Free Fishing Weekend
Free Fishing Weekend
June 8, 2016
Anglers of all ages can enjoy a great weekend of free fishing.
Free Fishing and Fun This Weekend
Some great things in life indeed are free, and one is the annual Free Fishing Weekend sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Anglers of any age can fish without a license from noon Friday until midnight Sunday anywhere in the state. For a near sure-thing and a great experience for kids, the AGFC recommends visiting one of the AGFC's five fish hatcheries Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each hatchery puts on a fishing derby for children 12 and under; each child must be supervised by an adults. The kids can catch and keep up to three catfish (or three trout at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery). Plus, there are contests for prizes. Click on the button below or call (501) 676-9506 for information on the fishing derbies and other places to fish around the state.
Where to Fish for Free
Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
(updated 6-8-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and the surface temperature has ranged from 70 to 80 degrees. Water level is normal, and the fishing overall has been good all week. Bream fishing is excellent. Fish are found in 6-8 feet off the banks and are hitting worms and crickets. Catfishing is excellent as well in the 6-8 feet range, with large minnows and goldfish working off trotlines and limb lines. Bass are biting, rating good on crankbaits and soft plastic worms and lizards around the lily pads. Crappie fishing has slowed some to fair, working about 6-8 feet deep around the cypress trees and the Highway 89 bridge. Minnows and jigs are working best for crappie.
(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported water level was normal, and the catfishing has been excellent. Use minnows, goldfish and shad. Crappie fishing was fair the past week in minnows and jigs. No reports came in on bream or bass.


(updated 6-8-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said they are seeing several hours of daily generation from the dam. This generation pattern is still providing wade and drift fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. For fly fishing, Myers suggest sowbugs, midges, Woolly Buggers  and micro-jigs. For Trout Magnet fishing, red and hot pink-colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads are working well. Always check before heading to the Little Red 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 
(updated 6-8-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the river is clear again after the rain last weekend. The lake level is 462.74 and generation has been increased to 12 hours per day starting mid-morning to about 10 p.m. each day this week. We are starting to see the summertime pattern of peak demand for power in the afternoon hours. The bite has been spotty with fish biting in the morning and then again in the early afternoon if you are able to stay ahead of the generation. Small midge pupas, mayfly nymphs and sowbugs seem to be the best choices of flies. Numbers have been down but the average size seems better. Generation may change this weekend since this is the Free Fishing Weekend and the kid’s derby.  Check the USACE app for the proposed generation schedules.
(updated 5-25-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) reported that fishing has improved over the last week. The water levels have been low with one unit of water being released each day for at least one hour. The hot flies have been midges, sowbugs, and pheasant tail nymphs. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.75 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 6-8-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said said the water level is 462.75 feet msl, or 0.21 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet for the June 1-Sept. 30 period. All three species of the black basses are still not set up in their summertime mode yet as the water has still been a little cool and a lot are in between and some have gone back shallow to chase bream and shad. Spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and pitching baits as well as topwaters are working good for the shallow fish. Jigs, jighead worms and topwaters are working on the in-between fish, and C-rigs and Texas rigs are working for the deeper fish. The best summer ledge and brush pile bite is when the water will reach 80 degrees. The crappie are suspended shallower than normal in 5-12 feet of water as the cooler weather has played a part as well, but they are still around pole timber, brush piles and docks. The walleye bite should be OK dragging crawlers around in 12-18 down to 20 feet of water. On high sunny days use a crankbait as they will be suspended, you just have to hunt them. The catfish bite has slowed for some reason, but try cut bait and live bait on jugs and lines or even rod and reels at night in 12-30 feet of water. Bream will be spawning again on this moon coming up, and some are still guarding fry and can be caught on crickets, crawlers, small crankbaits and in-line spinners from real shallow out to 18 feet of water. The hybrid and white bass are feeding well all over the lake chasing shad early and late and during generation periods. Try topwater baits, spoons, in-line spinners, hair jigs and live bait for the best action. The nighttime bite will pick up with some warmer weather.
(updated 5-25-2016) Cody Smith of Fish Greers Ferry guide service reports that the lake is starting to slowly settle into its summer pattern. Rising water over the past few weeks sent the first wave of offshore fish back to the bank; over the last week they have pushed back out and are setting up nicely on brush piles and Corps habitat. Surface temperatures are in the low 70s lake-wide with good water color and clarity. Shallow fish are highly pressured and seem to be scattered at best in shoreline cover. The walleye bite is good right now with a limit to a couple limits showing up with regularity. Fourteen to 22 feet around staging bluegills has been his best pattern. White bass and some hybrids are sporadically surfacing throughout the morning and evenings. The lack of baitfish in the reservoir is resulting in very little surface activity as there is not enough shad to push and corral.


(updated 6-8-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said bream were biting every time a line was cast, the fishing was so good the past week. Lake clarity was clear and the level was normal, with a temperature ranging 76-78 degrees. Bream were biting excellently for everyone using crickets and fishing around the dock. There were no reports on anything else caught.
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said that crappie were biting and moving to the banks and in the creek biting on BBQ Chicken and Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and on Penny Back Shad, and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Crappie is biting at nighttime, too. Catfish are biting good on minnows, worms and shad. Bass are biting on buzzbaits, worms and minnows as well as topwater baits. White bass are hitting baby shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, Cajun Spin and silver minnows. Bream are biting great on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.


