Tagged Catfish Could Be Big Prize Winner
Tagged Catfish Could Be Big Prize Winner
August 3, 2016
Keep a lookout for a tagged catfish.
Tagged Catfish Might Lead to Big Prize 
   A tagged catfish from one of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program sites might be worth more than a couple of fillets.
   The FCFP’s latest promotion offers family fun at Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center in Hempstead County. The big prize is a nature getaway for up to 14 people, including a two-night stay at West Lodge at the education center. The prize also includes access to the education center’s shotgun and archery ranges, two fishing lakes and canoeing.
   The entering process begins with catching a catfish. Anyone 18 or older with a valid Arkansas fishing license who catches a tagged catfish at any FCFP location is eligible to enter. Simply mail the tag, postmarked by Oct. 21, to Family and Community Fishing Program, 2 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205. Include name and contact information. Only one entry per household will be accepted. The winner’s name will be drawn Oct. 27, live on KTHV, Channel 11.
   As always, check the AGFC’s stocking hotline, 866-540-FISH (3474), or www.agfc.com/fishing/pages/fishingprogramsfcfstock.aspx for up-to-date information.
Read More at Arkansas Outdoors
(updated 8-3-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said water was stained and at a normal level, with a surface temperature of 92 degrees. Bream were excellent off the bank in 10 feet of water using worms or crickets. Crappie were fair around cypress trees and near the Highway 89 bridge on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was fair, mostly around lily pads; use white spinnerbaits or soft plastic worms. Catfish were biting in 6-8 feet of water in the creek channels on limb and trotlines using minnows and goldfish. 


(updated 8-3-2016) 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, we recommend sowbugs, midges and Woolly Buggers. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend cotton candy- and white-colored bodies on chartreuse or gold colored jig heads. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.  
(updated 7-27-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear and cool and the weather remains humid and hot. Morning fishing is the best option because of the heat. Fishing has been fair to good with soft hackle emergers, midge pupas and sow bugs being the best fly choices. Generation has been starting about 2 p.m. each afternoon until about 7 p.m., with two units running during the week and one on the weekend.
(updated 7-20-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co. said fishing has been good. We have had great water levels, which has made fishing in the heat very productive. The hot flies have been sow bugs and pheasant tail nymphs. Pink, sassy and chartreuse Trout Magnets have been working well also.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.83 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said black bass are for sure in their summer patterns and most are deep. With a few fish being shallow all year, the deeper fish can be caught on tubes, Texas rigged worms, C-rigs and deep diving crankbaits. The shallow fish will bite a spinnerbait if you have some wind, as well as small crankbaits and tube jigs. The crappie are all sitting around pole timber or brush piles either suspended or on the bottom and can be caught 15-35 feet deep on minnows or jigs. The catfish are eating a lot this time of year and can be caught on jugs, trotlines or rod and reels using live or prepared bait of your choice on flats next to deep water. The bream have just come off another spawn and guarding fry. There are shallow beds and deep beds, and your better fish will be in 20-27 feet of water and can be caught on crickets or crawlers. The walleye fishing is kind of rough this time of year; drag crawlers or crankbaits off of pea gravel banks in 24-30 feet of water for the best results. The hybrid and white bass are schooling some on and off all day. Use topwater baits for these and/or flies; the fish that are down in 25-45 feet of water can be caught on spoons, in-line spinners fished vertical and swimbaits.
(updated 7-27-2016) 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 8-3-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said conditions were fair hot for fishermen, but they did see lots of dragon flies. It was a fair week for fishing with water level low, clarity clear and surface temperature at 84 degrees. Bream were biting crickets. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Bass rated fair early in the day or late on topwater presentation. Catfishing was fair on trotlines using chicken livers. 
(updated 7-20-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland BBQ Chicken, Cajun Cricket, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and Penny Back Shad-colored 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs. The night bite has picked up for crappie. Catfish are biting on minnows, worms and shad. Bass are biting on buzzbaits, soft-plastic worms and minnows. Topwater lures have also been good. White bass are biting Bobby Garland Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs, Cajun Spins and Johnson Silver Minnows. Bream are  biting well on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper jigs.


