Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water was stained and at a normal level. Surface temperature was 93 degrees. Bream fishing was excellent around lily pads. The bream were about 10 feet deep and biting worms and crickets. Crappie were fair. They were around cypress and were biting minnows and jigs in 6-8 feet of water. Bass were fair and found along the shorelines. White spinnerbaits and topwater frogs were working best for the bass. Catfishing is excellent on YoYo’s and limb lines in the creek channels. Use large minnows and goldfish.
(updated 8-10-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red is receiving several hours of generation on weekdays, providing excellent wade and drift fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. For fly fishing, Myers recommends sowbugs, midges and Woolly Buggers. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend candy cotton- and white-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold colored jigheads. Mark your calendars for the annual Little Red River Clean-up on Saturday, Sept. 10. For more information on the cleanup check the Little Red River Foundation and TU Chapter 722 Facebook pages. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 8-10-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips
(501-690-9166) said a heavy rain last Saturday muddied the lower river through Monday but the two-unit generation on Monday helped clear this section. The upper part of the river was stained but fishable from Lobo to Cow Shoals and then the water was clear to the dam. Fishing has been good with no noticeable hatches. The fish are still taking sowbugs and midge pupas with some fish beginning to take size 16 mayfly nymphs. The generation schedule continues to be in the afternoons and early evening.
Trout Unlimited and Little Red Foundation are co-sponsoring the Little Red River Clean-up and help is needed Saturday, Sept. 10. Call Seaton at the number listed here for more information or to sign up, or visit his website.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.83 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.84 feet and falling with generation and evaporation it is 2.7 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet. The bream fishing is picking back up with the full moon coming, and will continue to be good use crickets in 10-28 feet of water on a drop shot on flats for your best results. The crappie are eating minnows and jigs in 18-30 feet of water around any wood. The black bass are eating well on threadfin. Some are busting pretty good at different times all over the lake and most of the others can be caught off shore in about 40 feet of water on jigs. Texas rigged worms and C-rigs as well as drop-shot rigs are best. The shallow fish can be caught using spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and jighead worms. The catfishing is good all over the lake as it is really an untapped resource, using a variety of homemade or live baits. The walleye fishing is in a small lull window but should pick up with the cool rain and water temperature falling; try dragging crawlers in 24-40 feet of water on the bottom or with a drop-shot rig. The hybrids and white bass are going good at different times of the day; find the bait and the fish will be close by. Some are schooling and that is really going to pick up more real soon with the abundance of threadfin shad. And for the fish that are down, use spoons, in-line spinners and swimbaits – and, of course, live bait will work at times. Pay close attention to the wind as it will help the current.
Cody Smith of Fish Greers Ferry guide service
reports Greers Ferry water levels are falling slightly with daily generation. Most all species are ranging in the 15-35 feet zone. Typically the deeper the better quality fish. Hybrids are on the feed most mornings and afternoons here. Live bait along with casting and jigging spoons being best, and 30-40 is best with bait present. There are two to four different classes of thread fin shad depending on location on reservoir. The fish are focusing on them and the abundant blue gill population. Corps of Engineers habitat improvement areas are holding large numbers of assorted game fish.
(updated 8-10-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) said the water level was high and the clarity was dirty. No temperature was available. Bream were working well on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was poor. Bass were good on spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfish were good and were biting worms and nightcrawlers.
(updated 8-10-2016) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is up about 1 foot. Color and clarity is improving. Temperature is around 90 degrees. Bream are still hitting good on crickets and worms. Bass are chasing shad and are hitting minnows, crickets and topwater baits, buzzbaits and crankbaits. Crappie are slow but still not in deeper water, hitting jigs and small minnows. Catfish are starting to increase and are biting bream, minnows and shad. The last two weeks they have caught a 50-pound flathead and two 28-pound blue cats, and a 33-pound blue was caught this week on a trotline.
(updated 8-10-2016) Fosters Four Seasons
(501-868-9061) said catches were being made all over the lake in the past week, as cooler weather over some of the weekend helped. Large, slab-size bream were reported, and bream overall were good on worms and crickets. Crappie were fair on No. 6 minnows, jigs and niblets. Bass fishing was good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Bass were in the brush and school and seemed all over. The catfish bite was good using worms (nightcrawlers), and chicken livers. White bass were school in the lake and the action as good. Besides offering the only ethanol-free gas for boat motors in this area, Fosters has all other necessary supplies.
(updated 8-10-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina
reported that black bass are good and are biting on wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits early in the morning and late in the day. Blacks can be caught in 15-20 feet of water. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. Despite the heat they are getting some good catches. Kentucky bass are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water and are mixed in with the blacks. White bass fishing is excellent now. Use CC Spoons or deep-diving Bandits and Bombers; they are all over the lake. White bass are being caught in the main portion of the lake on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. Crappie are slow. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs. Crappie are 20 feet deep; try the edges of the channels. Bream are excellent and can be found at 15 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfish are good, and are being caught in 15-20 feet of water on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. Roger Nesuda wanted to remind everyone also that Tuesday Black Bass Tournament season ends with the Fish Off on Sept. 17.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bream biting fair in 8-10 feet of water on crickets, as well as hand-tied bream jigs.
