Game fish limits removed on Lake June
Game fish limits removed on Lake June
July 13, 2016
A largemouth bass caught in live bait in South Arkansas.
Game fish limits removed on Lake June
Anglers on Lake June near Stamps in southwest Arkansas should get the ice chest ready for their next outing. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is encouraging anglers to keep all the fish they catch while the lake is being drawn down.
AGFC Director Jeff Crow signed the emergency order July 7 to suspend game fish daily limits on the lake for the next 120 days.
“Most of the fish in the lake will be either flushed out through the spillway or will become stranded in small pools of water during the hottest part of the summer,” Crow said. “We want anglers to use as much of this resource as possible instead of letting those fish go to waste.”
The suspension of limits is a result of the city of Stamps’ plans to drain the lake for a large renovation project it is conducting in cooperation with the AGFC. The project includes replacing the spillway and drain pipe as well as removing much of the aquatic vegetation that has overtaken the shallow lake. Gravel beds and brush piles also will be added to the lake to enhance habitat for fish and anglers. 
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(updated 7-13-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained, and surface temperature earlier this week reached 92 degrees. Catfishing is excellent on limb lines and trotlines using goldfish or chicken hearts. Bream fishing is excellent. The bream are in about 8-12 feet depth around lily pads. Use worms and crickets. Go toward deeper water for crappie, mostly around the cypress trees. Crappie fishing has been fair; use minnows and jigs. Bass fishing has been good on white spinnerbaits, topwater frogs and plastic worms.
(updated 7-6-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said crappie were biting fair around the Arkansas Highway 89 bridge on minnows as well as Bobby Garland Cajun Crickets and jigs. Catfishing was fair on limb lines and trotlines; use slicks or cut shad. 

(updated 7-13-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red is receiving the summertime pattern of early evening generation on weekdays, providing excellent wade and drift fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. With low water and bright sun, remember to use fluorocarbon tippet to increase your catch numbers. For fly fishing, Myers suggests sowbugs, midges and Woolly Buggers. For Trout Magnet fishing, white-colored bodies on gold jig heads are working well. 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 7-6-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said summer has arrived with a hot blast. The river remains low and clear with good temperature the length of the trout water due to the afternoon generation. Fishing has been fair to good, with the mornings being the most comfortable for the fishermen. The bite has been in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon ahead of the afternoon generation. There are no noticeable hatches at this time, with a few blue-winged olives coming off in the afternoon. Sowbugs, midge pupas and pheasant tail nymphs seem to be the most productive with all fished close to the bottom. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.61 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 7-13-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said bass fishing is going good on and off at different times of the day and night. Use Texas rigged worms, spinnerbaits, football heads and jig head worms as well as drop-shot rigs for the best bite 25-40 feet deep out on drops and end of points. The bream fishing is good on crickets out to about 28-30 feet for the bigger fish. The crappie are suspended over brush piles and in the pole timber, and with some patience can be caught with road runners or jigs tipped with minnows in 15-25 feet of water. The walleye bite is on and off, as is pretty typical for this time of year, but they have to eat as well. Try dragging crawlers in 18-28 feet of water or if they are suspended try crankbaits. The hybrid and white bass are schooling over various parts of the lake at different times of the day and staying on structure the rest. The night bite is going good right now on spoons, in-line spinners, swimbaits and live bait; try in 25-40 feet depth for the best and most consistent action.
(updated 7-6-2016) Cody Smith of Fish Greers Ferry guide service reports that water surface temperature is ranging in the upper 80s. Water levels are normal for this time of year with small releases from the dam daily. Fishing has been best from early morning hours before 9 and once again during the waning hours of the day. Smith and his anglers have caught every species that swims in the lake over the past week and it seems the bulk of their game fish are all relating to the growing bream population. The 15-25-feet depths around Corps of Engineers habitat has produced the best for them. Live bait options and larger artificial in bluegill and darker colors have been best. White bass and hybrids have been scarce on top, while decent numbers can be found and captured on a variety of jigging spoons in the 20-45-feet zone. 

(updated 7-13-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is low and clear, with a surface temperature earlier this week of 85 degrees. Bream fishing is excellent around brush piles and stumps. Use worms and crickets. Catfish are excellent; try worms, chicken liver and nightcrawlers. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Crappie have slowed down and the fishing rated poor; minnows and jigs will work best. 
(updated 7-6-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting in creek, and are biting on Bobby Garland BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, Penny Back Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. They are biting at nighttime, too. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms and shad. Bass are biting on buzzbait and worms and minnows and topwater baits. White bass are biting Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bream are biting great on crickets and worms and Rock Hopper.

(updated 7-6-2016) Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said bream are doing great on the beds, using crickets and worms. Bass are chasing shad and hitting buzzbait (chartreuse and black). Crappie are slow but the catches are good size in 8-10 feet of water with minnows and jigs, red and chartreuse with sparkle. Catfish are biting well on catalpa worms, bass minnows and shad. Anglers fishing off the dock are getting good catches of bass, bream and catfish. The quality and size of fish are excellent. Bait shop is now open and being run by John Banks; visit him at the shop just off Arkansas Highway 9 for all your bait and tackle needs.
(updated 7-13-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said the fishing was “super slow” due to the heat of the past week. Bream fishing was fair on crickets. No other reports. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported that back bass are good and biting on wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits early in the morning and late in the day. Blacks can be caught in 12-15 feet of water. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. Matt Hedrick and Brandon Crain caught 9:38 pounds of black bass Tuesday night to win the weekly tournament. Brad LeQuieu and Anthony Wright hauled in the biggest bass of the night, at 3.32 pounds. Kentucky bass are good and being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water. They’re mixed in with the blacks. White bass fishing as excellent the past week. Use deep diving Bandits and Bombers; they are all over the lake. They are being caught in the main lake on CC spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. Crappie are fair to good and caught on crappie minnows and jigs. Crappie are 15 feet deep; try the edges of the channels. Bream fishing is excellent, and bream are at 13 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good in 15-20 feet of water using stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. Thirty-pounders continue to be caught.
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfish was fair on trotlines using skipjack, chicken hearts, goldfish and crawfish. No other reports. 
(updated 7-6-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie is hitting Baby Shad and minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. Reports of white bass biting Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bass are biting on buzzbaits and topwater lures.

