'Glowing' Crappie Could Help Stocking Research
Have you heard about the new "glow in the dark" crappie that have been stocked by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in eight Arkansas lakes? To see the actual glow, you'd need special glasses and look at the fish under black light. But it's all part of a program trying calcein, a phosphorescent dye, to help a University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff researcher and the AGFC track crappie stockings over the next year.
(updated 5-18-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said water was stained and had a surface temperature of 64 degrees early this week. The water level was normal and most of the fishing has been good to excellent. Catfishing was excellent in the creek channels, mostly on minnows, goldfish and on trotlines. Bass fishing was good with topwater lures and flukes in the lily pads. Bream fishing was excellent with the activity just below the surface and around the shoreline; worms and crickets are the bait to use. Crappie were fair and working in 6-8 feet depth around the cypress trees and hitting minnows and jigs.
Dan Zajac at Gold Creek Landing
(501-607-0590) said that, again this week, bream are biting well on crickets, redworms or wax worms. Bass are doing fairly well on spinner baits and soft plastics. Crappie are biting fair on jigs fished around the cypress trees. Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) is good.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that crappie fishing was fair around the Highway 89 bridge and Gold Creek. Baby shad was getting attention, as well as crickets and barbecue chicken. No other reports on other fish.
(updated 5-18-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said it seems we are already in a summer generation pattern in May with 1-2 hours of one-unit generation daily. With the Greers Ferry Lake at normal pool level for this time of year, we should continue to see this pattern unless we receive significant amounts of rain. Current pattern is providing great wading and drift fishing opportunities on all sections river. Hot patterns for fly fishers are emergers, soft hackles, hares ear and midges. For Trout Magnet fishing, use hot pink and red colored bodies on silver and chartreuse jig heads. 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 schedule.
(updated 5-18-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips
(501-690-9166) said the area missed the rain that was forecast and the river remains low and clear. The bite has improved this past week and the fish seem more active. Midges and mayflies are hatching, so midge pupas, emergers and mayfly nymphs and soft hackles are good fly choices. A slight twitch of these flies is sometimes better than dead drifting since these stages of the insects are swimmers.
(updated 5-18-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company
(501-207-1770) did not report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.51 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 462.52 feet msl, which is is 0.52 below normal pool of 463.04 to 462.54 feet for the May-June level. The bass fishing is great shallow and deep for all three species. There are still spawning fish that will last until June, some are post spawn and some are super post spawn out deeper, and a lot of the fish will be back up shallow mid-day trying to eat bream; a topwater back and a Wake bait are working good right now as well as spinnerbaits and small crankbaits. The deeper fish can be caught on a bottom bait at times and crankbait at times. With the bottom baits, you need to use a Texas-rigged worm or a Carolina-rigged cinko or lizard for your best result. Most of the crappie have spawned up the rivers but the lake fish are still doing their thing. In the rivers, fish shallow and out to 15-20 feet for the suspended post-spawn fish. The lake fish can be caught shallow off of main lake pockets, use jigs and jigs tipped with minnows. Catfish are eating well all over the lake on a variety of baits. As for walleye, some river fish are still traveling back to the lake, and the lake fish are on points, humps and riprap banks trying to spawn. The best thing going is dragging crawlers in 5-18 feet of water, shallower on cloudy days and deeper on sunny days. Bream fishing is good all over the lake, shallow out to 15-18 feet of water. Crickets and crawlers are working well, as well as small crankbaits and in-line spinners. The hybrid bass and the white bass are really chewing now but acting real crazy, as they are chasing bait all over the place. If you find the bait and the fish and they run off, just sit still, they will be back soon. Small spoons are working well as are in-line spinners fished vertical, and swimbaits and topwater baits fished horizontal, as well as different types of live bait. Concentrate in 25-35 feet of water.
(updated 5-11-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) reported a fair week of fishing. Water was clear and at normal level, with a surface temperature of 75 degrees. Bream fishing was good with worms and crickets. Minnows and jigs were working the crappie and the fishing was good. Bass, too, was good with crankbait and plastic worms. Catfishing was good with worms and chicken liver.
Overcup Landing had no report.
(updated 5-18-2016) Fosters Four Seasons
(501-868-9061) said water was clear and at normal level, but no report was available on temperature. Bream fishing was excellent with crickets. Catfish also rated excellent on a variety of bait: worms, blood bait, stink bait, chicken liver and doe bait. Bass were working fair in shallow water. Crappie fishing was good using minnows and jigs.