No report.
(updated 6-8-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said the water was murky and at a normal level, with temperature ranging 70-76 degrees on the surface. Crappie fishing stood out, rating good on minnows and jigs. Bream fishing was fair using worms and crickets. Spinnerbait got the best action in a light week of bass fishing. Foster’s has non-ethanol gasoline for sale, with bait and other supplies available. 
(updated 6-8-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported black bass fishing was good. Black bass are biting on Wacky Rig worms, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and just about everything else. They can be caught in 8-12 feet  of water. The temperature is about 80 degrees on the banks. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. The winning duo in Tuesday’s black bass tournament hauled in 8.42 pounds of fish, and even the fourth-place pair caught 6.8 pounds total. Biggest bass caught weighed 3.22 pounds. Kentucky bass fishing is good and they are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water. They are mixed in with the blacks. White bass fishing is good. Use deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. They’re all over the lake and are being caught in the main lake on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. They are mixed in with the crappie, which are also biting well. Crappie are being caught on minnows and jigs and are 15 feet deep. Try the edges of the channels. Bream fishing is excellent and the fish can be found 13 feet on the bottom using crickets or live worms. Catfishing is excellent. Cats are being caught in 15-20 feet depth on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. One catfish weighed in at 48 pounds this week; 30 is very common.
(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported water level at normal, leading to a big week of bream catches and catfishing. Minnows, shad, nightcrawlers and goldfish were pulling in catfish. Bream fishing was excellent on redworms and crickets around the main lake and points. Crappie fishing was fair in about 10-12 feet depth using pink minnows.    
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on Bobby Garland Baby Shad and minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting on Cajun Spin and silver minnow. Bass are biting on buzzbaits and topwater baits


(updated 6-8-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop said catfish have been biting fair on nightcrawlers, chicken livers and stink baits. Bream fishing has been fun with crickets and redworms. Crappie fishing has been slow with reports of only a few small ones being caught on pink minnows. Bass fishing has been fair for some using live minnows and small plastic worms or lizards. Remember, all bass must be released immediately, catfish daily limit is 3 and bream daily limit is 25 per person at Sunset Lake. 


(updated 6-8-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop said customers report catching catfish and bass on live crawfish and minnows. Bass are also biting 4-inch green pumpkin and watermelon red Zoom lizards and small crawdad crankbaits. Crappie are scattered but a few have been found around brush and logs and caught on size 6 minnows. Bream will almost always provide some fun fishing on the river with light line and tackle. Redworms and crickets are the baits to use. Take a kid and a camera, have fun and most importantly, be safe where ever you go fishing.Lisa's Bait Shop 


(updated 6-8-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop said bream are biting crickets and redworms fished in deep water on tight lines. Catfish are biting well for some customers using bait shrimp, nightcrawlers and No. 12 minnows. Bass fishing has been fair early in the morning and at night. Plastic worms and lizards in green pumpkin, watermelon seed and black are good baits. Some have hit topwater baits early in the mornings. No recent reports of crappie being caught on the lake. 


(updated 6-8-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop said catfish are eating up some Sonny's Super Sticky dip bait for several customers. The Sonny's with blood was working well when the water was cold but the regular seems to be the hot bait since it's warmed up a bit. Others are doing well with nightcrawlers. Bream are biting crickets and redworms fished on tight, light lines. Bass fishing is good for customers using minnows, plastic worms and lizards or topwater baits early in the morning. Crappie are biting fair on No. 6 and No. 12 minnows fished around deep brush and other structure. Tennessee Shad, Cajun Cricket and Popsicle are the jig colors for crappie right now.


(updated 6-1-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley said the water color is still pretty muddy on the main river and surface temperature is around 73-75 degrees. Bass fishing is decent with many fish being caught on typical current breaks. The topwater bite is getting better as the water warms. Try loud baits like a Crock-O-Gator Head Knocker buzzbait or a Whopper Plopper. Catfishing was a little slower this week. Kelley suspects that the majority are close to spawning, making them a little more scattered and tougher to catch. Most cats were caught on cut bait in 10-20 feet of water in the last deep water before the spawning area. Bream are still good and can be caught in numbers with crickets and small grubs. 


(updated 6-8-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water was clear and level was normal, with a surface temperature of 78 degrees, all resulting in a good to great week of fishing. Catfishing was excellent, hitting minnows on trotlines. Bass were working about 2-3 feet below the surface on spinnerbaits and rated good. Crappie is about at 3½-4 feet depth around timber. Minnows were working best, and the fishing was good. Bream fishing was good on worms and crickets. Only a few white bass were reported.
(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported water level at normal. Bream fishing was good on redworms and crickets. Crappie fishing was fair on jigs and pink minnows. No others were reported.