(updated 7-13-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bream are scattered now but biting fair on crickets and red worms. Bass fishing has been slow, with the best bites coming early in the mornings on minnows, small plastics and small topwater baits. No recent reports of crappie being caught.

(updated 7-13-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass have been biting well on minnows, small plastic lizards and worms, small spinnerbaits and small crankbaits. Catfish have been biting black saltys and goldfish on trotlines and limb lines. Minnows and nightcrawlers have been catching some on rod and reel. Crappie have been biting slow on No. 6 minnows fished around logs and brush right before dark. You can almost always catch some bream on the river with crickets or redworms on a small hook and light line. Now is the time to have some fun with the gar on the Saline. The water is low and slow and the gar will be easy to find and fun to catch. Good, strong line and fairly heavy tackle are best. A No. 12 minnow thrown in front of one will almost certainly be taken by a gar. Give him slack and let him go until he stops. When he starts to run again, set the hook and hold on. Gar are a challenge to catch and a fun, strong fight on rod and reel. Have a blast and be safe doing it.

(updated 7-13-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well at night on No. 12 minnows, black saltys and nightcrawlers. Bream are beginning to scatter but some big ones are still biting crickets and redworms. Bass fishing has been better at night using small buzzbaits, Carolina rigged plastics, spinner baits or topwater baits fished around docks. No recent reports of crappie being caught on Norrell.

(updated 7-13-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has slowed a bit but some anglers are still catching a few nice ones on No. 12 minnows fished around deep cover. Bass fishing has been fair early in the day with topwater baits and floating worms. Texas and Carolina rigged worms and lizards are working fair later in the day. Catfish are being caught on chicken liver, No. 12 minnows and nightcrawlers. Bream have been hitting crickets and redworms fished on tight lines in 6-12 feet of water.

(updated 7-13-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said water is staying on the high side with little flow, and water is also clearing up. Black bass are good and working early under overhangs; use a blade jitterbug. Then go to the end of grass lines and use cherry seed red Zooms. Kentucky bass are fair and are hanging around grass on rocks early in the morning; use topwater. Then go to jetties where you have a flow over rocks and use a shallow diving crankbait in blue and chartreuse. Crank from the upside of the jetty through the gap to back side of jetty. Bream are strong; use Rooster Tails in black. Also early morning, fish the grass lines with crickets for good bites. White bass are good and are chasing shad early and late on jetty tips. Use crankbaits in white and shad colors. Catfishing is good and is best drifting shad and nightcrawlers. Fish in 10-15 of water.

(updated 7-6-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley said bass fishing is going strong on the Arkansas River right now. Flows have been at a consistent 15-20k cfs this week. Good numbers of both largemouth and spotted bass were caught during this past weeks guide trips. Several good quality fish in the 3-4-pound range. Look for numbers of fish are main river current breaks using moving baits. Stay on the move until you get a bite. More than likely there will be more than one willing participant in the area! Catfishing is also hot. Focus your efforts on the deep holes along the main river. The fish are recovering and feeding up after the spawn so don't be scared to use big bait. Large pieces of cut shad and even large live shad are working to bring in good fish. If you don't mind getting out on the water after dark, you can really catch some good fish. The night bite should only get better as the daytime temperatures continue to increase. 

(updated 7-13-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said conditions were clear. Bream were good on worms and crickets. Crappie were fair in about 4-5 feet of water using minnows. Bass fishing was good, both early in the morning and late in the evening; use spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing ranged from good to excellent. White bass were poor. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bream biting well in 6-8 feet of water on redworms and crickets, as well as jigs and hand-tied bream bait. Bass were excellent in 10-12 feet of water. Use black and blue jigs, Shaky Head worms and Carolina-rigged jigs. 

(updated 7-13-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water was at normal level and fairly clear near the Terry Dam. Bream were good in the backwater on worms and crickets. Crappie were also good in the backwater on minnows and jigs. Bass are frequently found around rock jetties; bass rated good with crankbaits and plastic worms working best. Catfishing was good behind the Terry Dam. In Clear Lake, bream were good and situated about 10 feet off the bank in 5-6 feet depth. Use worms and crickets. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Bass were good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing was poor here, with cut bait working best.
(updated 7-13-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reported that water level is normal and it’s clear. Bass are found around the jetties, with crankbaits working best. Catfishing is good around the dam or in the main river channel; use worms, chicken liver and blood bait. No reports on bream. Crappie have been fair on minnows and jigs. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water was dingy and had a surface temperature of 82-85 degrees on Tuesday. The level was normal. Bream were good and found in 5-6 feet of depth in the back waters on waxworms and crickets. Crappie were good and were deep off the jetties at about 15 feet of water. Use pink minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater frogs and black buzzbait worked best. Catfishing was good below the Murray Dam, with skipjack the best bait. White bass were fair; use white Rooster Tails. On the Terry Dam side of the pool, water remained dingy and at 82-85 degrees. Bream were fair and at about 3 feet of water. Crappie were good on minnows and jigs. Bass were good; use spinnerbaits, black crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing was good with worms, shad and skipjack. White bass were biting fair on white Rooster Tails.
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair on skipjack, shad, chicken livers and chicken hearts. It’s good snagging. No other reports on fish there.