(updated 8-3-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fair on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. Bream are also biting fair on crickets and redworms. Bass fishing has been slow. No reports of crappie being caught this week.
(updated 8-3-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said bass fishing has been fun for some using small plastic worms and lizards, small crankbaits and small spinnerbaits. Catfish have been biting goldfish, black salties, chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Crappie are slow but some have been caught recently on size 6 and pink minnows. Bream are biting crickets and redworms. Gar will be pretty quick to bite a minnow this time of year if you put one anywhere close to them. They're a challenge to catch and a fun fight on the end of your line. Give it a try. Where ever and however you fish, do it safely.
(updated 8-3-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream fishing is good with crickets and redworms. Catfish have been biting at night on nightcrawlers, minnows and goldfish. Bass have been biting best at night as well. Carolina rigged lizards, small topwater baits and buzzbaits have been working. No recent reports of crappie being caught on the lake.
(updated 8-3-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said crappie have been biting fair for some customers using size 6 and size 12 minnows. Bream are biting crickets and redworms. Catfish have been biting chicken livers, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp. Bass fishing has been fair with plastic worms and lizards and topwater baits early in the morning.
(updated 8-3-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said more and more people are coming to fish the river. Since the flood has rearranged the river they are having to hunt for new places to fish. Kentucky bass have been very good around creek mouths because of all the rain. Fish divide between clean and muddy waters early and late, and on jetties that have flow between rocks. Black bass are good in shaded water early and late; use jitterbugs, Zara Spooks, then go to chatterbaits. White bass are good. They are chasing shad schools early and late. Then go to jetty tips where you will see schools of shad and fish anywhere between 15-30 feet. Use CC spoons. Bream are good under shaded water and also on sand bars; use crickets. Midday, go to grass or jetties and use Mepps Blade and Rooster Tail with gold spinners. Drum are very good and are everywhere. Use shallow and deep-diving crankbaits. Stripers and whites are good below the dam. Catfishing is very good. Go early up close, then go deeper on tips of jetties and drift-fish with shad.
(updated 8-3-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley said bass was fair last weekend. The 'dog days of summer' are definitely upon us and it shows in the fishing. That being said, fish can still be caught. With the current slowing because of reduced rainfall, the fish will be congregated more toward the main river. Kelley likes to look for any area that will have some sort of moving water. Try dragging worms and jigs all the way down into the deep holes behind the rock jetties. Large hollow-bodied swimbaits can also be killer this time of year. Rig them on a ½-ounce head and “crawl” them along the main river sand and rock drops that set up to be good ambush points. Catfishing has continued to go strong, but it is definitely a night bite right now. You can catch some small channel cats on stink bait and livers during the day, but for the bigger cats you will need to stay after dark. If you have access to a boat, look for those main river drops and holes that offer the deepest water. Often outside bends in the river will hold some of the better areas. Don't be afraid to use large bait either! Anchor up on the top side of the holes and let your offerings drift backward into the sweet spot.
River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said water was clear and at a normal level. Bream worked well; use worms and crickets. Crappie were good in 4-6 feet of water; use minnows. Bass were good, with spinnerbaits and plastic worms working best. Catfishing was good using minnows and cut bait. There were no reports of white bass being caught.
(updated 8-10-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reported that water level was normal but had no report on clarity or surface temperature. Bass were good and found around the ends of the jetties. Spinnerbaits and small crankbaits were working best. Catfish were in good number south of the dam and were biting any stink bait. There were no reports of bream or crappie caught.
(updated 8-10-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the surface temperature was very warm with a normal water level in Clear Lake, but most of the fishing was poor. Bream fishing was fair with bream in about 3-4 feet depth and biting worms and crickets. There was no reports of crappie catches. Bass were poor, as were catfish. In the Terry Dam vicinity, however, in normal level of water and clear and warm conditions, bream were good and bass and catfish were fair. Catfish were biting skipjack and cut shad.
Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported that fishing was slow in the pool. The clarity of the water was clear. The only reports of fish were good numbers of catfish around the airport area of the pool. Catfish were in 20-30 feet of water. Cut skipjack worked best. Closer to Terry Dam and on the south side of the dam, bass worked fair on crickets. Catfishing was fair on shad.
(updated 8-10-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water is not very deep, but the stumps are not quite showing yet. Catfishing was excellent on minnows, hot dogs and stink bait. No other reports.
(updated 8-10-2016) Hatchet Jack’s
(501-758-4948) said bass were good late in the day, after sundown. Bass were hitting Whopper Ploppers, buzzbaits and Shaky Head worms. Catfishing was fair on chicken livers or bass minnows.
(updated 8-10-2016) Hatchet Jack’s
(501-758-4948) reported catfish biting fair on chicken livers and nightcrawlers.