(updated 6-8-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water was murky and the level was high the past week in Clear Lake. Bream fishing was good on worms and crickets in the slack water as well as in the river. Crappie fishing remained good all-around using minnows and jigs. Bass were good all around, picking up nicely over the past week with spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms working well. Catfishing fell off to poor. Closer to Terry Dam, the catfishing was good on chicken liver. 
(updated 6-8-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said conditions were muddy with high water, and the surface temperature early this week was 72 degrees. High muddy water meant no fishing for anything but a few crappie, which were working fair on jigs.
(updated 6-8-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water was dingy on the eastern end of the pool with mid-70s surface temperatures in the low pools, and running mid-70s to low 80s elsewhere. Water level was normal. Bream were working deep in redworms and crickets near the Interstate 430-Bridge. Crappie were good in 8-10 feet around the jetties, using minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was fair, with spinnerbaits and crankbaits working best. Catfishing rated excellent on cut shad and skipjack.


(updated 6-8-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water level was normal and the water was dingy. No temperature was reported. Bream fishing was good on worms and crickets. Bass rated fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing remained good on worms. Crappie have moved deep and the haul was poor. 


(updated 5-25-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bream fishing was fair using worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was mostly poor, as was bass. Catfish were biting skipjacks and the fishing was fair.


(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent on the north side of the lake. Shrimp and chicken parts were working best. Water level is normal.


(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported the water level as normal, with fair to excellent fishing. Bream are working fair around piers on crickets. Crappie are fair in the channels, with minnows working best. Catfishing is excellent at night. Try nightcrawlers and minnows.


(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported catfishing as excellent. Liver, stink bait and nightcrawlers are all working well. Water level is normal.


(updated 6-8-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop said bream fishing has been good with crickets and red worms. Catfish have been biting fair on chicken livers, shrimp and night crawlers. Bass have been hitting live minnows, small plastic worms and lizards and some small spinner baits. Crappie have been stubborn.


(updated 6-8-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported water level at normal. Bream were biting on redworms and crickets and the fishing was good. Crappie fishing was fair on pink minnows. No other reports surfaced.
(updated 6-8-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water was dingy on the eastern end of the pool with mid-70s to low 80s. Water level was normal. Bream are bedding in the back waters, and the fishing was excellent. Use worms or crickets. Crappie fishing is good with minnows and on crankbait. Bass is also bedding in the back waters and the fishing was excellent, particularly on white spinnerbaits, jigs and frogs. White bass are working fair, with frogs and jigs the best bait.


(updated 6-8-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501 -889-2011) said catfish  are biting  on minnows and worms. Bream are biting  great on crickets and worms and Rock Hoppers. Bass are biting  on buzzbaits and topwater baits.



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 663.41 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said the lake is on a steady rise with the recent rains but is still mostly free of debris. Will continue to rise until the elevation reaches 662.00 ft msl. This is now the new power pool set by the Corps. (Pool was raised to 659.00 from 654.00 to accommodate the new Minimum Flow Act set by Congress. That has now been changed for a summer seasonal pool, adding 3 more feet.) Neadless to say, the boat launch at the end of K Highway will have limited access. Lower road access was lost when we hit 660.00. But, the fishing is great! Bass and walleye are the hot species right now. Water temperature is 74 degrees and the water is stained. Black bass are good on topwater Spooks, buzzbaits and other plugs. Also good on Ned Rigs, 1/2-ounce jigs and small to medium plastics. Crappie are biting fair on live minnows; it's hot and cold from day to day. There aresStill reports of Crappie in 8 to 10 feet, but have had some hitting around trees in 15 to 20 feet. Swimming minnow color has been pear and glitter. Walleye fishing is good dragging nightcrawlers on the flats, about 15-20 feet. Also hitting on medium-size crankbaits.
(updated 5-18-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said tthe fishing continues to be very good. The same patterns are working for bass plus the addition of all topwater patterns. Most of the spawning is done for bass. The majority are done and moving into post spawn patterns. There might be a few spawners lift but shouldn't be many. The walleye are moving down some with the surface temperature warming up into the low 70s. The reports on the walleye show them in the 15-20-foot range. Still seeing some white bass and crappie caught on the same patterns. We are seeing lots and lots of hand-size bluegills being caught, probably the product of the high water years we have had lately. The lake is holding around the normal level give or take a few feet. The water temp is low 70's on the surface. Seems to be a thermocline forming around the 15-18 foot level. Visibility is good with it being exceptional past 50 foot. For bass, crankbaits, swimming minnow plastics, spinnerbaits, jigs, french fry worms, Carolina-rigged plastics, stickbaits and topwater. Yes, that's right! Just about anything you want to throw. For walleye, trolling deep diving baits is working in 15-20 feet of water, bottom bouncing with nightcrawlers, slow retrieval of a spoon, slow retrieval of a split shot and nightcrawler. White bass are hitting trolling crankbaits, casting swimbaits, casting small jigs, night fishing with lights. We are seeing lots of crappie being caught. The main pattern being reported is swimming an 1/8-ounce to 1/64 jig just off the bottom along the shoreline. They were spawning so they were not grouped up. You might have to fish a lot of shoreline to catch a bunch.