(updated 5-18-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina
reported little change from last week. The weights from the weekly black bass tournament are much higher now, and catfishing is excellent with several 50- to 80-pound flatheads. Water is 0.5 feet above the spillway and the water temperature is 75 degrees in the middle of lake and 79 at west end. Excellent black bass action has been seen on Whacky rigged worms, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and just about everything else shallow. Fish are being caught in 3-6 feet depth. The best area has been the north side of the lake, with the water temperature about 70 on the banks. The spawn is over. Kentucky bass, rated good, are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. The spotteds are working in 3-10 feet depth on the same lures as with the black bass. White bass is just good to fair as they move back into the lake. Some will still be in the river. Use deep-diving Bandits and Bombers on this side of bridge, while grubs, Rooster Tails and jigs are working best on the west side. They also are being caught in the main lake on CC Spoon, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. Crappie fishing is fair on minnows and jigs. Crappie are moving off the banks. The bream bite is excellent and bream can be found at 13 feet on the bottom. Crickets and live worms are working best. Catfishing is excellent and are being caught in 15-20 feet depth. Stink bait, small bream and chicken livers are the bait of choice. As the bream move to shallower water, the catfishing should improve.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass fishing was excellent using spinnerbait, topwater lures and creature bait. Catfishing was poor, and white bass fishing was poor. Crappie fishing was good with minnows and red and white jigs. Bream fishing was fair with redworms and crickets.
(updated 5-4-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said catfish are biting well on night crawlers and chicken livers. A few bass are hitting on live crawfish. Bream are biting on crickets and redworms. A few small crappie have been caught on pink crappie minnows.
(updated 5-4-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said the rain has pushed the river up. The water is too muddy and high to fish
(updated 5-4-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said large redear sunfish are still biting excellently on redworms fished near the bottom. Catfishing is good on live crayfish and nightcrawlers. Some crappie are being caught on no. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin’s Tennessee shad-colored grubs. A few bass have been caught on brood minnows.
(updated 5-4-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie are biting fairly well on no. 6 crappie minnows. Catfishing is good on live crayfish and Sonny’s Super Sticky Dip Bait. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Bass are biting well on no. 12 bass minnows.
(updated 5-18-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley said the flow on the river has finally come down this week and the hope is it will stay reasonable following this upcoming rain. Bass are still biting well on cranks and spinnerbaits near the main river. Some can be caught flipping back water cover, but it is a much slower way to fish. The water is still very stained so be sure to use dark colors while flipping (junebug, black and blue) and bright for your moving baits (Citrus Shad or chartreuse). Catfishing was slower this week, but the bream bite is pretty strong. Crickets in protected back waters around any type of cover should produce plenty of bites. Didn't get to fish for any crappie this week, but in talking with other anglers it seems to be a slow bite as well.
(updated 5-18-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said river conditions were clear and the level was normal. Bass fishing was excellent in shallow water using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Bream fishing was good in shallow water. Crappie were working in the 4-5-foot range and the fishing was good. Catfishing was poor and white bass fishing also was poo
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass fishing was excellent using spinnerbait, topwater lures and creature bait. Catfishing was poor, and white bass fishing was poor. But crappie fishing was good with minnows and red and white jigs. Bream fishing was fair with redworms and crickets.
(updated 5-18-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said conditions in Clear Lake and Terry Lock and Dam were muddy and the water was high. Bream fishing was good using worms and crickets. Crappie were biting fair on minnows and jigs. Brass were working fair on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish were fair with stink bait working best in Clear Lake, while catfishing was poor near the dam because of the muddy water. Crankbaits worked to bring in a few catfish. Bream, crappie and bass were poor.
(updated 5-18-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent, using chicken liver, skipjack, shad and worms in the river near David D. Terry Lock and Dam. Near Murray Lock and Dam, white bass were excellent using white plastic worms and Twister Tails. Catfishing was good with skipjack, snagging and shad.
Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff
(501-834-5733) said water was running high, resulting in poor fishing across the board. What bream were being caught were hitting worms and crickets. Crappie was hitting minnows and jigs. Bass worked some with spinners and crankbait. Catfishing was poor.
(updated 5-18-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said conditions in Clear Lake and Terry Lock and Dam were muddy and the water was high. Bream fishing was good using worms and crickets. Crappie were biting fair on minnows and jigs. Brass were working fair on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish were fair with stink bait working best in Clear Lake, while catfishing was poor near the dam because of the muddy water. Crankbaits worked to bring in a few catfish. Bream, crappie and bass were poor.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent, using chicken liver, skipjack, shad and worms in the river near David D. Terry Lock and Dam. Near Murray Lock and Dam, white bass were excellent using white plastic worms and Twister Tails. Catfishing was good with skipjack, snagging and shad.