(updated 8-3-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are biting on chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bream are biting crickets and worms. Bass have been biting fair on minnows and small topwater baits early in the morning. A few crappie were caught this week on pink minnows.
(updated 8-10-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported crappie were biting fair in the Maumelle River at 12-20 feet of water. Use red and white jigs. Bass were fair on Zara Spooks and buzzbaits. No other reports. In the Arkansas River, the report was that bass were fair using Sinkos and black buzzbaits around the jetty points and in the current. Catfish were fair with nightcrawlers, skipjack and minnows.
(updated 8-10-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said bass were found in 10-12 feet depth at the ends of jetties. Shaky Head Trick Worms were the bait of choice.
(updated 8-3-2016) Local angler Nicholas Karras said bass fishing is good on small creature baits and small finesse worms. Try natural colors to entice the bites near sharp drop-offs near deeper water. Bream bite is still good up on the banks. No report on catfish or crappie.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.77 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock
reportedthe summer fishing patterns are here. The surface temperature is in the mid-80s and up. The thermocline is around the 25-28 foot level. The lake is at the 660 feet level and dropping slowly. Visibility is great according to the divers and is around 20-30 feet in most places. Bass are being caught on a variety of baits and in a variety of places. The largemouth are mostly shallow in the weeds, brush and shallow ledges. The smallmouth are a little deeper on the gravel and the spots are on brush, timber and rock piles around the thermocline. The walleye have moved deep and are in the 25-35 feet range. Catfish are shallow at night up in the weeds and brush around the bank. The limb liners and trotlines are doing well. The bow fishermen are seeing them a lot at night. Daytime they are deeper in the brush and timber patches out of the sun. Here are some patterns to try: For largemouth bass, use topwater baits early and late, plastic worms in the brush, jigs in the brush and use spinnerbaits after dark; for smallmouths, jigs and plastics in 10-2 feet of water outside the brush line, split shot a nightcrawler the same depth, parallel a crankbait outside brush line early and late. For spotted bass, drop shot a plastic worm, jigging spoon, live nightcrawler, live crawfish in 25-35 feet of water off of step drop-offs and points; for walleye, troll deep diving crankbaits in 15-20 feet of water, bottom bounce with nightcrawlers in 15-30 feet of water, lead core trolling in 25-35 feet of water with longer stick baits, and try a jigging spoon in 25-35 feet of water. For catfish, limb line around the bank in the brush and use trotlines in the coves. We haven’t seen many white bass but we’d think under lights at night would work. As for crappie, haven’t seen many but also think that night under lights would work.
(updated 8-10-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort
(870-453-2424) reported that over last weekend, the fishing was not bad at all. No water was run at the dam and that, combined with it raining, made for good trout fishing. Everybody fishing for rainbow got their share, but other anglers also caught a bunch of browns. Rainbows are biting PowerBait, Power Worms or combination of the two. Browns are being caught three ways. Some anglers are using jigs but some are going to sculpins and crawdad tails. The water is running on a 12-hour cycle, shutting off during the evening and then being turned on again at about 10-11 a.m., meaning the resort sees low water in the morning, filling up to 15 feet in the afternoon with 7 units running at Bull Shoals.
Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock
said they were challenged with some extremely dingy, dark water for a couple of days this week after a downpour Sunday and a little more rain on Monday. So they turned to worms and the reliable silver and silver/blue spoons. Bright baits worked also, as well as, surprisingly, shrimp. Tuesday this week was a fantastic day. Fresh water flowing from the dam brought relief from the still draining streams, and the trout rewarded the anglers. Traditional bait (PowerBait in yellow, lemon lime and pink, with a touch of shrimp), spoons and peach-colored egg patterns got hit after hit. They see the river continuing to clear and expect the trout will return to afternoon feeding habits as SWP relies on afternoon releases. Cotter is the spot to catch beautiful browns with sculpins or crawdads.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said that during the past week, they have had a rain event (a half inch in Cotter), brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 1.2 feet to rest at a foot below seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 35 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.7 to rest at 2 feet below seasonal power pool and 16 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.7 feet to rest at 2.4 feet below seasonal power pool and 12 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation in the afternoon last week with wade-able water in the morning. On the White, the bite has been excellent. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. We have had more wade-able water. 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 (my current favorite is a red San Juan worm with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 553.12 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 8-10-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
said striper fishing continues to be hot. Besides Reynolds, he said several other guides have been having great success with multiple limits of stripers and several big fish. The bites have mainly been around the dam area; look for them in Shoal Creek, Koso Point, Thumb Point and Hudson. They continue to feed in 30-35 feet of water before light, then move out to deeper water. Before, the bite would end when the sun came up, but now the bite seems to getting better and longer. Reynolds said he has seen big schools of stripers feeding after 8 a.m. on multiple days. The rains this week should help the oxygen in the lower end of the lake, and with the work continuing on the dam they should not see much of a rise in the lake level. The best bait this past week has been gizzard shad. Reynolds said he has some trollers catching stripers but not like the live-bait fisherman. The past week has been his personal best for catching big stripers. His clients boated 18-, 20-, 21-, 22-, 23-, 29- and 35-pound stripers with multiple limits. What a week!