(updated 6-8-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said very shallow water early this week, and the water was clear. There was some rainbow action, however. It rated good. Brown trout rated fair. Two generators are running of late.
(updated 6-8-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said the shore anglers have been finding some luck with garlic-scented yellow and pink power eggs. Fishing with guides and from boats, the anglers have been using a lot of artificial, mostly the ginger and ginger/olive White River Zig Jigs but also the old favorite Thomas Buoyant spoons, both red/gold and blue/silver. Trout have been snapping at the gold 3/16-ounce Blue Fox. It's warming up out there, lots of sunshine, so don't forget the sun screen. Don't mix your sunscreen and bait/tackle. Trout don't like sunscreen. 
(updated 6-8-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) ) said rain last week dropped three quarters of an inch on Cotter, accompanied by warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 0.6 of a foot to rest at 0.1 feet below seasonal power pool of 662 feet. This is 33.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose a foot to rest at 0.1 of a foot above seasonal power pool and 13.9 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.7 of a foot to rest at 0.2 feet below seasonal power pool and 8.8 feet below the top of flood pool. They saw little generation last week with wade-able water most days. All of the lakes on the White River system are currently at or below seasonable power pool and anglers should encounter lower levels of generation on the tailwaters with limited wade-able water. The bite has been erratic with had a lot of low wade-able water that has fished well. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead 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 (current favorite is a pink San Juan worm with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. The sulphur hatch provides some of our best dry fly fishing of the year. This is a big mayfly, about a 14. Before the hatch he fishes pheasant tails. When he sees topwater activity but no insects, I fish with a partridge and orange. When I see trout taking adults from the top, I switch over to a sulphur parachute. The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy 24-30-foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier). You will need an 8- or 9-weight rod.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 556.27 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).(updated 6-8-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the stripers on Norfork Lake are confusing him: The topwater bite should be over yet he’s seen stripers feeding heavily in and around the Hand Cove area at first light. The water temperature is now in the high 70s and will be in the 80s by week's end. The thermocline is at 30 feet, which usually keeps the stripers deeper since the oxygen is poor above that. The other confusing thing that the stripers are doing is ignoring the small and mid-size shad and hitting the biggest shad he can put on the line. They will hit the smaller baits set on down lines but are more likely to hit a bait on a split-shot free line 20 yards behind the boat. Reynolds has caught five stripers over 17 pounds this week with the biggest at 25 pounds. They were able to release all of them except the 25-pound striper. He’s also hooked eight more that they lost. All these fish were hooked using 10-inch-plus shad. All of the stripers he’s catching are in the river channels, still catching them with weighted floats and down lines set at 30 feet. The stripers continue to feed on shad and crawdads. A client called late on Tuesday wanting to know if they could go fishing last Wednesday. Tom had bait so they set the time for 4:45 a.m. There was fog on the water that slowed the trip a little as they motored their way to the Big Creek area. His clients only wanted to catch a big fish and were not really interested in keeping any. They did catch one early that had to be kept since it would not have made it if released. A second fish hooked turned out to be 25 pounds; Larry, the client, wanted to release it but the fight took too much out of the fish. So Larry decided to have it mounted. He wanted a 40-pound-plus fish, but this fish was a perfect size in body and weight. They caught one more that was 20 pounds that could be released, so it turned out to be a big fish day. Right now, Reynolds said, if a person wants a wall mount they should be booking a trip with a guide using live shad.
(updated 6-8-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said  the lake level was 555.4 with the water temperature in the mid-70s. There are a few things floating in the lake with the rain from this past week, so keep an eye out. Bass are coming up early; mainly look for them on points. They are also hitting jigs, worms and a drop shot with a small worm. Look for stripers and hybrids suspended in 30-40 feet in deep water or they can be hugging the bottom 30-40 feet. Whites can be in the schools too. Get your bait down to where you mark the fish. I just drop a jigging spoon and when they are in a feeding mood they will hit the spoon on the way down. They usually hit it when it’s dropping back down.
(updated 6-1-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said fishing continues to be good and the fish are starting to transition to their early summer pattern. Basically, he says, the fish are starting to go deeper as the water warms. Stripers are being found 20-40 feet down in 50-100-plus feet of water. At this time they seem to be relating to the sides of the main channel on the main lake, especially in places where the channel swings in close to the shoreline. If things are typical this year, you will find them on the deep flats early in the mornings, then in the deep channels late morning and during the day. The stripers are feeding on shad and crawdads, so there should be a good bite before daylight. The hybrids and white bass are being found at all depths, including good topwater action for both. The problem is that they are traveling all over the place and may come up along the shoreline or out in the middle of the lake. When you are traveling, keep a close eye out for whitewater as it could happen anywhere at any time. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing have also been good. Early in the morning they are still coming up for topwater baits, and as the day wears on, jigs and swimbaits are the way to go. The after-dark bite has also been good. The best spots to find these fish are on shallow points with buckbrush. The deeper fish are out in 15-25 feet of water on the bottom. Rocky points are a great place to start fishing for bass. Walleyes are continuing to bite and can be found in the same locations as the largemouth bass. Again, early in the morning they are up shallow feeding, then as the sun comes up they move out to 15-25 feet of water on the bottom. Vertical jigs and crawler harnesses are picking up some nice fish. The current lake level is holding fairly steady with one generator running continuously. The surface water temperature is warming and is in the mid 70s. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are once again starting to clear. All in all, the lake is in great condition for fishing and for the summertime vacation lake lovers.
(updated 6-1-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the lake rose 0.2 feet to rest at 2.7 feet below seasonal power pool of 556.75 feet and 26 feet below the top of flood pool. There was no wade-able water, but the tailwater has cleared somewhat and 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 eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. John Berry's favorite fly has been the green butt. Dry Run Creek will be very busy, with summer vacation in full swing. It is cleared some 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 size 10). 
The Arkansas White River Chapter of Trout Unlimited No. 698 it is holding its “Generations Camp” June 18-19 at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. In the past, you probably remember this as the Youth Camp, but for the past couple of years the Youth Camp has morphed into the Generations Camp. Before, the kids were dropped off and participated in the camp by themselves. Now they are accompanied by a Generations Mentor who must be over 21 years old. The Stream Explorers must be between 10-15 years old. A mentor can be a parent, brother, sister, grandparent, uncle, aunt or guardian. The mentor attends all sessions of the camp and all classes and learns along with the stream explorer. This is an incredible opportunity for the mentor and explorer to bond. The mentors and explorers will be participating in a variety of subjects that include fly-tying, fly-casting, trout fishing, trout habitat and aquatic entomology. The highlight of the camp is fishing on Dry Run Creek, which is arguably the most incredible half-mile of trout fishing in the United States and quite possibly the world. Dry Run Creek is adjacent to the Norfork National Fish Hatchery and is a catch-and-release stream that has been set aside for children under 16 and mobility-impaired adults. A mobility-impaired permit issued by the AGFC is required for adult anglers. The classes are taught by local Trout Unlimited volunteers, AGFC biologists, U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologists and other community volunteers. The goal is to develop in the mentors and explorers a sense of appreciation and respect for trout and our cold-water fisheries. The camp runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch and a shirt are provided to all participants. To participate, contact Michael or Dawn Schraeder at (870) 421-1432, write them at 1906 Rodeo Drive, Mountain Home, AR 72653, or email michaelschraeder@gmail.com. Space is limited so register now. 


