Public Workshop for Greers Ferry Tailwater Plan, July 21
Public Workshop for Greers Ferry Tailwater Plan, July 21
July 20, 2016

Public comment workshop scheduled for Greers Ferry Tailwater Management Plan 


      HEBER SPRINGS – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Trout Management Program will host a public workshop at 6 p.m., July 21 at the Heber Springs Community Center to receive public comments and feedback on the newly developed draft of its plan to manage the Greers Ferry Tailwater. 
      This is the second public workshop to involve the public and the angling community in the future of the 30-mile long trout fishery on the Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam. The current management plan was developed in 2006, and management actions outlined in that plan were implemented in 2007. Biologists now want to determine if those strategies have worked and whether public expectations of the fishery have changed. 

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(updated 7-20-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is at normal level and the clarity is murky. Bream are biting well on worms fished around lily pads and brush at the edge of 6 to 8 feet of water. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished slowly around live cypress trees. Bass are biting well early and late in the day on frogs and Ol’ Monster worms. Catfishing is excellent on limblines and trotlines baited with goldfish. 
(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 7-20-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red is receiving several hours of daily generation on weekdays (and around one hour of generation on weekends), providing excellent wade- and drift-fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. For fly-fishing, sowbugs, midges and woolly buggers are working well. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend white bodies on gold 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 (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.  
(updated 7-20-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said fishing remains fair to good with the morning hours being the most comfortable due to the heat. The afternoon generation pattern has been starting about 2 p.m. for about five hours during the week. The weekend generation has been one unit for one to two hours late in the afternoon. The river remains clear with a small blue winged olive hatch in the afternoon and evening hours. Midge pupae, small emergers, sow bugs and micro jigs (in deeper water) seem to be the best choices.
(updated 7-20-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co. said fishing has been good. We have had great water levels, which has made fishing in the heat very productive. The hot flies have been sow bugs and pheasant tail nymphs. Pink, sassy and chartreuse Trout Magnets have been working well also.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.37 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 7-20-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 2.18 below normal pool and falling. The fishing for all species is a little slow but normal for a highland reservoir for this time of year. Early and late are the best time to fish with some night catches being good also. Most black basses are deep, with a few staying shallow out on the drops in bends of creeks and rivers on the side of points and humps. Try Texas-rigged worms, Alabama rigs, football head jigs and swim baits. There has been some schooling going on at various places in the lake. Crappie are suspended around any wood structure all over the lake, ranging from 15- 30 feet deep. Jigs, Roadrunners and minnows have all been good. The catfish bite is good this time of year on jugs and trotlines baited with a variety of baits on flats next to deep water. The walleye bite is on and off with each day being a little different. Try dragging nightcrawlers  or crankbaits in 18 to 30 feet of water on small chunk rock banks. Bream fishing is good around beds with crickets all over the lake in 18 to 27 feet of water. The hybrid and white bass fishing is a little different each day as well, some are schooling on various parts of the lake , most are settled on some deeper structure for the most part, with spoons, in-line spinners, swim baits and topwater baits working.
(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 7-20-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is low and clear. The surface temperature is 87 degrees in the mornings. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are slow. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on worms and chicken livers. 
(updated 7-20-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland BBQ Chicken, Cajun Cricket, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and Penny Back Shad-colored 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs. The night bite has picked up for crappie. Catfish are biting on minnows, worms and shad. Bass are biting on buzzbaits, soft-plastic worms and minnows. Topwater lures have also been good. White bass are biting Bobby Garland Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs, Cajun Spins and Johnson Silver Minnows. Bream are  biting well on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper jigs.


(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 7-20-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said the water is clear and the temperatures are extremely hot. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets if you can find the deeper beds. Crappie are fair. Bass are biting well on crankbaits. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and nightcrawlers with fish from 5 to 10 pounds being caught. White bass are schooling up again, so look for surface activity. 
(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 7-20-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fairly well on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and no. 12 minnows. Bream fishing has been fair with crickets and redworms. Bass have been slow with reports of only a few being caught on minnows or plastic worms and lizards. Crappie fishing has been slow.


(updated 7-20-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the river is low and fishing has been slow. Catfish have been biting fairly well at night on minnows, black salties and nightcrawlers. Bass fishing has been fair as well on minnows, small plastic lizards and worms, and on small spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Crappie fishing is slow with reports of just a few biting pink minnows. Bream will bite a cricket or redworm almost anytime on the river. Gar fishing is fun when it’s hot and the river is low. Sight fishing with live minnows works well for gar. You'll need good, strong line and a sharp hook. Have fun and stay safe, no matter where you fish or what you fish for.