(updated 7-13-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water level is low with the stumps beginning to show. Bream fishing is good around the edges; use worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is poor. Bass are good. Catfishing is excellent; use hot dogs and stink bait. 

(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass fishing has been good early in the day. Use spinnerbaits, buzzbait and Texas rigged creature bait. Catfishing is fair on the levee said. Use chicken hearts or liver, as well as shad.

(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass are excellent both early in the day and late in the evening. Topwater Zara Spooks are working well, as are black buzzbaits and Shaky worms. Bream fishing is fair around the docks on redworms and crickets. Catfishing is fair at night; use minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken liver and chicken hearts. 

(updated 7-13-2016Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is excellent on nightcrawlers, chicken liver, chicken hearts and stink bait. 

(updated 7-13-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fair on nightcrawlers and bait shrimp. Bream are biting fair on crickets and worms. Bass have been slow to bite but some have been hitting minnows in the mornings and right before dark. Crappie have been slow as well with only a few customers reporting some small ones biting No. 6 minnows.

(updated 7-13-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water was stained, the level was normal and the surface temperature was 85 degrees earlier this week. Fishing was good all around. Bream worked good on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was good using minnows and jigs. Bass were good; use spinnerbaits, topwater frogs and crankbaits. Catfishing was good on chicken liver and blood bait. White bass rated good as well. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bream were biting well in 6-8 feet of water in the Maumelle River. Redworms and crickets were attracting them, as well as hand-tied bream jigs. Bass fishing was excellent in 10-12 feet of water. Use Shaky Heads, black and blue jigs and Carolina rigged bait. 

(updated 7-6-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said minnows and worms were bringing in catfish. Bream were biting on crickets and worms, as well as Rock Hoppers. Bass is biting buzzbaits and topwater baits.

No reports.

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.97 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 7-13-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) reported lake conditions have pretty much remained the same the past few weeks. Despite all the rain and pop up thunderstorms, the water looks great! Good color with little to no debris. Fishing has slowed down for many anglers due to the extreme heat and humidity. But, still seeing a lot of big bass and walleye being caught. The boat launch has more parking available, but the lower road is still under water at the current level. Courtesy dock remains under water as well. Water level on Tuesday was 661.00 feet msl. Water temperature was 85-88 degrees and water is stained. Black Bass are good off of points and steep bluffs with a jig, Texas rigged worm and large plastics. Also good on topwater plugs early. Deep-diving crankbaits are also working for some. Walleye are good to fair on medium to large crankbaits trolling in 20-30 feet. Running baits around 12-18 feet range. Also good on dragging nightcrawlers. Also hitting white or silver half-ounce spoons off the points. Crappie fishing is slow on live minnows, due to the heat. Catching some in the 20-foot range around trees. Fair when trolling. Suspended in deeper water.
(updated 7-6-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock reported that fishing patterns are finally changing into the basic summer patterns. The water temperature is in the 80s on the surface on the lake. There is a thermocline anywhere from the 22-30 feet level depending on who you talk with or what part of the lake you are at. There is a lot of brush in the water on the shoreline still and the largemouth bass and catfish seem to be up in it. The smallmouth bass are a little deeper on the gravel and chunk rock banks. The spotted bass are in deeper water along the bluffs, timber and points. The walleye are being reported in 15-30 feet of water by the fisherman. The good thing is that the divers are reporting seeing lots of bass, walleye and catfish. Seems like the lake is loaded with fish. Lake level is around the 662 mark and falling. Visibility is good with the divers reporting it to be 25-30 feet in most places. Here are the fishing patters that are being reported: Largemouth bass – topwater baits early and late, plastic worms in the brush, jigs in the brush, spinnerbaits after dark; smallmouth bass – jigs and plastics in 10-20 feet of water outside the brush line. Split shot a nightcrawler same depth, parallel a crankbait outside brush line early and late; spotted bass – drop shot plastic worm, jigging spoon, live nightcrawler, live crawfish in 25-35 feet of water off of steep drop-offs and points; walleye – troll deep diving crankbaits in 15-20 feet of water, bottom bounce with nightcrawler in 15-30 feet of water, lead core trolling in 25-35 feet of water with longer stick baits, jigging spoon in 25-35 feet of water; catfish – limb lining around the bank in the brush and trotlining in the coves; white bass – haven’t seen many but would think under lights at night would work; crappie – same thing, haven’t seen many, but would think night under lights would work.