(updated 6-8-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. John Berry says his favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. 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 6-8-2016) 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 1,121.27 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 6-8-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported the water clarity was stained to murky and the level was normal. The surface temperature ranged in the 70s. Several big bream were hauled in, and overall the bream fishing was good on worms and crickets. Crappie were working at night, rating good, on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good on topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing was fair around the rocks using line bait, limb lines, jug lines, noodles and trotlines. White bass and walleye are beginning to pick up.
(updated 6-1-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper activity forecast for the week is good. Stripers are making their way back out of the river/creek arms feeding on bait. There has been some nice topwater action! Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Try lightly weighted lines, free lines, balloons and planer boards in presenting your baits and it will definitely get you some fish. Expect good action using live shad fished on free lines and down lines from surface to about 20 feet deep also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs flat lines or slightly weighted lines like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in the 5-6-inch model. Jerkbaits like flukes will also produce. Water temperatures have been in the low- to mid-70s. There areas are hot spots: Near the dam, Hybrid Cove, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, Point 5. Stripers  are being taken in Cedar Creek, Ford Creek and Goat Island at Larue as well. Walleye are now back down on the main lake in numbers and on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-20 feet depth depending on areas you fish. Three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.


(updated 6-8-2016) Beaver Dam Store said fishing below the dam has been excellent. Fisherman are reporting numbers of trout being caught. The white bass and stripers are hitting really well at white bass cove. The Zara Spook in fin/pearl w/red head color is the hot ticket, along with pearl. Jerkbaits are also producing numbers of fish. Among the good lures are gold or silver Colorado spoons, red and gold bouyant spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series No. 4 and 5s, Good powerbaits are white, red, orange, yellow and chartreuse. Successful flies have been pheasant tails, midges in blue Dunn, black, olive and hare's ear. Tungsten copper Johns, WD 40s and Trout Magnets are also working. Catfish are biting on Wicked Sticky catfish bait along with Magic Bait Crawfish/chicken blood bait. Two units were generating last week, 1-6 p.m.              
(updated 5-25-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said water temperature and generation have been consistent this week, which is normal for this time of year. The white bass are still biting if you can find the traveling schools. Most have been marked between Houseman Access and Beaver. The whites have been biting on various Rapalas trolled at 6-12 feet. Bait fish are still being marked, but mostly in warmer waters downstream from Houseman. Crappie are still biting on live minnows fished under a slip bobber. Try fishing stick-ups and brush piles in 6-10 feet of water. The trout are very active biting on Rapalas, spoons and various powerbaits fished with light terminal tackle. Walleye are being caught in much deeper water in the river and up into the lakes. Trolling Flicker shads and Rapalas have been the preferred method. Smallmouth bass are being caught in coves and around stick-ups throwing various Rapalas and spoons.  



(updated 6-8-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said that despite averaging two storms a day all last week, the water level has shown only a modest lift, and the water is clear. Redear and large bluegill are the hottest game going here, with crickets the chosen bait. Fishing 3 feet under a bobber has worked well for some fishermen. Bob Wayne of West Fork reported catching 34 on Wednesday (last week) and 24 on Sunday. This happened up around Goose Island and Brush Creek. Others say tight lining on the bottom, using red worms in 8 feet of water, produces the biggest red ear, and the most consistent bites. The crappie bite is improving lake wide. Warmer nights have caused the crappie to start moving up in search of spawning areas. One man dock-fishing here this week cleaned 23, with some showing good egg development. Use a chartreuse and black jig, or small minnows, and adjust your fishing depth to find their preferred location daily. Any brush pile, or random limbs, is subject to holding crappie. Storm fronts, have the largemouth bass moving deeper at times, then later in the day, searching the shorelines, forging on crawfish and small baitfish. There has been no reports of any large bass being caught. Lucky suggests plastic worms in brown or green in the daytime, and topwater baits, early and late. His biggest bass, a 9-pounder caught several years ago, between sundown and dark, was caught on a black Jitterbug, up in the creek. Try throwing something they don't see on a regular basis; you might get the surprise of a lifetime. There has been no reports of any catfish being caught. He says to remember to abide by the "no wake" law on Lake Elmdale, and support your local bait shops, wherever you fish.