Don from Springfield, Mo., had wanted to fill one of his bucket list items: to catch a striper. Reynolds said he had had scheduled the trip with Don a month ago but the weather and striper bite was bad so they rescheduled for last Friday. As is usual, they left the dock at 4:30 a.m. and made the 15-minute ride to where Reynolds had found some stripers off a hump in the middle of the lake. The bite was slow for about an hour – a front had moved in and the stripers were looking at the bait. Don missed it. Bryan, Don's son, hooked up and they had one in the boat. They missed several others and Tom thought they would have an OK day but no limit. Then, magic happened. Don's pole went down and the fight was on, Tom position Don to fight the fish, and about a minute into the fight Bryan's pole went down. The way the pole went down and the drag was going, Tom knew it was BIG fish. The fish ran under the boat and between the engine and jack plate. Bryan was having a hard time trying to get the pole, so Tom left Don to fight his fish and took the pole from Bryan and backed the drag off so he could lower the rod around the engine and out. Tom tightened the drag up and Bryan and Don were fighting their fish of a lifetime. Don's came in and it was big 24 pounds, but its body told me it would have been a 30-pounder in the spring. Bryan's finally gave up and came to the boat. Tom tried netting it but his net was too small, so he had to do what the Wicked Tuna guys do: Pull it by hand. It was 35 pounds, and so far that's the biggest striper caught by Tom’s clients. Don's bucket list item was marked off with a big check mark. The fall bite will be starting soon as the water starts to cool down, so make your plans on the web with www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake. Be sure to read Reynolds’ Fall Striper tactics, which can be found on the NorforkLakeChamber.com website.
(updated 8-10-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort
said surface water temperature earlier this week was 87-89 degrees. The lake level is holding fairly stable with a few hours of power generation, and was sitting at 553.11. The main lake is clear and most creeks and coves are stained. The fishing continues to be good for most species. The summer fishing pattern is in full swing and will more than likely last throughout August and into the beginning of September. The better bite for striped bass is located from the Point 2 area to the dam. You can locate stripers on long points, as well as, on big rounded points. Before sunrise they are feeding in 30-40 feet of water, and as the sun gets over the tree line they move out to deeper water 50-70 feet deep and even into the old river channel. Live bait is working the best for Gabric, he said, but he did jig up a few the other day with a spoon. He said he’s been finding small schools of fish and most days they are aggressive, but over the last week he had a few days that they had over 30 short bites with very few takers, and that’s why they call it fishing. There have also been many big stripers being caught over the last couple of weeks in the 20- to the mid 30-pound range. Gabric said he thought he was going to be spooled with the 25-pounder he caught a few days ago.
If you are looking for other species of fish, you're in luck. The white bass, largemouth and walleye are in 28-35 feet of water. The best time to fish for them is from sunrise until about 9 or 10 a.m. and then again about an hour or so before sunset until it gets too dark to see. Minnows and nightcrawlers are working. Lou says he enjoys vertical and/or horizontal jigging with a spoon. He’s been using a ¾-ounce spoon with white as the main color. You need to bounce the jig off of the bottom and set the hook once you get hammered. Look for these fish on the large shallow flats or the shallow side of the shoreline. You can find the whites and the largemouth on your depth finder, but the walleye have been hard to see. Catfish are in the same target depth as the white bass and they are biting really well. Vertical jigging and crawlers are working well.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake rose 0.1 of a feet to rest at 2.9 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 27.1 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had reliable wade-able water every morning, when it was a bit cooler. The Norfork fished better on the lower water last week. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise 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. Dry Run Creek has been very busy, with summer vacation in full swing. It has not fished as well but is still yielding some trophy trout. 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 other day I got a call from my old friend, Doug Berry. I have known him for over 30 years and he was one of my first guide clients lo these many years ago. Despite the same last name, we have no direct knowledge that we are related, although we both believe we are somewhere in our past. Both of us have a connection to Belle Starr, the notorious outlaw, in our family oral history. My paternal grandfather was orphaned at birth and raised by Pony Star, Belle Starr’s brother-in-law. In addition, Doug reminds me of my father due to his mannerisms. Doug wanted to take his grandchildren fishing on Dry Run Creek. The idea was to drive from his home in Jackson, Miss., to Memphis to pick up his younger grandson, Jeb, and bring him here to fish on Monday and Tuesday. He would return to Memphis, drop off Jeb, and pick up Luke, his older grandson, to fish Thursday and Friday. This sounds like a lot of driving, but it makes perfect sense. This way each lad gets a lot of individual attention on stream and spends some quality time with granddad. I picked up Doug and Jeb at 7:30 a.m. at River Ridge Inn. I took them to the wader room and got a pair of waders, for both of them. We then drove to Dry Run Creek and began fishing. It took the 10-year-old a while to get the hang of it. He was starting to get a bit discouraged. Then right before lunch he landed a fine 22-inch brown trout. He was enthused from then on. After lunch, we went back to the creek and he caught two big browns (23 and 24 inches long) back to back. We fished till 4 p.m. and then I invited them to my house in Cotter where my