(updated 7-20-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream have been biting pretty well on crickets and redworms. Catfish are biting fairly well on minnows, nightcrawlers and black salties. Bass fishing has been fair early in the morning and at night with Texas- and Carolina-rigged plastics. No reports of crappie being caught recently.


(updated 7-20-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing has been good with crickets and redworms. Catfish have been biting fairly well on nightcrawlers, minnows and chicken livers. Bass have been slow to bite with the best bite coming early in the mornings and not lasting long. Crappie fishing has slowed, but a few have been caught recently on no. 12 minnows.


(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 7-20-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows in 4 to 5 feet of water in the mornings. Bass are excellent early and late in the day on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing has been excellent on minnows and chicken liver.
(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 7-20-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said bream are biting well on worms and crickets in backwater areas. Crappie are fair on jigs tipped with minnows. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and black/blue or green pumpkin/red soft-plastic lizards fished around jetties. Catfishing is fair on cut bait below the dam.
(updated 7-20-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reported the water is clear and low. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Crappie are biting well on the backside of the jetties on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on topwater lures and crankbaits around jetties. Catfishing is good on worms and chicken liver fished by the dam.
(updated 7-20-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting fairly well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on chicken livers, blood bait and nightcrawlers.
(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 7-20-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is clear and low, with stumps beginning to show at the surface. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are slow on jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on 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 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is excellent on nightcrawlers, chicken liver, chicken hearts and stink bait. 


(updated 7-20-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream have been biting worms and crickets. Catfish are biting fairly well on nightcrawlers, chicken livers and bait shrimp. Bass have been slow to bite, but some are hitting minnows and some artificial baits early in the morning. No recent reports of crappie being caught.


(updated 7-20-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures early and late in the day. Catfishing is good on worms and blood bait. White bass are fair. 
(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. 




North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.78 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 7-20-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported the water has been very clear in the mornings, but clouding up as the day goes on, once they crank up the generators. AS many as eight generators are running in the afternoons. Brown trout have been very slow, but a few have been caught on jigs and stick baits. An occasional brown has been caught on shrimp by anchored anglers as well. Rainbow trout are biting well on White River rigs baited with Berkley PowerBait or worms. The clearer water of the mornings has been tough, but fish have been active once the current begins. 
(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 7-20-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said rain events have combined for about an inch and a half in the past week, to go along with hot temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.1 feet to rest at 0.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 33.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.7 feet to rest at 0.6 feet below seasonal power pool and 14.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.2 feet to rest at 2 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.6 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had less generation this week with more wade-able water. On the White, the bite has been erratic. Some days it fished well others not so good. The hot flies continue to be olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a pink San Juan worm with a ruby midge size 18 suspended below it). 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 7-20-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said stripers have finally started their summer feeding pattern. He is seeing larger schools of stripers and hybrids each day. The beginning of the week he saw only five or six stripers at one time, now he’s seeing large schools of stripers feeding in water 70 to 130 feet deep. Look for them in 35 to 40 feet of water on a flat before light. You can usually catch two or three of them. As it begins to get daylight, follow the fish out to deeper water. Check out Dam Cove and behind Koso Point. The lake has now dropped low enough to allow work on the dam gate. We should see this level of 553 for the next several weeks. Do not take sharp turns on points, and if you’re not familiar with the creeks, do not go far up them. There are a lot of trees that are now above or just under the surface. 
(updated 7-20-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork is finally in its summer fishing pattern. Fish are starting to school, feeding in relatively shallow water before sunrise and then going out to deep water after the sun comes up. As summer progresses, stripers will continue moving out to deeper water and you will find them early 50 to 80 feet down on the bottom. As the sun comes up, they will stay at this depth, but will be suspended in the old deep river channels. The striper and hybrid bite has been good most days. He is finding these fish in 35 to 45 feet of water feeding on the bottom before sunrise off of main long shallow points. As the day progresses they tend to keep moving to deeper water, but stay at about the same depth. Live bait is working very well, but jigging with a spoon is starting to produce some nice stripers. Trollers also are having success as long as they can get their baits down to the proper depth. Crappie fishing is also in the warm water stage. They are harder to find, but when you do, you can catch some nice fish. Look part way back in creeks close to brush in 35 feet of water. The crappie will be 20 to 35 feet down. Jigs and live bait are both working well. Catfish are also biting very well some days. You will find them in the same locations as the stripers, as they are also following the shad. When you hook one they typically will not run like a striper, but instead are very difficult to get off the bottom as they keep digging straight down. Largemouth and spotted bass can be found along bluff lines in 20 to 35 feet of water. Look for ledges and good chunk rock points. Work jigs or your favorite plastic bait along the bottom. The after dark bite in the evening is producing some very nice fish. 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 7-20-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is 552.8 and the water temperature is in the mid- to upper 80s. Stripers are suspended around 35 feet deep early in the morning. As the sun gets higher, they may move as deep as 60 feet down in 100-foot and deeper areas. Look along channel swings on bluff ends and in the deeper coves and on some of the deep flats. Black bass are hitting topwater lures early. Once the morning bite has died, switch to a jig, Texas-rigged worm or drop-shot rig with a small minnow-style lure or 4-inch finesse worm in 15 feet of water. The bass will move as deep as 30 feet during the hottest part of the day. Look for some white bass hanging in coves. Key in on the ditches that run through the coves close to any flats. 
(updated 7-20-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake fell 1.2 feet to rest at 3 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 27.2 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had little wade-able water. 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 7-20-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. My 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 7-20-2016) 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 1,119.33 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 7-20-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported that the water clarity was good on the surface temperature is in the 80s. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are biting fairly well on crankbaits trolled near brush piles and on minnows and jigs trolled from the front of the boat in the same areas. Bass are biting well on topwater lures early and late in the day and on deep-diving crankbaits and drop-shot rigs during the day. Catfishing is good on juglines and trotlines baited with stinkbait and other prepared catfish lures. 
(updated 7-20-2016) 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 7-20-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the weather and generation have been perfect for morning fishing. Trout are plentiful and being caught in good numbers on light terminal tackle with various PowerBaits. Also, tossing a ¼-oz. spoon has produced great numbers as well. There are still a few lingering walleye to be caught as well. Most are juvenile males, but some reach or exceed the size limit. Try fishing with various crankbaits, nightcrawlers and jigs. Spotted bass and smallmouths are really hot right now toward Beavertown. Rapalas and various soft plastics fished around structure seem to be the ticket.  
(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 7-20-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported the water was high and murky. Surface water temperature is 83 degrees. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on chartreuse jigs. Bass are biting well on soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is good on minnows, worms and stinkbait.  