(updated 6-8-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported the water surface temperature in the mid-70s and at a normal level; no report on the clarity. Crappie fishing was good on minnows and jigs. Catfish were good on chicken liver. No reports on any bass or bream.


(updated 6-8-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the clarity as dingy, with the water high and a surface reading of 78 degrees. No crappie were reported caught. Bass fishing was good on spinnerbaits. Bream fishing was good on worms and crickets. Catfishing was good using shad and liver.



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 6-1-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said it’s still minnows and crickets in the bait shop. In just a couple of hours one day last week, two fishermen got 32 bream using crickets. The park did sell nightcrawlers and goldfish on Tuesday, so they are still bringing in the catfish.  


(updated 6-8-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water level was high and the clarity was murky. No temperature was recorded. Catfishing rated good to excellent with chicken liver, shad and shrimp as the best bait. Bass fishing was good in the early morning around the docks and in the brush using topwater lures. Crappie fishing fell off, rating poor, while bream fishing was also poor.


(updated 6-8-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels this week have been running around 500 cfs (350 cfs average) and water clarity has been poor. Plenty of rain the month of May. This week has no rain in the forecast and the river appears to be clearing quickly. Wading has been difficult. Guppies, Old Yellers and fire orange tail woollies have been hot but got to get them down deep with a sink tip. Even in the off-color water the trout will hit but it is very hard to get it down. The river will be back to normal with some clear weather. Saturdays have been busy with canoes. Thru the week and on Sunday is expected to be nice. For current updates check Marks blog on his website (click link above).
(updated 6-1-2016) John Berry in Cotter said the river is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is over and fishing is better. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10). 


(updated 6-1-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said very muddy conditions limited anglers and there was no report this week.



Southeast Arkansas

No report.


(updated 6-8-2016) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said bream are biting well on crickets. The bass are biting well on green and white frogs off of the lily pads. The catfish are biting well on bream. Crappie are lying low for now.


No report.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.63 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 6-8-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said said lake level continues fluctuating and on Monday was about 13 inches above normal conservation pool. Current exists in Little River with game discharge about 14,400 cfs Monday. Water temperature rose slightly over the past week. Navigation is considered cautious this week. Surface temperatures Monday ranged 72-81 degrees. Lake level Monday was 260.3 feet msl and slowly falling with river current. Normal pool is 259.20 feet msl. The tailwater level was also falling, at 244.41 feet msl. Clarity and visibility has worsened over the past week in much of the main lake from recent rains and thunderstorms. Visibility ranged approximately 3-6 inches. Little River's visibility is heavy stain depending on location and ranges 5-8 inches. The oxbow's clarity is improving, ranging 10-15 inches depth. Largemouth bass are more in a feeding mood since the rise in temperature over the past week. Warmer days, sun and more stable weather patterns have the bass in a feeding mood. In early morning, buzzbaits, frogs, Bass Assassin Shads and Pop-R's continue getting a fairly good reaction bite at the surface. Later morning and throughout the afternoon, chatterbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are working. Best color of War Eagle spinnerbaits has been Spot Remover, Fire Tiger and white/chartreuse; chatterbaits in black and blue are working, and big 10-inch worms in black grape, black or blue fleck, and plum have been working well. Bass Assassin Shads in black, chartreuse pepper and rainbow trout colors are catching healthy largemouths in newly sprouting lily pad stems and shoots near cypress trees in the cleanest water you can find away from the river current. Rat-L-Traps in chartreuse shiner, gold and chrome/blue colors all continue working on sunny days in creek channels deflecting off stumps and timber, around cypress trees and knees. Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits continue working in creek channel bends around 8-12 feet of depth away from current. Echo 1.75 squarebills continue working as well with improving water clarity; best colors have been the Ghost, Millwood Magic, or Gold Shad color patterns on cloudy days seem to draw best reaction. Oversized magnum 4-inch Megabass tubes and Gizits with loud, internal clacking rattles are working around stumps on flats, and in creek channels in the off-colored or stained water. Best colors have been black neon, black/blue tail, pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail and bluegill. You’ll draw good reactions in the off-colored, stained water using small, unpegged weight that knocks against the internal rattle of the tube. If you can locate clearer water in back of the oxbows, smoke/black/red flake or purple smoke seem to be the colors working better.
Schools of whites continue roaming the river and the creek mouths dumping into the river between Horseshoe Lake and Cemetery Slough. Whites were surface schooling on shad over the past several weeks, late in the morning hours, in Horseshoe. Sloughs feeding Little River, just out of the main river current, were holding some good schools of whites over the past week, feeding in lily pads on shad. These bass were hitting Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits, Rat-L-Trap Tail Spinners, Little Georges, Little Cleos and Johnson chrome or gold spoons in 2-5 feet water, or surface plugs like the Cordell Crazy Shad and Clear Baby Torpedos. Crappie have disappeared with all the muddy water and current. Catfish continue biting trotlines consistently in the river, especially with the increase in discharge and river current, using blood bait, cottonseed mill cake, chicken gizzards and hot dogs. Set them 7-12 feet deep. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.79 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) Dustin Holmes of Action Fishing Trips reports the water level is 545.67, which is 2.33 feet below normal pool. The water temp is 78 degrees at the surface. Crappie are being caught in brush piles with the top of the brush being 10-15 feet down and the brush piles setting in 15-25 feet of water. He's doing the best with live minnows and Tennessee shad crappie jigs. You can jig the brush or cast around the brush piles and do quite well. Bass are mostly being caught on points from 5-20 feet deep.The bass are being caught on a Carolina rig, a shad colored crankbait running 12-15 feet deep, and spinnerbaits. Catfish are being caught on chicken liver and worms on north end of the lake from 10-25 feet of water. Bream are being caught on crickets and worms up next to the bank by the buckbrush.
(updated 6-1-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said black and white bass are starting to school up. Rooster Tails and silver spoons are landing fish. Crappie on minnows or jigs 8-12 feet deep on brush piles. Since the water temp is entering the 70s, catfish and bream are starting to spawn.
(updated 5-25-2016) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said reported surface temperature is 78 degrees. Water is clear throughout the lake. Crappie are good on brush piles in 10-15 feet. Bass are roaming the banks and are hitting buzzbaits and topwater plugs like Chugbugs and Pop R’s.  