(updated 5-18-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water was stained and high, and there was hardly any fishing last week. Catfishing was good with crickets and hot dogs, but otherwise bream, crappie and bass fishing were all poor.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that crappie fishing was fair using minnows and white jigs.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent using chicken liver and chicken hearts, along with nightcrawlers. Crappie fishing was fair around the stumps with pink minnows. Bass fishing was fair with black crankbait and black and blue jigs. Bream fishing was poor.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported crappie fishing to be fair in the channel using minnows. Bass fishing was excellent with plastic worms, topwater baits, frogs and buzz bait. Catfishing was fair, with minnows and nightcrawlers working best.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing was excellent with chicken liver, chicken hearts and nightcrawlers working best.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.00 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(updated 5-4-2016) K Dock Marina
(417-334-2880) said the surface water temperature is 63 to 65 degrees degrees and the water is stained to clear. Crappie, walleye and black bass are all biting extremely well around K Dock lately. Bass are biting best on shaky head finesse worms, spinnerbaits and Zoom Baby Brush Hogs fished around buckbrush in coves and around points with small gravel on the bank. Cast right up to the bank and fish back out. Crappie are biting very well on live minnows in the coves. Some really nice crappie are being caught and if you find the right tree, you can load the boat quickly. Late afternoon has been the best time to fish lately. Walleye are biting well on small crankbaits, such as Berkley Flicker Shad in sizes 6 and 7. Troll shallow in 10 to 15 feet of water near points and rock bluffs.
(updated 5-4-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock
said fishing continues to be very good. Many bass are still on the beds around the marina. There is lots of catching going on. The walleye seem to have moved out a little into 10 to 15 feet of water. They usually do this when they are done spawning. Anglers are still catching a few around dark, but they seem to be in that transition period. Some white bass and crappie are being caught, but the bass fishing is so good most people are concentrating on them.
(updated 5-18-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort
(870-453-2424) said the water remained very mossy like the previous week with no fishing. The river level is high.
(updated 5-18-2016) Cotter Trout Dock
said the catch is increasing with the disappearance of the moss. Successful catches have been made using a combination of shrimp and chartreuse and/or orange power bait. Several nice keeper cutthroats have been seen, caught and released between Cotter and Ranchette. Again, the go-to bait for large fish, both browns and rainbows, was the sculpin. Water level remains very low, great for fishing, but stay alert for protruding rocks and snags; prop damage is expensive.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said that recent rain events totaled 5 inches in Cotter, temperatures rose and heavy winds blew. By late last week the lake level at Bull Shoals had risen a foot to rest at 2.5 feet below seasonal power pool of 661.86 feet. This is 35.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.7 feet to rest at 0.9 feet above seasonal power pool and 15.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.3 feet to rest at 0.1 above seasonal power pool and 8.5 feet below the top of flood pool. There was little generation on the White last week, with wadable water every day. The bite, though, has been erratic -- one day is great and the next is slow. The hot flies are 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 hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with a hare and copper suspended below it). John related that on Mother’s Day, he and his wife had their best fishing trip in a long time, going to Rim Shoals, a catch-and-release section. They had brought my river boat with us so that we could easily access some of the more productive water. He had been fishing the White quite a bit lately and my client rods were already rigged with a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper. There was also a split shot to get the flies down and a strike indicator. The only thing they had to do was to adjust the strike indicator down for the lower water level. They landed three fish on the first drift. One of them was a fat 18-inch rainbow that fought like a demon. They kept drifting and caught trout after trout. John hooked a lunker but it wrapped a big rock and broke off. Wife Lori landed their largest fish, a fat rainbow at 19 inches.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 553.90 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(updated 5-18-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort
said fishing has been a blast over the last week. Striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass fishing have been very good. Fish are up tight on the banks before sunrise and they stick around until the sun gets above the tree line. On a cloudy day they stick around longer. Monday morning led to some of the best topwater action he's seen in a week, fishing in a main lake area on the shallow side of the lake, not the bluff line side. There are a lot of small cuts in the shoreline with points that have brush out in the water. At around 6 a.m. a few fish were coming up out in the main channel. He started to head out but heard splashing behind him and turned around to find the whole shoreline and all the cuts were boiling with fish. Every cast with his Zara spook either had several hits and misses or had a fish, and it went on for 2 hours, landing 20 fish. Topwater action for stripers and hybrids should last until the water temperature warms the lake enough to form a thermocline. Mother nature will have the final say on this. When the stripers leave the shallow water in the morning, start looking out in deeper water and you should find them suspended down to about 30-40 feet deep. Live threadfin shad has been working the best with just a small split shot. Artificial baits also producing fish have been a Kastmaster spoon with buck tail and smaller sized swimbaits 3-4 inches long. Some good white bass topwater action in the late afternoon as well. They could be anywhere from deep to shallow water, but the most consistent spots are partway back in some of the major creeks. Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has also been very good. They have been in the same areas as the stripers early in the morning, but unlike the stripers, they don't necessarily move out once the sun comes up. Swimbaits, spinnerbaits on windy days and tube jigs are working well. They are moving to the bottom once the sun gets high, so work a jig and pig or your favorite plastic bait along the bottom up to 25 feet down. Walleye fishing has been good on shallow points down 15-25 feet. Anglers have also picked up a few on a Zara spook right on the shoreline before sunrise. No change on pan fishing; both bluegill and crappie are biting. Look for the gills inside of bluff line cuts 20-30 feet deep on the bottom. Worms and wax worms are working great. Crappie are in or around brush and under docks. Small live threadfin shad is the best bait, but a crappie minnow with a small jig is working as well. The lake surface water temperature is holding fairly stable and is ranging from 69 degrees to 71 degrees. The creeks and coves are stained and the main lake is clear on the surface. One generator has been running continuously.