(updated 7-13-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported the water dropping from high to low and being just OK. There has been no water in the morning and high in the evening because of generation. The water is stained. Brown trout fishing is good. Some nice sized browns were caught in the 17-22-inche range. Rainbow trout fishing was rated great.
(updated 7-13-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said they’ve had a couple of heavy rain storms this week. When that happens and the water gets dingy, it's time to go to worms. Everybody took worms to the river this past week, including the guides, and the trout were biting. Remember, too, if you’re not having any luck, try something different right away; change up the color you’re using, or even just reverse the order. If you're not having much success with your yellow Rooster Tail with black dots, try the black with yellow dots), if the gold Cleo isn't producing, tie on a silver/blue Thomas Buoyant. Most of all, relax and enjoy your time on the river.   
(updated 7-13-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) ) said about an inch of rain fell on Cotter in the past week, to go with hot temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.4 feet to rest at 0.1 feet of a foot below seasonal power pool of 661.95 feet. This is 33.9 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 1.6 feet to rest at 0.1 feet above seasonal power pool and 13.9 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.1 to rest at 1.8 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.4 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had less generation this week with more wade-able water and the bite has been erratic. Berry also offered more on fly-fishing flies for this week: “Last week I wrote about my top six flies. When I got to Blue Ribbon Fly Shop the next day, I discussed the article with Henry Seay, my assistant manager. He is an accomplished fly fisher and in fly tying but he uses different flies with great success. I decided to write about his top six and see where we agreed and where we were different. When he moved here from Arizona 11 years ago, one of the first items on my things he did was to find a hatch chart for the Norfork and Bull Shoals tailwaters. Two things stood out: midges and sowbugs/scuds hatched 52 weeks of the year. In moving water, sowbugs and scuds look so much alike he didn’t think fish could tell the difference to see them as one type of fly, hence sowbug/scud. Other hatches come and go but midges and sowbugs/scuds are always present. It seems to make no difference to him, if you are fishing Lee's Ferry, the San Juan River, the Norfork or any other tailwater anywhere in the USA, midges will be the most important hatch. His list would have to start with the Zebra midge size 16-22, a simple and highly effective fly that no angler should be without. This fly has also caught largemouth bass and bream on Norfork Lake. His second fly would also be a midge, the pheasant tail midge sizes 16-20. This fly is often tied with a hot spot at the thorax to catch the eye of a passing trout. This fly can also pass as a midge larva, pupae or a small stonefly. He finds there is inherent magic, with pheasant tail fibers, hares ear, CDC, copper wire and peacock hurl. When any two of these items are used together they become as irresistible as chocolate candy. All his flies will have one or more of these items tied into them. He would never consider venturing into the waters to fish for trout without hare and copper size 10-18. This is a fly that has also taken fish everywhere in the world. A fly that suggest a stonefly, a scud and a crane fly, it is fuzzy, spiky and looks like many aquatic life forms. Next is the sowbug/scud size 10-16, the other trout food that hatches 12 months of the year. A fly that can pass for a stonefly, and has proven very productive crawled slowly across the bottom of a stream as well as dead drifting. The "F" fly size 14-22 is the only dry fly that he carries. This is a European fly that has had a hand in bringing home trophies from more than one country in international competition. It is the only fly a friend of his from Mississippi uses when he comes here and fishes the Norfork tailwater. He takes a backseat to no one on the river. He would never step into the river or any body of water without a Woolly Bugger size 6-14. This fly has caught fish coast to coast, cold water, warm water or salt water. A size 12 or 14 will destroy a bream bed. When nothing else works, he ties on a Woolly Bugger. With these six flies he could fish every tailwater in America and believe that he was armed properly. We agreed on the Woolly Bugger and hare and copper. He ties all of these flies at the shop and will be glad to show them to you.”