wife, Lori, cooked a nice pot roast dinner. Doug brought a couple of bottles of fine red wine and a bottle of Scotch. It was an excellent evening. The next day the plan was to fish for a half day and try to hang another big fish. Around 8:30 he hooked up with a huge trout. It made several long runs, and I chased it up and down the stream. It was moving at will, despite the drag being set extremely heavy on the reel. Somehow Jeb hung on and I was able to net the monster. It was a thick heavy brown that went about 12 pounds. It was the biggest brown that one of my clients had landed in several years. Doug videoed the entire fight and took several photos of Jeb with his monster trout. We finished the day with a few more trout but nothing like this fish. I started the process again on Thursday morning with Luke, at 14 the older of the two boys. I must say that I was a bit apprehensive with the prospect of taking Luke out; I had so much success with his brother that I did not know if I could produce another trophy like we had caught earlier in the week. In this business, you are only as good as your last trip. The day began slowly. As luck would have it, he hooked a monster about 9:30 a.m. It came in fairly quickly but was big. It was a rainbow with a huge girth. I had never seen a fish with as large a girth for its length. It looked like a permit (a saltwater fish with a big girth); this rainbow was about 22-inches long but I estimated that it weighed around 10 pounds. I was greatly relieved to have Luke to catch a big trout so early in the day. I was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the day. We fished a half-day Friday. Luke landed a solid 22-inch brown. Otherwise the going was a bit slower than the previous day. They quit about 11 and headed back. A few days later I received a box of my favorite cigars from Doug as a thank-you. It was greatly appreciated. It was nice to fish with him again. The boys were great to work with. I look forward to doing it again.
(updated 8-10-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. John Berry's favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the river. There are no dams and the river is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
(updated 8-10-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. Try John Berry's 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,117.75 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 8-10-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported the water at a normal level and clear with the surface temperature in the low 90s. Bream were biting fair on crickets. Crappie were good. They were mostly around brush piles in 8-12 feet depth. While minnows and jigs worked well, trolling a crankbait about 8-14 feet deep was a good way to fish for the crappie. Bass were fair both early in the day and late. Spinnerbaits worked at night, and topwater, a Whopper Plopper and spoons brought them in. Catfishing was good using stink bait, prepared bait and line bait such as bream or goldfish. There were no reports of stripers, but walleye were occasionally hitting early and late.
(updated 8-10-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) reported seeing some topwater activity from white bass and stripers in the 5-15-pound range, so make sure you have a swimbait, spoon, jig or favorite topwater like a Zara Spook tied on and ready for blasting fish. They are chasing bait up from about 30 feet deep pinning them to the surface and will hit anything thrown into the fray and moving at a fast pace out of it. Hang on tight when they hit. Beaver Lake striper are on main lake structures and mouths of coves. Some Beaver Lake striper are using gravel bars, points, humps, tree tops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing weighted down lines will definitely get you some fish. Beaver lake striper fishing will be GOOD with striper taken on live shad fished on down lines from 30-60 feet deep, but also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, and plugs like Rapala size 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on downriggers. Jerkbaits like flukes, swim baits and jigs will also produce. Water surface temperature has been in the high 80s the past few days, so check out these areas on the mid and lower sections for the hottest action: Dam, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, and Point 5. Walleye are now back down on the main lake in numbers and on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-20 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Use three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water, or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.
(updated 8-10-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy
(479-244-0039) said fishing in the tailwaters this past week was very pleasant in the morning hours. Trout are still very active between U.S. Highway 62 bridge and Spider Creek. Most trout are being caught on light terminal tackle with various PowerBaits. Spoons are also producing nice numbers. Walleye, mostly males, are still being caught in the tailwaters as well. Most are being caught by jigging live minnows and soft grubs in various colors. The hot spot has been between Spider Creek and Parkers Bottom. Smallmouth bass is still hitting from cover, chunk rock and drop-offs. Rapalas and soft plastics have had the best response.
(updated 8-10-2016) Beaver Dam Store
reported the fly fishing in has been pretty good. Fishing the tailwaters of Beaver Dam should remain good. Norfork has been dumping trout on Thursdays and/or Fridays. The browns can be caught using midges, streamers and hopper patterns. For Rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, numphing and swinging small soft hackles. Good lures have been gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons, Flicker Shad in pro series sizes 4 and 5. Good PowerBait colors are white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies continue to be pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive or hares ear, tungsten copper Johns, WD 40s and Trout Magnets. Catfish are biting on Wicked Sticky catfish bait along with Magic Bait crawfish/chicken blood bait.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said he had to close the bait shop the remainder of the year.