(updated 5-18-2016) Guide Steve Olomon
said said the lake level is up to 554 feet msl, which is about a half-foot from last week, and the water temperature is in the upper 60s. Look for stripers chasing baitfish to the surface early and just before dark. The hybrids, whites and bass are also coming up. They will hit a spook, soft jerkbait and a swimbait. Look for this activity on points and in coves where the wind is blowing in or has within the last day. After the topwater is over, try throwing a swimbait and you may pick up an extra striper or hybrid or two. Bass are hitting jerkbaits, jigs and worms. A lot of them are in 5-20 feet depth. Try a shallow-running crankbait, too. For more information on the area and lake go to Lake Norfork.com.
(updated 5-18-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
said the fishing for stripers is in a state of change; there are stripers being caught on topwater, pitching small banks up against the points, long lines with balloons and down lines (lines with 2-3-ounce sinkers fished straight down). Reynolds has been fishing with balloons, long lines with a split shot, and a couple of down lines. By the weekend, he says, he’s now fishing just weighted floats (slip float with a stop 25-30 feet with a 2-ounce sinker and down lines. He has been fishing the lower lake from the dam up to Reynolds Island. The stripers are starting to move into deep water but still shallow 20-35 feet. He’s seen fish being caught all over the lake -- find the bait and wait for the stripers. One odd thing happens when you begin down-line fishing: You will see lots of bait and stripers in and above the bait, but very few bites occur until the sun starts to come up and the shad move deep. The stripers then get real active looking for shad to eat; this time of year you can catch stripers much later in the morning because they are now are in deep water. The stripers have also begun feeding on crawdads, so look for feeding fish on or near the bottom.
(updated 5-18-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said said the water has cleared somewhat and has fished better. Norfork Lake was up 1.6 feet to rest at 2.4 feet below seasonal power pool of 556.61 feet and 25.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had very limited wadable water. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20 and 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). 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 has 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). While 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 5-18-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. With the warm weather, the smallmouths are more active. Carefully check the water level. There are no dams, and there are large drainages that are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
(updated 5-18-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the creek is navigable and smallmouths are more active as the weather has warmed. Watch for sudden flooding during rain events such as the mass of rainfall that hit the state last recently.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,121.52 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 5-18-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported that temperatures were ranging from 71 to 75 degrees and the water was stained and at a normal level. Bream fishing was good in shallow depth with crickets. Crappie were fair, biting minnows 8-10 feet deep. Bass fishing was good in 8-17 feet depth on spinners and crankbait, as well as topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing was poor, but what catfish did work liked cut and prepared bait.
(updated 5-18-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) said striper activity forecast for the week is good. Water surface temperatures are in the low 70s in the mid- and lower sections. 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. Stripers that are up in the White River and Ware Eagle arms are feeding heavily throughout the day, gorging on shad and are full of spawn. Try lightly weighted lines, free lines, balloons, planer boards in presenting your baits and it will definitely get you some fish. White bass run is finishing up, they are making their way back toward the main lake and they can be caught using a variety of methods, including grubs, spoons, Rooster Tails. Use colors including orange, chartreuse, white or combinations of the three. Also, the striper fishing will be good with 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 size 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model. Jerkbaits like flukes will also produce. Hot spots include Indian Creek, Coppermine, Ventris and Shaddox Hollow. On the upper section, the hot spots are the state Highway 12 bridge, Prairie Creek, Coose Hollow, Blackburn Creek, Beaver Shores, Escapalia Hollow/Falls Hollow and Horseshoe Bend. Also, walleye are in the creek and river arms finishing their spawn. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse.
