lowering Lake Catherine 6 inches in anticipation of rising lake levels and flash flooding. Should Lake Ouachita rise back up into flood pool, Entergy will schedule 24/7 generation until the big lake is brought back to proper levels. Rainbow trout fishing has been very slow for the last two weeks, despite the fact that thousands of trout have been stocked. Guided trips have caught and released fish over 20 inches long, but have had trouble recording limits whether in slack water or current. White bass are making a spawning run to the dam with good numbers of fish caught trolling small crankbaits against the current from the bridge to the dam. Jerk baits and 1/16- to 1/8-oz. jigs have given anglers the best chance to catch fish that are feeding heavily on available shad. Yellow bass are mixed in with the whites and are being caught on the same techniques. Live minnows tight lined over deep water is an excellent way of targeting spawning fish that are congregated in rock structure. Crappie are present in the tailrace and the spawn is underway. Large females have been caught on live minnows and jigging spoons. These fish will be below the dam until May and then begin to move downstream to the main body of the lake. These fish avoid current flow and will always be found in areas protected from moving water. Drum are in the tailrace and have been caught in deep water with spoons and nightcrawler rigs. Hybrid bass will be present in the tailrace in April and good numbers can be caught. Stripers often migrate into the area with the rising of the lake to normal level. These fish often school together and strike topwater baits such as Super Spooks and C-10 Redfins. 



East Arkansas

(updated 3-16-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report. 


(updated 3-16-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report.


(updated 3-30-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said
the water is muddy, high an dcold. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished 5 feet deep in backwaters.  



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