(updated 8-10-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported that anglers are catching fish all throughout the lake, and it depends on what you’re fishing for and the time of day in deciding where to fish. The folks at the dock said they’d be happy to direct you to the hot spots. The water is at normal level and murky with a surface temperature of 83 degrees. Bream are biting fair around the docks on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is fair with most of them out in the lake. They’re hitting spinnerbaits, plastic worms, chatterbaits and flukes. Catfish are good, with most catches around the docks. Use worms, minnows and stink bait.
(updated 8-10-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported water normal and clear with a surface temperature of 90 degrees. Bream are all over the water and the fishing is good; use worms and crickets. Black bass are good and hitting spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and live bait. There were no reports on crappie.
(updated 8-10-2016) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said the biggest seller for bait these days is the crickets. The bream love them and we love the bream. They are boney, but delicious. We are selling a fair amount of the minnows to those that like to crappie fish. No news on the catfish and bass
Seth Boone at Lake Poinsett State Park
said the lake is lower than normal pool, but with a lot of rainfall. Look to have more success with baits that can be seen, such as bright spinnerbaits or Rapalas. Catfish are biting well on bream and goldfish. Bream are doing well on crickets.
(updated 8-10-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water was clear and the surface temperature was estimated in the mid-90s. The water level was normal. Bream were excellent and biting redworms and crickets. Bass were fair early in the morning or late in the evening on topwater lures. Catfishing was good using chicken livers or large minnows. There were no reports on crappie.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are running at 350 cfs (average) and water clarity is clear. Plenty of rain around the area but none on the Spring River lately. That has made the river low and clear. Catching has been great on Guppies and burnt Woolly Buggers. Nymph patterns can produce great also, about size 12-10. Hot pink Trout Magnets and orange, black or white Rooster Tails have been hot spin fishing. The catching does slow during the heat of the day but that is also when they are hitting bigger trout.
(updated 8-10-2016) John Berry in Cotter
saidthe Spring River has fished well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is in full swing and there are a lot of boats on the river. You should fish during the week, if you can. 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 8-10-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report this week. Last week, it reported that fishing was very slow due to the heat. But there have been a few catches of bass and crappie. The water clarity was clear and surface temperature was 93 degrees. The water is at 7 ½ feet, which is normal there. Bass are hitting crankbaits and plastic worms, and bass rated fair. Bream were caught on crickets and rated fair. There were no reports on catfish or walleye.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are around 90 in the main channel and in the lower 90s in backwaters and in Lake Langhofer. Water visibility is a little less than one foot all around. There is some muddier water mixing with cleaner water being flushed from backwaters in places. The river is creeping along, just enough to position fish in likely current-related spots. Black bass are slow throughout the pool. Your best bet is to fish shallow brush with jigs and soft plastics early in the morning, then use small shad-colored crankbaits on pieces of wood and brush on the first break away from the bank for the rest of the day. Although better quality can be caught from offshore brush piles, there are not many fish out there to be caught. High temperatures, abundant food supply and heavy pressure are keeping the bite pretty slow lately.
(updated 7-27-2016) Pine Haven Bait and Tackle (870-367-4303) said the water level is normal the clarity is murky. Bream are biting well on worms. Crappie fishing is poor, as is bass fishing. Catfish are good on redworms, nightcrawlers and chicken livers.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 257.42 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said conditions continued to be hot, there was slow current of 714 cfs in Little River, and tailwater was about 226.74 feet msl. Water temperatures were stable over the past week, ranging from 80 degrees early to 92 degrees later under full sun depending on location. Lake level remains in process of a 30-day, 2-foot drawdown at 257.3 feet msl for bank stabilization near Cottonshed Park according to USACE. Use extreme caution during navigation due to stumps and submerged lodged timber are at or near surface. Clarity and visibility varies from area to area. Some sections are clear, others have distinct mud lines. As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranged anywhere from 5-15 inches. Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains stained. Little River's visibility ranged 5-15 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranging 10-20 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.
Largemouth bass remain good from 2-5 pounds with lots of topwater activity, chasing shad early. Surface activity is best and continues to be from dawn to around 10 a.m. Bass are the most aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, stumps, cypress trees and vegetation in Little River near deep drops. Buzzbaits continue taking good keeper bass, as do Pop-R's and Ken Pops in bone or frog colors. Soft plastic frogs in black, pumpkinseed and June bug are still drawing reactions at the surface at daybreak. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads continue working and drawing good responses early in the day. Best color of buzzbaits remain Casper Ghost, bleeding bream or avocado colors around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels or in the river. Bass Assassin Shads continue biting best on Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini and Bad to the Bone colors. Good bites can also be had around pads in clearest water you can find with big bulky worms and magnum tube jigs in black, black/blue tail or Appleseed and Irish whiskey colors. Wacky rigs are taking some finicky bass in the oxbows up Little River. They saw a good response over the past week using Salty Rat Tails, and Bang Fat Jobs in Houdini, Waterboy, Blueberry or June bug colors up Little River in the sloughs and oxbows. The big bulky 10-12-inch worms in black grape, red bug, purple, peanut butter'n jelly or June bug all continue working 5-10 feet deep in Little River around standing timber, stumps and vegetation. The deep and medium diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad in Tennessee Shad, Citrus Shad and Citruse colors are working across underwater points in Little River; squarebill crankbaits are working long old river channel swings where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into Little River. Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills continue working in Millwood Magic and Ghost colors around deeper drops in Little River, and in the mouths of creek channels dumping into the river. Good reactions can be had using jigging spoons with bucktails like the Cordell hammered spoons and the Johnson spoons with a white grub trailer on the tail. Vertical jigging the jigging spoons in standing timber in 8-12 feet of depth, and working the Johnson spoons with grub trailers around and over big lily pad flats in 5-7 feet of depth, are working early in the morning. War Eagle spinnerbaits continue drawing strikes in pondweed and hydrilla and lily pads in Little River with Firecracker, Firetiger and Aurora colors where stumps and in vegetation collide. Bream- or perch-colored chatterbaits and squarebill crankbaits are working around pads, hydrilla, and stumps in Little Rock about 3-6 feet deep near cypress trees along steep banks.