(updated 7-20-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the water is clear and at normal levels. The surface water temperature is 93 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair, but it’s been too hot for most anglers. Bass are biting well on topwater lures early in the morning. Catfishing is good on shad and chicken livers. 



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 7-20-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said bream are biting well on crickets. Minnows are a good bait for crappie and bass lately. Catfish are biting well on goldfish. 


(updated 7-20-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is very clear and the surface temperature is 93 to 94 degrees during the heat of the day. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Bass are fair on topwater lures fished in the mornings and evenings and on deep-diving crankbaits fished around deeper docks during the day. Catfishing is excellent on nightcrawlers and chicken livers.  


(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 7-20-2016) 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 North Fork 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 7-20-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and at normal level, about 8 feet. Bream are fair on crickets. Bass are fair on black/red and white/chartreuse spinnerbaits and buzzbaits and on black/red soft-plastic worms from Batesville to Calico Rock.



Southeast Arkansas

(updated 7-20-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said surface water temperatures on the main channel are in the upper 80s with backwaters and Lake Langhofer at and just above 90 degrees. The river is flowing just enough to position fish without giving boaters trying to fish the main channel much trouble. Black bass are slow on the calm clear days. The best bet is to fish very early in the morning or very late in the evening, or when a weather disturbance moves through that brings some clouds and wind. There was an excellent shad spawn this year, so try smaller crankbaits and spinnerbaits with smaller blades in the morning and evening. Switch to finesse worms worked slowly through brush the rest of the day.