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.94 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 7-13-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said that in the last few days Norfork Lake picked up speed. He had fished all week with little results, but then last Thursday the stripers decided to feed like they should during the summer. There are two things to know about summer stripers: One, as the water warms stripers feed heavy as they burn lots of energy during the summer. The second is, stripers need 6 parts per million of oxygen in the water to be aggressive. Again as the lake warms the oxygen becomes lower so the stripers continue to go deeper to find a level of water that will support them. As the summer progresses expect to find stripers anywhere from 60-100 feet deep. Once you find them they will usually bite. As they were last week the stripers before light are feeding in 35-45 feet of water. Once it becomes daylight they continue to move out to 100-130 feet of water. Continue to look for schooling stripers on sloping banks later in the morning. The lake continues to be lowered until it reaches a pool of 553 or so, which should happen in the next week. If you can find a point that slopes with the channel butting it, then you have the perfect combination to catch stripers early, then after light. A local couple, Tess and her boyfriend, Tyler, booked a trip for her father, Jim, for a Father’s Day gift. Tom met them at Tracy Marina at 4:30 a.m. and headed out for a fun morning. The first thing Jim asked was “how’s fishing” and Tom said it’s been spotty so you never know, when you are striper fishing, whether today is the day that would turn around. The group started where Reynolds had been catching a few. One thing you learn guiding is you never leave fish to find fish; you fish your spot until those fish leave or just will not bite. Tom set them up and before long he hooked a fat hybrid for Tyler and the bite was on. The next hour and 45 minutes they caught and missed stripers. All told they boated only six at that spot. Before light you will be holding the pole so it’s a feel more than watching your pole. It takes time to learn when to let the fish take the bait before you set the hook. For some people it requires a few strikes to master that. The group then moved to another spot needing three stripers to fill their limit. Tom spotted a few stripers and set up and before he could get the fourth rod out they had two fish on and it was a total circus. They boated two more before the school was gone but he said it was sure was fun seeing all those fish and his clients running around the boat hooking fish. Be sure to read Reynolds’ Summer Striper tactics; the article can be found on the website.
(updated 6-29-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 555.93. The Corps is running one generator continuously. The lake surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 80s. The main lake is clearing and the creeks and coves are slightly stained. Striped bass fishing is continuing to be a strong bite. Fish are still scattered throughout the lake and are mainly concentrated in 25-40 feet of water either on the bottom or suspended in deep water. For the last couple of weeks, he has been fishing with his daughter and her family and they had a blast. All including the little ones were catching fish. After keeping several limits of stripers the first couple of days, they started releasing all fish caught. Lou’s 4-year-old granddaughter had fun catching bluegills at the dock and she is getting really good with her Tinkerbell pole. Live thread fin shad has been working great for his group, but vertical jigging with a spoon and trolling with swimbaits also produce some nice fish. Largemouth bass fishing has slowed a little but is still good. There is some topwater action early in the mornings, but the bigger ones are going deeper. He has found bass partway back in creeks at channel swings near points. They are in shallow water early, then move out to 20-30 feet of water as the sun gets high in the sky. There are plenty of bass hanging out in the shadows of the docks during the day.
Crappie fishing is also in its hot-water mode: hard to find, but once you locate them you will catch some nice fish in the 10-14-inch range. A couple of his guests have been crappie fishing and did well both Monday and Tuesday. Start looking for brush piles back in creeks and coves. The brush should be in 20-35 feet of water and the fish will be suspended on the tops of the brush, but some of the nicer ones will be deeper. There are still plenty of nice crappie in the shadows of the docks during the day. There are some nice walleye being caught. Look for walleye in 25-35 feet of water. They will be around main lake points that have brush nearby or at this same depth along the rocky bluff walls. Jigging spoons as well as a crawler harness are working.
(updated 6-22-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is 557.1 feet msl and the water temperature is in the mid-80s. Look for stripers down 35-60 feet deep. They can be close to the bottom in 35 feet depth or they can be suspended in 100 feet. Check the deep side of points and close to the creek channels in the creeks. They had a few small stripers in the 2-4-pound range and some hybrids about 4-6 pounds coming up hitting Zara Spooks in a creek while they were sitting in 55 feet. There were a few whites, large mouth and some smallies mixed in. Steve and his group hit another spot and got into a few spotted bass. They were not coming up chasing, they just came up and hit the spooks in Big Creek. The group caught a few stripers and a couple hybrids on jigging spoons suspended at 30 feet in about 55 feet of water. F or more information on the area and lake visit
(updated 7-13-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the lake fell 2 feet to rest at 1.9 feet below seasonal power pool of 556.55 feet and 26 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had no wade-able water. In an effort to get the lake level down on Norfork the Corps of Engineers has opened a sluice gate during daylight hours. The increased flow is equal to about one full generator. The Norfork has fished better lately. 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 No. 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite fly has been the Green Butt. Dry Run Creek will be very busy with summer vacation in full swing. It is cleared and fished well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise No. 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 7-13-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. John Berry's favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the river. There are no dams and the river is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

(updated 7-13-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. Try his favorite lure for smallmouths, the Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering. There are no dams, there are large drainages and the creek prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly..

Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,119.64 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 7-13-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported the lake is muddy from recent rains and is just a hair below normal pool level. Temperature is in the mid-80s. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie fishing, rating fair, is best at night with lights. Use minnows and shad. Daytime, try trolling a Bandit 300, a hot n Tot, or the Arkie 350. Nighttime is better for bass as well. Bass fishing has been fair. At night, use a black single spinnerbait or a large plastic worm. During the daytime, give it a finessed presentation with a Shaky Head worm and Drop Tops. Use topwater lures very early or if it stays overcast through the day. Catfishing is good on trotlines and limb lines using live perch or goldfish. Fishing for cats, use nightcrawlers or dough bait. A few stripers have been pulled in, but it’s been best to fish for stripers between midnight and 4 a.m.
(updated 7-13-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper fishing is good and stripers are on main lake structures and mouths of coves, etc. Some striper are using gravel bars, points, humps, tree tops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing weighted down lines will definitely get you some fish. Also use live shad fished on down lines from 30-60 feet deep, and also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs like 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. Water surface temperatures are in the mid-80s in the mid- and lower sections, and these are the hot spots: Dam area, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty and Point 5. Walleye are now back down on the main lake in numbers and on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-20 feet deep depending on where you fish. Use three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water, or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chart combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.

(updated 7-13-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said fishing the tailwaters this week has been quite nice. Smallmouth bass are biting well in the deeper waters. Try using various grubs and Rapalas fished around structure. White bass are still very scattered, but they are still biting throughout the tailwaters on various crankbaits both trolled and casted. The trout bite has been very active, more so before 11 a.m. Trout are biting on various power baits, fished with light terminal tackle. Walleye are also scattered, mostly males; however, they are still around to be caught. The lure of choice is the Flicker Shads and Rapalas fished at various depths. Water temperature is consistent for this time of year and generation has mainly been in the evenings; however, that’s subject to change. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Beaver Dam Store reported that fly fishing in the tailwaters has been good. The Norfork Hatchery jumped 3,200 trout into the tailwaters last Friday. The big load was dumped right below Beaver Dam at the first boat ramp, so fishing should be excellent. There are still some walleye to be caught in the tailwaters of the dam. Carolina rigging nightcrawlers in deep holes are producing fish. The browns ca be caught using midges, streamers and hopper patterns. For rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, numphing and swinging small soft hackles. Good lures are gold and silver Colorado spoons, red and gold Bouyant spoons, and Flicker Shad in pro series Nos. 4 and 5. Good power bait colors have been white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies have been pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black and olive; hares ear; tungsten copper Johns, WD-40s and Trout Magnets. Catfish are biting on Wicked Sticky catfish bait along with Magic Bait crawfish/chicken blood bait.

Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said that health issues are forcing him to close the bait shop the remainder of the year.

(updated 7-13-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported water being a little high and murky, with a surface temperature of 82 degrees. Bream are good in the evenings in about 6-8 feet depth; use worms and crickets. Bream are all around the lake and bunching up near the shore or where there is shake. Crappie fishing is good on jigs. Bass fishing is good on plastic worms. Catfish and biting well in 8 feet or deeper water; use chicken liver. 

(updated 7-13-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported fish being caught all over the lake in the past week. The water is clear and at normal level, with a surface temperature of 90 degrees. Bream are everywhere and biting well on worms and crickets. Bass are good in early mornings and in the evening; topwater lures are working best. Catfishing is good on live bait or chicken liver. 

Northeast Arkansas

(updated 7-6-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said minnow sales have slowed, but they are selling a lot of crickets. Anglers are catching a lot bream, but the crappie have slowed. Sales have been steady with the goldfish, nightcrawlers and redworms. There was a lot of catfish caught over the holiday weekend mostly on lines and jugs. No word on the bass.

(updated 7-13-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water was clear and up to 93 degrees on the surface while at a normal level. Bream are in the shade or near the dock and rate good, with redworms and crickets working best. No reports on crappie. Bass are working early in the morning and late in the evening near the docks on topwater lures. Catfishing is good all over the lake; use chicken liver or shrimp. 

(updated 7-13-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 390 cfs (350 average) and water clarity has been clear. The river is looking good. Guppies, Brownies, and olive woollies have been working well. When the sun gets up and hot, a Y2K chased by a small nymph can do wonders. Hot pink and chartreuse trout magnets and silver spinners are working well with spinning. The river is nice and cold. Wet wading during the heat of the summer is the only way to go. 
(updated 7-13-2016) John Berry in Cotter said river is fishing well. It’s a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. 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 (No. 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (No. 10) and Y2Ks (No. 10). 

(updated 7-13-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said water level was normal if at times a little high, about 10 feet usually. Surface temperature varied from 72-74 degrees and the water was clear. Bream were fair in shallow depth of the creeks and around brush piles, biting crickets. Bass were in shallow water at about 8 feet and the bite was fair; use grubs and jigs.

Southeast Arkansas

(updated 6-22-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the upper 80s on the main channel of the river up to low 90s in backwaters. Water visibility is less than a foot on the main channel to up to a foot in backwaters. Black bass have been biting fairly well but the heat has definitely slowed them down. Shallow crankbaits on main channel jetties are producing some bites, as are soft plastics and jigs worked through brush piles. Activity slows during mid-day, so focus on early morning or late evening. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said Cane Creek is hot! Literally. The fish have moved into the deeper water of the beaver pond for crappie and bass. Bass can also be found where the creeks flow in the lake, as it is cooler. Crappie are biting decently on minnows. Bass are biting well on frogs, chatterbaits, and crank baits. Catfish are biting well in the mornings and evening on live bait. Bream are biting very well on crickets.

No report.