Whites and hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on Fat Free Shad crankbaits, Little Georges, Beetle Spins, Rooster Tails, jigging spoons, and Rocket Shads in about 8-12 feet depth. The crappie bite continued improving over the past week, and they were biting over planted brush piles using vertical jigging tubes and jigs in 9-15 feet of depth. Best colors were white/chartreuse, chartreuse/blue and pink/white. Blues and channel cats continue biting well in Little River on trotlines set about 8-9 feet in creek mouths and outer bends of the river. Best bites continue to be on cut shad and other cut bait.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 542.57 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
No reports were submitted for this week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 401.81 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 8-10-2016) Local angler George Graves surface water is in the upper 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is slow due mainly to the hot weather and the lack of fishermen. Those that are getting out before sunup are recording a few fish mostly on topwater with the fish feeding on the abundant shad schools. Most any natural color surface plug or swimbait will catch fish as long as it is presented exactly where the fish "breaks." Best action has been in the big coves on the south side between points 2 and 6. Also some action around the mouth of Yancey Creek and Alpine Ridge. A few crappies reported coming from the deep main lake brush piles at 20-25 feet deep. Once again this is early morning fishing. Drop a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube on a 1/16-ounce jighead to just above the thickest part of the brush. Best color in the clear water has been Tennessee Shad. Best areas are at mid-lake between Edgewood and Point 15.
Hybrid fishing has slowed with the fish scattered in the deep thermocline at 45-50 feet in 90-120 feet of water. The fish are mostly singles with virtually no schooling activity. Those that know how to catch these fish are doing fairly well. It involves using the sonar to position the boat directly over the fish and dropping a spoon to just above the fish. Smaller ½- to ¾-ounce silver spoons have been working best. Look for fish on the south side around points 2 and 4. Also around the dam in the Iron Mountain area. Some smaller schooling fish reported around Alpine Ridge early in the morning. Most any small surface lure will work as long as it is worked over the feeding fish. Some nice shell crackers reported coming off secondary points in 20-25 feet of water. Tight-line a redworm or cricket just off the bottom. Move around the point slowly until you find the school. Best areas are the big coves at Caddo Drive and Arlie Moore.
(updated 8-10-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com
said summer is here in full force. Water temperatures are running from mid-80s to 90 degrees depending on the area of the lake you are on. Schooling fish are spread out over most of the lake. They are mostly whites and smaller blacks. They can be caught on many types of lures from spoons (small), shallow running baits (shad color), topwater (Rebel Pop-R). They will hit most anything that resembles a small shad. Hybrids can be caught but you have to be in the right place at the right time. Shad-colored crankbaits, swimbaits, spoons, and topwaters all produce for schooling fish. Catfish are biting slow but steady. Noodles and trotlines in 6-10 feet depth are good depth. Live bait and cut bait producing best. Bream can still be caught deep. The challenge is to locate them in groups. Surprisingly, crappie are still biting in deep areas. Fish brush piles in the 15 feet depth as a minimum. Minnows are still the best bet for bait. Fish close over the top of the brush piles or down inside. No report on black bass.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
reported the lake is doing well on white, hybrid and black bass early in the morning schooling. Topwater and spoons are working best.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 337.01 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl).
(updated 8-10-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025)
reported the water was at low level. The surface temperature was 93 degrees. Bream were good on worms. Crappie were found in the river channel at about 7 feet and were biting minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good with 10-inch worms working beset. Catfishing was excellent and the fish were found mostly in shallow water. Worms worked best for the cats.
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no reports.
(updated 8-10-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615)
reported the water is low and muddy from a significant amount of rain. Bass fishing is good early in the morning and later in the day. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on worms and crickets. Bream are fair. The fishing recently has been slow but is better in deeper waters. Use worms and crickets for bream. Crappie fishing has been poor. No reports on white bass.