(updated 5-18-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service
(479-640-8733) said fishing has been spot on this week. Bait has been located from Spider Creek to Beaver Town. White bass are biting well between Beaver and Holiday Island. Try trolling various Rapalas at depths of 6-11 feet. Crappie are still hitting on live minnows fished over brush piles and stick-ups. Trout are biting very well on various spoons and light terminal tackle with various power baits.
Beaver Dam Store said fly fisherman are doing well on egg patterns, big nymphs, hares ears, midges and pheasant tails. Of course, there's always that special fly in your box that works all the time, don't forget to tie it on, also. White bass are here however, not in big numbers this year though but still being caught on the white river also with a occasional walleye here and there but the bite is there. While fishing for trout, try fishing power bait in white, red, chartreuse or pink, tipped with wax worms or nightcrawlers. Troll down stream from Bertrand Boat Launch where flicker shads in Pro Series #4's and # 5's, # 9 Rapalas, and Colorado spoons have been producing numbers of fish. The whites are in white bass cove. Most fisherman are catching numbers of fish and remember there is no limit on white bass on Beaver Lake or any of its tributaries. When whites are busting the surface, tie on a baby spook, chutter bugs, rogues and sluggos in white and natural colors. These fish are pushing shad to the surface and when the feeding frenzie starts up, anything you toss out there usually produces a strike. Lake fishing has been good on main lake points and main feeder creeks, pea gravel humps with jerkbaits, ned rigs, hulla grub, jigs and Alabama rigs, and Shakey Head with a Trick worm is a great pattern to fish. If all else fails, try drop-shot fishing. With the warming waters the whites are going crazy all over the lake. A swimming minnow is a great pattern to use. Try bone white, blue and sliver,and chartreuse .
(updated 5-18-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the lake is below its normal pool level, the water is clear with a visibility of 5 feet or more, and the water temp is 60 degrees. The lake has been a buzz this week with avid "perch jerkers" in search of the big bluegill beds. Crickets fished under a bobber 18-20 inches is the method. Try using a long shank cricket hook, to avoid having the fish swallow the hook, and a small bobber and split-shot sinker. Bluegill and redear limits, (50 per person) have been caught this week. Most of the activity is up in the Brush Creek area; however, the mouth of Keeper Cove and Goose Island have bedding fish as well. Bank fishermen are using redworms and crickets, as they fish available shore lines, and that's working quiet well, too. The largemouth bass are bedding as well. Try using a green peppered lizard with a 1/8 oz. sinker. One man caught two keepers, then a 5-pounder that finally got broke off, as he fished a sunken tree right out in front of the bait shop dock, just short of the old road bed. He was using a green creature bait, fishing the tree at drop-off, in 15 feet of water. The crappie fishermen are still having to the fish at the 10-foot depth with minnows to find a crappie bite. Small white jigs will work, too, but give it time to go down, and don't rush the retrieve. Expect the crappie to move up to shallower areas as the nights warm up.
(updated 5-11-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported the water at normal level and murky about half the time last week with surface temperature in the low 60s. All that led to a good week for fishermen. Bream were good in 4 feet of water around stumps, using worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was good around brush piles using minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good in the more shallow water and around the rocky points using crankbait. Catfishing was good with worms, blood bait and chicken liver.
(updated 5-18-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported water was clear, at normal depth and with a surface temperature of 72 degrees. Bass were working nicely in shallow water with spinnerbaits. Catfishing was also good, using chicken liver and shad. Bream fishing was poor, although worms brought some action at 3 feet. Crappie also hit minnows and jigs in 3 feet depth, but overall the fishing was poor for crappie.
(updated 5-18-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said the word is plenty of catfish are being caught, and people are reporting catching loads of bream, too. No word on any bass success, but while Lake Poinsett is known for its crappie, the bass are there. On Saturday, May 21, the lake will hold its annual Kids Fishing Derby from 8 a.m. to noon, with AGFC personnel providing catchable-size catfish and netting them for the children ages 12 and under to catch and keep. Prizes and drawings will also be part of the event. The park boat launch will be blocked off during the contest.
(updated 5-18-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported the water was stained with a surface temperature of 72 degrees and the level normal earlier this week. Crappie fishing was good in 15-20 feet of water using minnows and jigs. Bream fishing was good close to the surface with redworms and crickets. Topwater lures were working best in shallow water for bass, and the fishing was fair. Catfishing was good, primarily with chicken liver.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are running at 444 cfs at the spring and water clarity has been poor. Not much to write about over the last week. Heavy rains have had the river murky all week. Conditions should change at any time. Stay tuned to Mark’s Blog on springriverfliesandguides.com for daily updates.