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.10 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 7-13-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said that as of Monday the lake level is about 1.5 feet below normal conservation pool and falling. There is slow current in Little River; tailwater is about 226 feet msl and gate discharge about 162 cfs. Water temps were stable over the past week, from near 81 degrees to 92 under full sun. Lake level in process of 2-foot drawdown for bank stabilization near Cottonshed Park, according to Corps of Engineers press release. Use extreme caution during navigation due to stumps and submerged lodged timber are at or near surface. Clarity and visibility is improved compared to last week on most areas on main lake and Little River, about 10-15 inches on the main lake structure away from current. Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains heavy stained. Little River's visibility ranges 12-15 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranging about 20 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood due to high winds, rain or thunderstorms.
Bass are good in 2-3-pound range on topwaters early and late. Bass are the most aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, stumps, cypress trees and vegetation on flats adjacent to deep drops. Buzzbaits, Arbogast jitterbugs in frog colors, Pop-R's in bone color, and Baby Torpedoes in frog and shad patterns are still drawing reactions at the surface at daybreak. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads remain working and drawing good responses, early and later in the day by deadsticking. Best colors of buzzbaits are black, avocado, Pine Cone or bleeding shad (white/pink) colors around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels. Bass Assassin Shads are best in Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini and Gold Pepper Shiner colors. Good bites continue on black, white and June Bug-colored soft plastic frogs this week around pads in clearest water. The jig bite continues to improve in Little River now that the current has slowed some, and fish are relating to the deeper drops in the river. Big bulky 10-inch worms, 7-9 feet deep-diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad, in Tennessee Shad, Citrus Shad and Citruse colors; and squarebill crankbaits are working long old river channel swings where creek mouths and sloughs feed Little River. Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills in Millwood Magic, Sexy Chrome and Ghost colors are working around deeper drops in Little River, and in the mouths of creek channels dumping into the river. Best color of magnum sized, 4-inch Zoom Salty Tubes are bluegill, Irish whiskey and appleseed colors have been working over the past several weeks. The 10-inch bulky worms, and crankbaits continue working after the topwater bite subsides. Best colors in the 10-inch worms have been plum, black grape, and watermelon-candy. War Eagle spinnerbaits continue working in Cole Slaw, Aurora and Spot Remover colors around stumps and in vegetation over this past week. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs are taking nice bass in the 3-4-pound class using Texas Craw, Watermelon Candy or June Bug colors with a green pumpkin or black craw trailer. Black and blue chatterbaits, are still working around pads and stumps from 5-8 feet of depth in shady areas of the oxbows, and under overhanging willow trees along steep banks of Little River.
Whites and hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on Fat Free Shad crankbaits, Little Georges, Beetle Spins, Rooster Tails and Rocket Shads from about 9-15 feet deep. The crappie bite continued improving over the past week, and crappie were biting over planted brush piles using vertical jigging tubes and jigs in 12-16 feet depth. Best colors were white, chartreuse and blue combinations. Blues and channel cats continued biting well in the current in Little River over the past week on trotlines about 8-10 feet  deep, in creek mouths and outer bends of the river. Best bites continue to be on cut buffalo, cut shad and chicken livers. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.86 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
No reports were submitted for this week.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 403.75 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 7-13-2016) Local angler George Graves said morning surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Looks like the heat is finally taking its toll with the fish now moving to deeper, cooler water. Bass fishing is slow with about the only action coming in the early morning hours. Look for surface feeding fish on the long main lake points. Throw most any topwater lure such as a Zara Spook, Pop ‘R, shallow running jerkbait, fluke and swim baits. Color is not important as long as it is a natural color like a shad pattern. If no surface feeders, go deeper with a Texas or Carolina rigged worm or lizard and work down the deep side of the point. Remember points with rock or wood cover are best. A few nice Kentucky bass reported coming from rock bluffs in the area of points 14 and 15. Try a 4-inch finesse worm in green pumpkin or green pumpkin/red flake.
Crappie fishing is slow with only a few fish reported coming from the deep main lake brush piles at 20-25 feet.  Vertical fish a 2-inch curly tail grub such as a Kalin's on a 1/16-ounce jig head. Fish the lure to just above the thickest part of the cover and work all the way around the attractor. Natural lure colors are best in the clear water like Tennessee Shad. Early morning is now the best time. Hybrid fishing is slow with the fish now heading to deep water with virtually no schooling activity. The action should pick up once the fish get settled in on their summer deep-water pattern. Not much doing on bream except for smaller fish in secondary covers. The fish are up shallow, so use a float set at about 4 feet and bait with crickets or redworms. Look for coves with lots of rock or wood cover. Also try along the shady deep rock bluffs; the water is a bit cooler there. Catfish are fair at night on trotlines set at mid-lake around point 10 and in the major creeks such as Big Hill and Brushy. Set the lines off big points in 20-30 feet of water. Bait with cut shad, nightcrawlers, chicken livers, prepared catfish baits, or hot dogs. Also try live small bream and big minnows.
(updated 7-13-2016) John Duncan with said the lake level slowly dropped last week to 403.83. Water temperature is 89 degrees in mid-lake area and water is clear. The cat fishermen Duncan talked to said that the bite for them was slowing down. They are fishing both trotlines and noodles. Noodles can be found all the way from State Park to Point Cedar. There are some good size bream to be caught but you have to find them. Some of the rocky points and brush piles producing but you need to fish deep. Many of the bream beds are becoming visible due to the lake levels. The big-time bream fishermen are waiting for the next full moon to try to catch them bedding. That will occur July 17. Hybrids’ surfacing has been limited at best. Most of the action is around the mouth of Iron Mountain harbor. Spoons and swimbaits are the best bet there but success is marginal. Duncan has heard no reports on black bass. Crappie bite is slowing down almost daily. Brush piles are the best bet but you need to find deep ones; 15 feet deep is about as shallow as you can fish. They are getting very spread out. You may pick up three or four in a brush pile and then have to move on. It seems the further you go toward Point Cedar the smaller they are getting. Mid-lake and Brushy are best bets for good ones.

South-Central Arkansas

No reports.

(updated 7-13-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) ) said bass are biting on wobbleheads and spinnerbaits. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie have slowed down on the lower side. A few catfish being caught.
(updated 7-13-2016) Local angler Jaret Rushing said the area has seen no real change from the past few weeks. Bass, bream, crappie and catfish are all on summer patterns, so there won’t be much of a change until they get some sort of weather phenomenon (cool front or rain). Most recently, Rushing said, bass had been aggressive early in the morning attacking topwater baits and more aggressive shad-like baits. When the sun was at its highest, anglers found success by staging bass on shaded cypress trees or floating vegetation such as hydrilla or duckweed. Finding bream beds that are holding decent sized bream are sparse now. Anglers are catching many fish but the quality is hit-or-miss with the most success coming off of early morning bites with topwater flies or popping bugs and later bites on 3-4 feet deep cricket or worm sets. Crappie seem to be sporadic as well with anglers catching the majority of their fish in fallen tops rather than creek channels or around trees. Baits for this species vary with water condition.

(updated 7-13-2016) Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said crappie being caught at night under lanterns. No report on bass, bream or catfish.

(updated 7-13-2016) Local angler Jaret Rushing said the lake has seen no real change from the past few weeks. Bass, bream, crappie and catfish are all on summer patterns, so there won’t be much of a change until they get some sort of major change in the weather, like heavy rain or a cool front.

West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 337.00 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 7-6-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported that water is clear and at a low level, with water surface temperature hitting 90 degrees. Bream fishing is excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie are excellent and found in 6-8 feet of water around the channels. Use bass minnows. Bass are good also in the channels. Topwater lures like a Rebel or a Heddon Zara Spook and Bandits are the best baits. Catfishing has been good with stink bait, shrimp and trotline minnows. White bass reports have been poor.
(updated 7-6-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported crappie biting in creeks on Bobby Garland BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, Penny Back Baby Shad Slab Slay’r and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Crappie are biting at nighttime, too. Catfish are hitting Yo-Yo’s baited with minnows, worms and shad. Bream are biting on crickets, worms and Rock Hoppers. Bass are working buzzbait and topwater. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said draining work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making it impossible to get to boats.