(updated 8-10-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature is in the low to mid-90s. Water clarity is good in creeks and rivers. Bass fishing has been good on points with wood, on shell beds, and drops with brush piles. Crankbaits swimbaits and worms have been working well with a topwater bite occasionally. Striped bass have been good on swimbaits, spinnerbaits and Rat-L Traps. They also have a topwater bite going occasionally with Zara Spooks and poppers. White bass have been active off main river points, with crankbaits Rat-L Traps and topwater baits working well. Bream have been good with worms and crickets around down trees along the main river. Catfishing has been good in the main river in the deeper holes on shad.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 572.57 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort
(870-867-2191) said the water temperature is 84-90 degrees and the water is clear. Black bass are fair and still being caught with Texas rigged worms, Pig-n-Jigs and buzzbaits. Brush piles on main lake and secondary points are producing the best results when fished with Texas rigged plastics or jigs. Drop shot finesse worms are working well for “spots.” Walleye are excellent and are being caught trolling shallow running crankbaits and jigging CC spoons. Stripers are still fair on live bait. The central and east areas of the lake are the hottest right now. Bream are still good. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 12-25 feet deep. Crappie are slow. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 25-30 feet deep near brush. Catfish are still fair. Try live bait or hot dogs in depths of 15-20 feet.
David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association
said fishing for striper on Lake Ouachita has been tough. They are seeing fish from Crystal all the way to the east side from 20 feet to 70. As a live-bait fisherman, Draper said, he has tried everything and nothing seems to help. Bottom line is, if you find a couple of hungry fish, they will bite, but that is few and far between. Draper said he doesn't know if artificial baits are working or not.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
reported bream are doing well on crickets. They are still not seeing whites school like they usually do.
(updated 8-10-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 61 degrees and rises to 67 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace. Entergy continues to generate around noon each day until 7 or 8 p.m. Variations in current flow are always dependent upon Entergy demands. Summertime lake levels remain in place and will stay at current levels until mid-November. Rainbow trout season is over and has been for over a month. Very few trout remain in the area and numbers will not increase until late November when the stocking program begins again. An occasional trout is caught but none in numbers. Small numbers of hold-over fish are present and can be seen chasing the insect hatches close to the dam. These fish are wary and extremely difficult to catch. This scenario occurs below the dam every year and coincides with the heat of the summer. The vast majority of trout have either bene caught or migrated away from the dam this time of year. Die-hard anglers are using live bait presentations such as wax or meal worms floated up just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Redworms or nightcrawlers fished in the same manner have accounted for the trout caught. White bass are present in the tailrace feeding on shad with action best when the turbines are running. Current flow triggers the feeding impulses of tailrace fish as water movement brings shad activity to life. Slack water times are normally quiet with few fish feeding. Experienced anglers wait until periods of generation to present lures that imitate shad. Alabama rigs are a best bet when fish are schooling and targeting shad. Hybrid bass are mixed in with the white bass and can be caught on the same lures. Spinnerbaits in white or yellow are also effective cast across areas of current flow. Stripers move in and out of the Carpenter Dam tailrace like the wind. They are present for a few days and then disappear without warning. While these fish thrive in the oxygenated waters below the dam, there are many days and weeks where no striped bass are present. This fact make this fish extremely hard to guide for and harder to catch than any other species in the lake. Live bait is the best method of targeting these roaming fish by using large minnows or gizzard shad under a balloon rig. Alabama rigs took bass over 40 pounds last summer, but no fish in that class has been landed this year. Catfish are finished spawning but are still being caught below the bridge on jug lines rigged with shad or stink baits. These fish have a highly developed sense of smell and track prey effectively in all water levels and clarity. A nice mixture of blue and channel catfish with the occasional flathead caught in the last several weeks. No big fish landed, with the majority of fish in the 2-4-pound range. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should be aware of the generation schedules and must always wear a lifejacket. All park and boating regulations have to be followed for personal safety.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.04 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.
Natalie Carter, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040)
, said crappie, bream and bass all increased considerably in activity this past weekend with the cooler temperatures. Crappie and bream were biting well at moderate depths on live bait, while bass were responding strongly to various jigs and lures. With temperatures rising again this week, activity is expected to drop back off to minimal. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center located in Marianna, off of Hwy 44 is selling bait and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
(updated 8-10-2016) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported that crappie picked up considerably this past weekend, hitting mostly on crickets. Bream activity still reported as slow from the fishing pier, with most activity being in the early morning hours after the rains. No reports on bass or catfish. With temperatures rising again this week, activity is expected to drop back off to minimal.
(updated 8-10-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported fishing good the past several days. The water was stained on Tuesday of this week, but was expected to clear as the week went on. The water is high for what the bay typically sees this time of year, but is at a good level for fishing at 16-17 feet. Bream are good and are found around cypress knees but also out in the water about 18 inches deep. The shop is selling lots of crickets for bream fishermen. Crappie are fair and are in about 4-6 feet depth. They are biting minnows. Bass fishing has been very good, hitting most any types of bait thrown, with crankbaits getting a lot of action. Catfishing is good on limb lines and hitting various stink bait. Lots of reports of good white bass catches, too.