John Berry in Cotter said the fishing is better with canoe season over. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 5-11-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water was running clear and high, about 6.8 -7 feet, and the water temperature was in the low 60s. Bream fishing was fair around the creeks with crickets. Crappie were working the creeks and were fair with minnows. By fishing the mouth of the creeks or the river, fishermen using soft plastic baits were having a fair time of the bass. Walleye fishing was poor. Overall, it was a slow week with few catches.
(updated 5-4-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures on the main channel and in backwaters was in the low to mid 70s. Water clarity was low throughout; only inches in the main channel to a max of about 6 inches in Lake Langhofer. The water level was rising throughout last weekend and was about 2 feet high by the end of the day Sunday. Black bass are biting fairly well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Use caution navigating the main channel of the river, as logs large enough to cause damage were present. Floating debris was light.
(updated 5-18-2016) Cane Creek State Park said bream are biting like crazy on crickets. Catfish are biting very well on live bait. Crappie are doing OK on shiners. Bass are biting very well on chatterbaits.
(updated 5-18-2016) Matthew C. Gillum, the ranger at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said crappie can be
found under docks in 3-5 feet of water using chartreuse jigs and pink jig heads. Catfish can be caught using nightcrawlers. Bream are biting wax worms better than crickets. Bass can be found in shallow water and caught using chartreuse crankbaits. Watermelon-red baby brush hogs can be used when fishing in thick cover.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.52 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said the lake level continues falling and as of May 16 was approximately 5.4 inches above normal conservation pool. Reduced current exists in Little River with gate discharge around 14,151 cfs. Water temperature slightly rose over the past
week, and navigation is considered cautious. Surface temps are ranging 67 degrees early to 76 degrees later in the day, depending on conditions. Several boat ramps and parks campgrounds have reopened from recent high water flooding and the Millwood State Park has reopened boat ramps, the marina and one circle drive of campsites, and are back in operations now. Clarity and visibility has slightly improved in most areas on the main lake from past few weeks’ fluctuating water levels and rapid 5-foot rise. Away from the current, clarity and visibility ranges approximately 6-10 inches. Little River's visibility is heavy stain depending on location and ranges from 5-8 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity is improving, ranging approximately 10-20 inches depth of visibility. Warmer days, sun and more stable weather patterns have the bass in a feeding mood. Most largemouth are now post-spawn and recuperating. During the late morning and throughout the afternoon, chatterbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are working in Spot Remover, Fire Tiger and black and blue colors. Over the past week, the chatterbaits in black and blue, the spinnerbaits in Spot Remover and Fire Tiger, and big 10-inch worms in blue fleck and plum have been working well for fish from 3 up to 5 pounds. Bang Die Dapper and Boss Shiner swim baits are working better with the water clarity improving, rigged on a swimbait belly hook using 3/16- or 3/8-ounce weight. Best colors seem to be Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse Belly or Ice Breaker, and Shiner colors. Bass Assassin Shads in Bad To The Bone and Trickster colors are catching 3-4-pound largemouths in newly sprouting lily pad stems and shoots near cypress trees in the cleanest water you can find away from river current. Fat Jobs are working upriver in the oxbows. Best colors of Fat Jobs over the past couple weeks continue to be Houdini and Blueberry, and lightest wire hook available works best. Rat-L-Traps in Red Shad, Chrome/Blue, and Gizzard Shad are working on sunny days in creek channels deflecting off stumps and timber, near spawning flats around cypress trees/knees. Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits are working outside spawning flats where creek channel bends wind near the bank and out again. The Echo 1.75 crankbaits are catching good numbers of largemouths and white bass equally well. Best color of Echo squarebills over the past week have been the Chartreuse Flash, Sexy Chrome or Gold Shad color patterns. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working for 3-5 pound largemouths in 3-5 feet of depth in best clarity away from Little River current. Best colors working over the past week have been the Texas Craw, Habanero or Candy Bug using a green pumpkin/chartreuse or black trailer. Solid bass in the 3-6-pound range were caught over the past few weeks near stumps and cypress trees hopping and swimming the jig in 2-3 feet of best clarity we could find of 8-12-inch visibility. Schools of whites are roaming the creek channels and oxbows, out of the current in Little River between White Cliffs and Cemetery Slough. Backwater sloughs feeding Little River, just out of the main river current, were holding some good schools of whites over the past several weeks. These were hitting Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits, Rat-L-Trap Tail Spinners, Little Georges, Little Cleos, and medium running cranks from 4-9 feet depths. The white bass have wrapped up their spawning run up Little River and starting to scatter in large schools. There were some nice crappie slabs hugging cypress trees in 3-6 feet of water and hitting jigs, small spinnerbaits, rocket shads, Blakemore Roadrunners, and on yo-yo's using shiners before the recent 5-foot rise on the lake. Cats continue biting consistently over the past week in Little River on trotlines using chicken hearts, livers, and gizzards, set 12-16 feet deep.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 547.46 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