​(updated 7-13-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported the water being low and clear, with the surface temperature reaching 92 earlier this week. Small bream were being caught on worms and crickets; the bream fishing rated excellent. Crappie were good, but the fishing was slow. Crappie mostly are working in the deep waters on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was excellent on crankbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing was good using small perch and shad. White bass were fair.

(updated 7-6-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature is in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Clarity is good in most places. A few creeks muddied up with the last rainstorm. Main river is in good condition. Bass fishing has been hit and miss, due to the low current or no current conditions. With the shad hatching, it seems to have the fish scattered. Some are being caught shallow while some are being caught deeper on sandbars. Medium diving crankbaits, Carolina rigs and prop baits are working best both early and late in the day on the sandbars. Swimbaits, Scam Shad and Chug Bugs are working good in shallow water. There are still fish on drops. The key is finding the drops with timber on it or a brush pile. Speed worms and jigs have been working well in these places. Striped bass have been good on topwater and swimbaits at the head of creeks and on some jetties and beneath the dams. Catfish has been good in the river using uncut perch shad and skipjack, while minnows and worms have been working well in the creeks. Bream has been good in the creeks and the river using crickets, worms and grasshoppers. Crappie has been fair around 11 feet deep in the main river; try using jigs and minnows. Pink has been the color with a tad of chartreuse mixed in.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.98 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
​(updated 6-29-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191) said black bass are good and being caught with Texas rigged worms and creature baits. Brush piles on the main lake and secondary points are producing the best results. Drop shot finesse worms are working great for “spots.” Walleye are still excellent and are being caught trolling shallow running crankbaits and jigging CC spoons. Stripers are still good on live bait. The central area of the lake is the hottest right now. Bream are good. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 12-25 feet deep. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 20-30 feet deep near brush. Catfish are still excellent. Try live bait or cut bait in depths of 15-20 feet. The water temperature was 86-88 degrees and the water clarity was clearing. 

(updated 7-13-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported white bass are schooling early in the mornings, and the best baits are Rooster Tails and spoons.

(updated 7-13-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service,reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 59 degrees, but rises to 65 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace as summertime lake levels are in place until late November. Entergy is currently generating at noon until 8 p.m. every day. This schedule can change at any time, especially if the area is subject to heavy rainfall. Rainbow trout fishing remains very slow with the majority of fish either caught or migrated away from the dam. This situation occurs every year around this time and fishing will not improve until the stocking program starts again in November. A few diehard anglers continue to target trout and have taken a few fish on live minnows tight-lined over deep water. Nightcrawlers and redworms have also drawn strikes fished in the same manner. While small numbers of trout remain in the area, these fish are finicky and difficult to catch. White bass have finished their spawning run with numbers of bass remaining below the dam to rest and feed. Live minnows, small jigs and jerkbaits have all taken fish in the last week primarily during times of generation. Current flow triggers a hunt reflex in fish that live below dams, and Carpenter Dam is no exception. Feeding times are often short so fishermen need to be alert and watch for breaking fish. Alabama rigs work well when white bass are schooling and give an angler a chance to hook more than one fish at a time. A few hybrid bass have been caught with the white bass schools and actively feed on the same forage. Stripers can appear at any time during the day, but are often early morning feeders and remain hard to find after daylight. Again, Alabama rigs are a key lure to entice strikes as these predator fish are feeding on shad. C-10 Redfins in rainbow trout colors can bring heart-stopping strikes from fish that often weigh well over 20 pounds. Freshwater drum are still present below the dam and are being caught on nightcrawlers or crawfish combined with a Carolina rig. Strong rods and lines are recommended as these fish are ferocious fighters and capable of snapping rods and dragging fishing equipment to the bottom of the lake. Overall, a summer pattern has set in on Lake Catherine, as few species of fish are available to catch below Carpenter Dam. The summer heat keeps many anglers off the lake and forces the area gamefish into short and irregular feeding times. Anyone navigating the tailrace must always wear a life jacket and be aware of the generation schedules.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.60 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.

East Arkansas

(updated 7-6-2016) Ranger Natalie Carter at ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said crappie are off their beds and hitting live bait; they are partial to crickets. Bream have been reported to be on their beds in previous weeks, but activity has slowed down. Most activity seems to be at moderate to deep depths. No reports on bass. Few reports on catfish – nothing of size or quantity reported as of Tuesday. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center located in Marianna, off of Arkansas Highway 44, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The park is selling minnows, red worms, nightcrawlers, shad and crickets along with a wide variety of jigs and artificial baits.  

(updated 7-6-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported crappie are off their beds and responding moderately to live bait, including crickets. Moderate bream activity, especially back in coves. No reports on bass. Moderate catfish activity reported when fishing with nightcrawlers and stink baits. 

(updated 7-13-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported the water was mostly clear and at 17 feet, or normal level; however, a 2-foot rise was expected that could mess up the fishing. Bream were excellent and biting about 2 feet of depth on worms and crickets. Crappie were hitting well in shallow portions as well as the mid-lake area; minnows were the way to go. Bass fishing was excellent. The bay played host to a successful bass tournament with big bass caught last weekend. Bass are around the banks and the brush and are working spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing was excellent using stink bait.

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