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.87 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 6-8-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 70s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is pretty good for surface feeding fish early in the morning. Look in the coves on the south side between points 6 and 2. Throw topwater plugs and plastics such as flukes. Also a well-placed swimbait will do the trick. Some big fish are coming on buzzbaits fished past standing timber in the coves. Another good pattern is to fish a topwater through the grass across shallow main and secondary points. Working a big Texas-rigged worm across deeper points in red shad is also accounting for some nice catches. The important thing this time of year is to be there early in the morning because by 9 a.m. it is pretty much over. The fish of the week has to be hybrids, with lots of nice catches coming from the south side, all the way from the mouth of Brushy Creek to Iron Mountain. The fish are schooling and biting on the surface early in the morning. Even dedicated bass fishermen are getting in on the action – and why not? Hybrids are big, fight well and are good eating. Try most any smaller topwater lure when the fish are "breaking," and use a heavy spoon or big in-line spinner when the fish suspend deeper. Slow trolling and watching the sonar for schools is a great way to find the fish. One of the best trolling rigs is the small 5-arm umbrella loaded with white 4-inch curly tail grubs or swimbaits. The fish will be suspended 15-20 feet down, so be sure your rig is running above the fish. Like bass, early in the morning is the best time for hybrids. Bream fishing is good with lots of fish now "bedding." Look for fish in shallow water 4-8 feet deep with some cover. Redworms or crickets under a float work best.
(updated 6-1-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said water surface temperature is 77-78 degrees in the mid-lake area. Lake level is at 406.74. There is considerable amount of grass and debris in the lake from all of the holiday activity. State Park Marina reports hybrids schooling up in Caddo Valley area. Throw Zara Spook or Devil Horse for surfacing bass. Crankbaits like the Rebel or a Rapala are good for fish below surface. Spoons can be thrown for fish below surface, also. Watch your electronics for schools to move in. Some mixed schools are showing up mid-lake. Caddo Valley Bait Shop reports bass are being caught with lizards and worms on points using Texas rigs. Catfish are still biting well in the back coves on trotlines set around 6-10 feet deep. Live bait is the bait of choice. Bream are definitely biting better in the back of coves and around brush. Crickets and worms are the best bait. Crappies are being caught over brush piles from 6-15 feet deep. Minnows are the preferred bait. Tight lining with a pink or chartreuse jighead with Tennessee shad tipped with a minnow will get the bigger bite. Due to the lake traffic and trash in the water from weekend activity the hybrids are not surfacing as well. Duncan fished Tuesday and the crappie bite was fair, but hybrids surfacing slower. 



South-Central Arkansas

(updated 5-25-2016) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said that on Lower White Oak Lake, regulations state that catfish daily limit is 5, bream daily limit is 50, and bass must be at over 16 inches. Crappie is still catch-and-release only. Bass are hitting on crankbaits, brush-hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live bait and catfish baits, and tightlining using worms and catfish baits. Bream are starting to bite well in the mornings and evenings on crickets. On Upper White Oak Lake, bass are hitting on crankbaits, brush-hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live bait, catfish baits and tightlining using worms and catfish baits. Crappie are biting on minnows and jigs. Bream are starting to bite well in the mornings and evenings on crickets. 


(updated 6-8-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bream are biting well on worms or crickets. Bass are hitting on spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Crappie and catfish are a little slow but a few are still being caught.


(updated 6-8-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bream are biting well. Crappie are being caught at night under lanterns. No reports on bass or catfish.


No report.