(updated 5-11-2016) Dustin Holmes of Action Fishing Trips
reports that the water level is 550.15, which is 2.15 feet above normal pool. The water temp is 70.3 at the surface. The water is still far up in the buck brush. 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. We are doing the best with live minnows and Tennessee scad 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 crank bait running 12-15 feet deep, and a spinner bait. Catfish are being caught on chicken liver and worms on north end of the lake from 10 to 25 feet of water. Bream are being caught on crickets and worms up next to the bank by the buck brush.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
noted little change in the fishing; however, conditions will vary only a few days around rain events. He says to fish deeper in the same spots and scout shallower areas that are now deeper. As the lake levels fall, the bass and crappie will move back to their comfort zone for depth and cover.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.76 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
(updated 5-18-2016) Local angler George Graves said said surface water temperature is in the high 60s and the lake is mostly clear except in the upper end, where it has a light stain. (Note: The day-use area including the boat ramp at the State Park DeRoche Ridge facility is closed for upgrading and will not reopen until late summer or early fall.) Bass fishing is pretty good for small fish. Not getting any reports on the bigger ones. Although right now bass can be caught most anywhere in the lake, the best areas have been at mid-lake between Edgewood and Shrouse Ford. The fish are still up fairly shallow and in the bigger coves. Try a medium running crankbait or a lipless one thrown across the secondary points. Natural shad is best in clear water, and something with chartreuse is best in did-colored water. Also during the bright part of the day try a Texas or Carolina rigged worm or lizard worked across the same points. Green pumpkin/red flake is a good way to start with the plastics. Not much doing with crappies since the fish are still scarce. Best bet is the deeper brush at 18-25 feet. Fish vertically with a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube on a 1/16-ounce jig head and worked to just above the brush. Best colors are Tennessee shad and chartreuse/black. Try between Point 15 and Point Cedar. Hybrid fishing is fair in the Arley Moore area early in the morning. Look for schools on the sonar and throw a jigging spoon or big in-line spinner worked up through the school, which will be about 20 feet down. Also a few fish starting to show in the deep water (100 to 120 feet) off Caddo Bend. These fish will be suspended 35-40 feet down. Once again use the sonar to locate fish and drop a heavy jigging spoon under the fish and work up through them. Also try a 3-inch grub on a half-ounce jig head. White and chartreuse are the best colors for both the spoon and grub. A few bream are moving into shallow water. Look for bedding to start with the next full moon. Try red worms and crickets fished under a float in 4-6 feet of water.
(updated 5-18-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com
said water temperature is running from 72 degrees mid-lake to 76 degrees in Cedar Point area. Water mid-lake is clear. Water shows some tinting as you go farther toward Cedar Point. All fishing has suffered due to the large rise in the lake over the last two weeks. The lake has slowly dropped out of the flood pool and the normal generation schedule has resumed, Corps of Engineers reports. In that time there has been a slow drawdown of the lake by the Corps from the 8-foot rise. The present lake level is 406.76. The atmosphere temperature change has also caused a slowdown in fishing action. Topwater action has been good for bass. Black spinnerbaits after dark are producing. Some breaking hybrids have been spotted.
Reports from State Park Marina and Caddo Valley Bait Shop reports that Whacky Worms and Lizards are the predominate bait of choice for bottom fishing. Fishing on points is the main thrust for bass fishing using worms and lizards. Bream reports are improving using crickets and worms. Fishing the shallow coves and brush piles is best way to find them. Some trolling in the Shrouse Ford area is being done with umbrella rigs and crankbaits running in the 12 -15-foot depth. The amount of fish showing up on electronics has greatly reduced. Catfish results are good. Best reports are fishing trotlines in the mid-lake area coves. Set your lines around 6 feet deep in the back of the coves and use live bait like minnows or goldfish. Crappie fishing is now on an upswing in the mid-lake area. The crappie have starting to group up on brush piles from Brushy, Arley Moore and Lenox Marcus areas. Fish are being caught mainly in the brush piles in 20-25 feet of water. The cold front has them holding tight to cover. You need to fish minnow with bobbers close to the cover or inside the cover. Rockport Rattler jigs with monkey milk or baby bass bodies are catching fish but minnows out-produce jigs for me. Temperatures and less rain should improve the majority of fishing over the next few days.
(updated 5-4-2016) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said bass are hitting on crankbaits, Zoom Brush Hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live and prepared catfish baits. Tight lining using worms and catfish baits also is working well. Crappie are biting on minnows and jigs in the upper lake. For lake information or a camping reservation please call White Oak Lake State Park at 870-685-2748 or stop in at the Visitor Center.