(updated 8-3-2016) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is up by 1.5 feet. and a little murky. Surface temp is 89-90 degrees. Bream are doing great on crickets, worms and Rock Hoppers. Bass are chasing shad and hitting just about any topwater bait. Crappie are slow but still catching some good size in 10-12 feet of water. Catfish are doing good on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and bream, jugs and trotlines.
(updated 8-3-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said surface temperature was hot and the level was normal, and very hot weather slowed the fishing. Catfishing was excellent using worms or blood bait. Bass were being caught early in the day or after sunset using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Crappie ranged from fair to good, with jigs getting action. Bream were good using worms and crickets. Besides offering the only ethanol-free gas for boat motors in this area, Fosters has ice cold water, food and bait.
(updated 8-3-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported black bass are good early in the morning or late in the day, biting on wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. Blacks can be caught in 15-20 feet of water. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. Despite the heat we are getting some good catches. Kentucky bass are good. They’re bing 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. Use CC spoons, deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. They’re all over the lake. They are being caught in the main lake on CC spoons, white jigs and on 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. They can be found at 15 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good. Cats are being caught in 15-20 feet of water and are being caught on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.


(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. 


(updated 8-3-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said water is at normal level and clear. Fishing was good this week but the heat slowed down the fishermen. Bream fishing is good on redworms and crickets. Crappie fishing was slow but rated fair. Minnows are the way to go. Bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing is good using blood bait and chicken liver. No reports on white bass. 


(updated 8-3-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reported twater being stained and the surface temperature in the mid-90s. Water level is normal. Bream were fair on worms and crickets. Crappie were good around the jetties on minnows. Bass were good and were biting crankbaits, flukes and small bass. Catfishing was good using stink bait.
(updated 8-3-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said mostly the fishermen were rained out last week. When they could get out, catfishing in Clear Lake and near Terry Dame was excellent in deep waters using cut bait. Bream were good around beds using redworms or crickets. 
(updated 7-27-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and at a normal level, with the surface temperature in the 90s, but the fishing is slow with it so hot. Bream are active about 4-5 feet of depth and are good on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is poor. Bass fishing is good early in the day and late after sundown around the rocky points; use black buzzbaits and topwater lures. Catfish are working the river in the vicinity of the Little Rock Regional Airport. They are about 25 feet deep and are biting well on cut shad and chicken livers. Closer to the David D. Terry Lock and Dam, try blood bait, shad, chicken livers and worms for the cats.
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair on skipjack, shad, chicken livers and chicken hearts. It’s good snagging. No other reports on fish there.


(updated 8-3-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said fishing was kind of slow because of the intense heat as well as the rain of last week. Water clarity is clear and the level is low. Bass were good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing was good using live bait. Crappie were fair on minnows. Bream fishing was poor.  


No reports.


(updated 8-3-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bass fishing was excellent early in the morning or late in the day using topwater baits. Catfishing was only at night and was fair. Try shad, chicken hearts, nightcrawlers or skipjack. 


(updated 8-3-2016Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is excellent on nightcrawlers, chicken liver, chicken hearts and stink bait. 


(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 8-3-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported catfishing was good in the Maumelle River area using shad, skipjack, chicken liver, chicken hearts, noodles, on trotlines.
(updated 7-27-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and at a normal level, but with surface temperature at 90 degrees and heat indices in the mid-100s, it has slowed the fishing considerably. Bream are about 4-5 feet deep and are biting worms and crickets. Bass seem to like black buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, Zara Spooks and other topwater lures and are good very early or for late-in-the-evening anglers. Catfishing is good on shad, worms and chicken livers. Crappie are poor.



(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.