West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 341.05 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 6-8-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water clarity as fair and the level normal, with a surface temperature of 77 degrees earlier this week, resulting in great fishing. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie remain good on minnows and jigs. Bass are hitting crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater and rate good. Catfishing is good on worms and stink bait. White bass and hitting Rooster Tails and rate good.
(updated 6-8-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water clarity was fair and the surface temperature was in the mid-70s with a normal water level. Fishing across the board was good the past several days. Bream were good working worms and crickets. Crappie were still biting minnows and jigs. Spinnerbait, crankbait and topwater were getting good action with bass. Catfishing was good on worms.
(updated 6-1-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie is biting and moving to the banks and in creeks, biting on  BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, Penny Back Baby Whad, Slab Slay’r  and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. Live minnows are working as well, and crappie are biting at nighttime, too. Catfish are biting Yo-Yo’s with minnows and shad. Bream are biting great on crickets, worms and Rock Hoppers. Bassare working buzzbaits and topwater bait.


​(updated 6-8-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said dingy water clarity and the level normal, with everything but white bass working nicely. Bass fishing was excellent with a number of big catches in the past week, mostly on plastic worms. Catfishing was good around the bank with frozen shad. Crappie has moved into deep water and the fishing is good on jigs. Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets.


(updated 6-1-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said river clarity is poor; there is very little clear water. Bass fishing has been excellent. Bass are feeding up on the flats early and late. And on the drops midday, topwater early and late; jigs, crankbaits and plastics midday. Striped bass still in the creeks. Topwater and swimbaits working best. White bass are with them holding in the current. Small crankbaits, inline spinners and small swimbaits. Bream has been excellent on crickets and worms in the creeks around stumps, and in the river around grass on the rocks. Catfish has been excellent on cut bait and worms off of River Point and the mouth of creeks.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.78 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
No reports were submitted.


(updated 6-1-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported black and white bass are starting to school up. Rooster Tails and silver spoons are landing fish. Crappie on minnows or jigs 8-12 feet deep on brush piles. Since the water temperature is entering the 70s, catfish and bream are starting to spawn.


(updated 6-8-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 58 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Catherine is now at normal summertime pool and will remain at this level until late November. Rainbow trout are present in good numbers below the dam and thriving in the nutrient rich water. The bite has slowed considerably now that a summer pattern has emerged and five-fish limits are considered a good day on the water. Trout in the 12-16 inch range are present and roaming the shallow waters searching for prey. Bank fishermen are doing well during slack water periods with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Wax or meal worms are also effective presented in the same manner. Corn closely resembles fish eggs and will draw strikes from hungry rainbow's in calm water or current flow. Live minnows floated under a bobber has accounted for the largest trout this week as these fish tend to feed on larger prey items. Fly fishermen can still access areas that hold schools of trout, but must use extreme caution when the turbines are running. Micro-jigs in white or black casted with a strike indicator is a consistent technique because the tailrace holds thousands of shad that rainbow trout feed on daily. San Juan worms in red or hot pink give an angler a nice change of pace when the bite is slow. Egg patterns in yellow or white are always the bait of choice when conditions are tough and the fish are finicky. Boaters trolling shallow running crankbaits against the current are recording limits of quality catches with most of the action best below the bridge. Anchoring behind rocks and fishing the current breaks with small jigs and jerkbaits have caught trout in the 18 inch class by experienced guides. Overall, trout fishing is excellent and will remain good until the middle of June.
White bass are making a strong spawning run toward the dam from the main body of the lake. Little fishing pressure due to high water has allowed these fish to gather in big numbers on both sides of the tailrace. Current flow drives white bass to feed heavier than slack water and trolling crankbaits and casting Alabama rigs over sandbars and rock structure will produce good catches. Jerkbaits in bright yellow have been the ticket in the stained waters of last week, but now a silver and black pattern has proved to be more effective of late. Live minnows tightlined over deep water around the dam has targeted bass that moved up earlier in the flood. A few hybrid bass have been caught on the same lures with better numbers migrating in the area in June. Some striper activity has been observed this week but no big fish hooked or caught. Freshwater drum continue to spawn the tailrace with fish over 20 pounds caught and larger fish lost. Nightcrawlers and live shad are the best baits to use to entice these fish which give fishermen a hard fight test tackle to the limit. Carolina rigs tipped with either bait can draw vicious strikes so rods should never be set aside in a boat or the bank and left unattended. Never navigate the waters below Carpenter Dam without wearing a life jacket and a good knowledge of the bottom structure below the dam.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.66 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.



East Arkansas

(updated 6-1-2016) Ranger Natalie Carter at ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said bream are on their beds and responding heavily to crickets. Crappie are off their beds and biting at moderate depths. Bass have been hitting heavily on topwater poppers and some crankbaits, mainly at 10 feet or deeper and around underwater structure. No reports on catfish activity. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center, located in Marianna off of state Highway 44, is selling bait (minnows, redworms, nightcrawlers, shad and crickets, along with a variety of jigs and artificial baits) and is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. every day. Call 870-295-4040 for more info or to book a campsite. 


(updated 6-1-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported crappie are off their beds and responding well to live bait, including both crickets and worms. Moderate bream activity off of the bank and fishing pier, responding to crickets. Smallmouth bass responding to worms and crankbaits. Mild catfish activity in coves. 


(updated 6-8-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said water was extremely high after rains of the past week and much of the fishing was poor. However, crappie fishing was good in the back lake area. Water clarity was dingy. 



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