(updated 5-11-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said the water still 13 feet high, bass are slow, no report on bream or crappie, catfish being caught in the backwater.
Local angler Jaret Rushing said the torrential rains of last weekend slowed angling tremendously on the Ouachita River oxbows. Some angers are still running yo-yos and trotlines to catch catfish, but sportfishing opportunities are limited. River reports indicate a steady water rise for at least a week, making accessibility to the oxbows and tributaries almost impossible.
(updated 5-11-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are fair, bream starting to bite. No report on catfish or crappie.
Local angler Jaret Rushing said Tri-County has been rather productive after the drawdown from this past summer. Anglers are starting to catch bass in the channels of the lake again and crappie tend to be staged around wood structures and artificial structures. Bass are feeding up after their spawn. Baits that resemble their food sources will increase your chance of landing a boat-load. Crappie are finicky as the strikes seem to be staggered. Keeping a lighter-colored jig in the strike zone for the crappie will increase your chances of landing a few slabs as well.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.34 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl).
(updated 5-18-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025)
said the water was clear and at normal level. Bass fishing was good using spinnerbait. Catfishing was good with noodling, shad and shrimp bait. Crappie was good on minnows and jigs. Bream fishing was fair, with crickets the bait of choice. Little in the way of white bass.
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) reported the water was falling out and then rising rapidly with rain early this week, and more rain expected. Some catfish had been caught, but there was no other fishing.
(updated 5-18-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615)
said the fishing is still really slow. Water level is high. Bream fishing is poor, crappie fishing is poor and catfishing is poor. Bass fishing is poor but what bass did work were in shallow water. About five or six were caught in the past week.
(updated 5-4-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature was in the upper 70s to lower 80s. The river was muddy and high creeks were dingy. Catfishing has been excellent on worms, cut perch, shad and Skip Jack. Stick to the mouth of the creeks and the drops from the spawning flats. Bream has been excellent on spawning flats and around stumps and treetops in creeks with worms, crickets, flies and jigs. White bass are way up at the heads of the creeks; try tandem white jigs or small white crankbaits and inline spinners. Stripers are in The Creeks. Use topwater poppers, swimbaits, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. Crappie is hit-and-miss, but if you are in the right area you can find some slabs. Try black chartreuse, black pink and minnows. Largemouth bass has been excellent using frogs, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and bamboozies in the shallow backwater. Scam shad has been working well along the grass line. Flipping beavers around stumps has been good, and bumping Square Bill crankbaits off of the same stumps has been working well.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.74 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(updated 5-18-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort
said lthe lake water was clearing with a surface temperature of 72-76 degrees. The lake level was 577.92 feet msl. Black bass are fair to good and being caught with topwater and creature baits. Main lake and secondary points are producing the best results. Walleye are good and are being caught with shallow running crankbaits, small jerkbaits and CC Spoons. Stripers are still good on top water C-10 redfins. The central area of the lake is the hottest right now. Bream are still excellent. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 8-15 feet deep. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 8-15 feet deep near brush. Catfishing are excellent. Try live bait or cut bait in depths of 15-20 feet.
(updated 4-27-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
is hearing reports from anglers saying the fishing is slow. Best production, he said, should come from dock fishing for bass or crappie.
(updated 5-18-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
, reported that Lake Ouachita is now out of flood pool and Entergy has closed flood gates and reduced flow from all area dams. 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 very good numbers below the dam and thriving in the nutrient rich water. Trout in the 12- to 16-inch range are plentiful and roaming the shallow waters searching for prey. Bank fishermen are doing well during slackwater 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 rainbows in calm water or current flow. Live minnows floated under a bobber have accounted for the largest trout this week as these fish tend to feed on larger prey. Fly fishermen can still access areas that hold schools of trout, but must use extreme caution when the turbines are running. Micro-jigs, white- or black-casted with a strike indicator, are 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 slackwater and trolling crankbaits and casting Alabama rigs over sands bars 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. Live minnows tight-lined over deep water around the dam have 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 entice these fish which give fishermen a hard fight and 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.
(updated 5-11-2016) Mississippi River State Park
(870-295-4040) said the crappie and bream activity has been moderate, mostly in deeper depths (10-25 feet). They are hitting better on jigs and very small spinnerbaits. Live bait hasn’t been producing as much activity. Bass have been responding to live bait both in deep water and from the bank, but activity has only been mild.
(updated 5-11-2016) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) crappie have moved off their beds, and are responding well to jigs and worms. Bream are on their beds and are hitting well on crickets. No reports on substantial bass activity – mostly small bass caught from the bank.
(updated 5-18-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water
was very stained and running high. Catfishing was excellent if you used a trout line yo-yo, but otherwise the water was too high for any fishing.