(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 258.38 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 7-20-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said as of Monday, the lake level is 2.5 inches below normal conservation pool and falling.  There is slow current in Little River with gate discharge at 640 CFS. The lake level is in process of a 30-day, 2 foot drawdown for bank stabilization near Cottonshed Park. Surface temperatures range from 82 to 90 degrees, depending on location. Water clarity has improved to 10 to 15 inches of visibility. Cottonshed and the northeast section of the lake remains heavily stained. Little River's visibility ranges 12-15 inches depending on location and current. Bass are biting well on topwater lures early and late in the day around lily pad stands, cypress trees and vegetation on the flats near any drop-offs. Buzzbaits, Arborghast Jitterbugs in frog colors, Pop-R's in bone colors and Baby Torpedoes in frog and shad patterns are working best. Soft-plastic Bass Assassin Shads in salt-and-pepper silver phantom, Houdini and gold pepper shiner also are drawing good responses, early and later in the day by deadsticking them near pads in the clearest water you can find. 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. Bulky 10-inch worms and  Bomber Fat Free Shads in Tennessee shad, citrus shad, and citruse colors are working well along the old river channel swings. 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. White bass 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 fished 9 to 15 feet deep.  The Crappie bite continued improving over the past week. The crappie were biting over planted brush piles on tubes and jigs fished 12 to 16 feet deep; the best colors were white, chartreuse, and blue combinations. Blue catfish and channel cats continue biting well in the current in Little River over the past week on trotlines set 8 to 10 feet deep in creek mouths and outer bends of the river. The 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 544.94 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 403.36 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 7-20-2016) Local angler George Graves said the surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is slow with very few reports, mainly due to extreme heat and the lack of anglers. The best bet now is early in the morning and night fishing. A few nice fish reported coming late at night on 11-inch Texas rigged worms and spinnerbaits. Both lures work best in dark colors. Fish main lake points at mid lake. In the morning look for surface activity and throw topwater lures such as Zara Spooks, Pop R's, Sammy's, Flukes and 4-inch swim baits.  Make sure to hit the "break" as close as possible because the fish will not stay around very long.  Try the big coves on south side between the dam and Point 4. No report on crappie. Hybrid fishing is slow with the fish suspended deep and very little schooling activity.  Look for fish at 40 to 50 feet deep at the mouth of the big coves between points 2 and 6 on the south side. Be on the water before sunup, because that is about the only time they feed. Catfish are biting pretty well at night on trotlines. Set the lines on points at midlake in the vicinity of Point 10 and the major creeks such as Brushy and Big Hill. Live bait such as small bream, big minnows and goldfish are working best.
(updated 7-20-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com said last week the lake level was just below 404 msl and slowly falling due to generation. Bass are fair to good at night on deeper brush piles. Bluegill are scattered, but some are still being caught off deep points. Redear action is fair on redworms. The early morning hybrid schooling action has slowed down tremendously. There are some schooling fish around Shouse Ford, but they appear to be small. The crappie bite is almost over for summer in the brush piles. Night fishing may be the best bet soon. No report on walleye. Catfishing is also slowing with the heat.



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 7-20-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported the water is low from the drawdown. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on jigs and minnows. Bass are biting well on topwater lures, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing has been good on worms and chicken livers. White bass are slow. 
(updated 7-20-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported crappie biting in creeks on BBQ Chicken, Cajun Cricket, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and Penny Back-co9lored Baby Shad, Slab Slay’rs and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs and minnows. The best bite has been at night. Catfish are hitting yo-yo’s baited with minnows, worms and shad. Bream are biting on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper jigs. Bass are biting best on buzzbaits and other topwater lures. 
(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 7-20-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the surface water temperature is 87 degrees,warming to 91 by midday. Water clarity is good in the river with some dingy areas in backwaters and creeks. Bass fishing has been very good on drops ledges, shell beds, jetties and creek channels. Look for brush in these areas to improve your odds. Football jigs and Bamboozie craws are working well, as are large Texas-rigged worms and crankbaits. Frogs fished in the lily pads early and late in the day will draw some exciting strikes as well. White bass, yellow perch, and hybrids are schooling in the main river and at the mouths of creeks. The best lures have been inline spinners , tailspinners, small Rat-L-Traps and small white or sexy shad-colored crankbaits. A few stripers have been mixed in with the whites, but the best striper bite has been on dikes and and gravel bars in the main river on chatterbaits with a Scam Shad trailer. Bream have been excellent on crickets and worms upriver on jetties with grass. Catfish have been good on worms, stink bait, whole shad and catalpa worms. Flatheads have been very good on live sunfish fished along the jetties. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.72 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
​(updated 7-20-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is 86 to 90 degrees. Black bass are still biting fairly well on Texas-rigged worms, Pop R’s and buzzbaits. The best locations for the Texas-rigged worm are around brush on secondary points and main lake points. Spotted bass are biting very well in these areas on drop-shot rigged finesse worms as well. Walleye are excellent on jigging spoons and shallow-running crankbaits trolled around main lake points. Stripers are fair on live bait in the central and east areas of the lake. Bream are biting well on crickets, redworms and maggots fished 12 to 25 feet deep. Crappie are still fair on crappie jigs and minnows fished 20 to 30 feet deep near brush. Catifhsing has been good on live bait and cut bait fished 15 to 20 feet deep


(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 7-20-2016) 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 from noon until 8 p.m. each day. This schedule can change at any time especially if our area is subject to heavy rainfall. Rainbow trout fishing remains very slow. Most trout have been caught or have moved out of the dam area. 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 jerk baits have all taken fish in the last week, primarily during times of generation. 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. 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 game fish 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 386.34 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 7-20-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported the water is hot and the bay is on a very slow fall. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and soft plastics. Catfishing is good on Sonny’s stink bait.



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.
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