North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.22 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 8-3-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported ideal fishing conditions in the morning with excellent results. The river level is low and clarity is clear. Rainbows were hitting shrimp, PowerBait and almost any kind of bait was bringing in great catches.
(updated 8-3-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said he continues to see (and hear of) some very nice browns being caught (sculpins and streamers), many of them right in the Cotter area and downstream to Rim Shoals. Don't be afraid to try different baits, different colors; use a wide selection. Several brook trout were caught this past week using standard trout bait: Try orange and/or pink PowerBait or egg patterns upstream from Cotter all the way to the state park. Blue and silver spoons were proving successful in the low water this week and wading opportunities this past weekend were abundant – SWP released only minimum flow amounts on Saturday and Sunday. Looks like they’re back to the heavy afternoon releases again during the weekdays so pay attention to the eating patterns of the trout to determine bait requirements. 
(updated 8-3-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said one rain event dropped a quarter-inch in Cotter, outside of brutally hot temperatures (including heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.5 feet to rest at 0.8 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 34.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.3 feet to rest at 1.3 feet below seasonal power pool and 15.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.8 feet to rest at 3.1 feet below seasonal power pool and 11.7 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation in the afternoon last week with more wade-able water in the morning. All of the lakes on this system are at or near seasonable power pool. We should expect more generation in the afternoon to supply power for the increased demand for air conditioning. On the White, the bite has been excellent. The hot spot with more wade-able water has been Rim Shoals. 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). The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy 24-30-foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier) on bigger water. You will need an 8- or 9-weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great. 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.92 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said stripers continue their summer feeding pattern. Both live bait and trolling seems to work the best right now. The trollers are mostly trolling between point 2 and the dam, staying on the edge of the channel. One person said he had caught 13 one day. The Arkansas Fish and Game Commission has requested that anybody who catches a legal striper should not be releasing them back into the lake. The warm water causes tremendous stress on the fish. They will look fine when released but later in the day they die, according to fish studies of stripers released in hot water. Catch your limit then switch to another species or call it a day and head for the beach. The stripers are still feeding in 35-50 feet of water before light, they then move off the points and suspend in or near the old river channel. Look for them off Thumb, Georges Cove, Koso and the dam area. The lake is being maintained at the 553 level until the dam gate work is completed. We should continue to see excellent striper fishing well into the fall. This past week the bigger stripers have started biting. Multiple days Tom says he has caught fish in the high teens up to the mid-20s. Now is the time to get out on the lake and catch your trophy. A young couple from Michigan called and wanted to try their luck at catching some stripers. Caleb and Danielle never fished for stripers so as with most of Tom’s clients the trip was going to be an adventure. Caleb hooked a striper before light and they were on their way to catching a limit early. Sometimes what you think will happen never seems to work out that way. For some reason after Caleb caught the first striper he could not keep a striper on the line. He had four stripers hooked and lost every one of them. It was getting frustrating for everybody, but failure sometimes turns out to be a success. Danielle caught a striper, then another, so we had three in the boat and should have been heading back to the marina if Caleb would have caught his. Tom moved out to the channel and it was now near 7 a.m. and getting hot. Then magic happened. The rod went down and Tom gave it to Caleb and he fought it for a good 10 minutes and finally he landed the striper which weighed 23 pounds. The next minute the float went down and Danielle started fighting that and she landed a 21-pound striper. The bite slowed so Tom moved to another spot and they caught number six quickly and were back at the marina by 8 a.m. The moral is, never give up just because you are having a bad day. You never know how it will turn out, Caleb's failure to land those early stripers led him and Danielle to catch a fish of a lifetime.
(updated 7-27-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing continues in its hot summer fishing pattern. Most fish are deep and will continue to go deeper as the thermocline drops. To be quite honest, he says, not much has changed since the report last week. Gabric says he is catching stripers before sunrise in 35-45 feet of water on long points and large flats. As the sun comes up they move off the side of the point into deeper water 70-plus feet, but are still 30-45 feet down. Live bait, vertical jigging with a spoon and trolling swimbaits are all working. Over the past week Gabric said he has been fishing with his family and they have been having a lot of fun. Some big fish are biting. His 9-year-old granddaughter landed a 20-plus pound striper and his 12-year-old granddaughter has caught several fish. Her biggest so far has been a 14-pound striper. He said it’s a blast to watch these kids fight a striper on their own from start to finish and they’re making some good memories. The biggest change this week over last is for the largemouth and spotted bass.Lou, as well as a couple of his guests, have found some good topwater fishing in the morning at sunrise and also at sunset. The other day he was fishing with his granddaughter and they were sitting in 70 feet of water off of a point where she was catching stripers. In the times between netting her fish, Lou said he was casting a Kastmaster into 25 feet of water. Almost every cast after the bait hit the water a bass hammered it. Some were keeper size, most were small, but still a lot of fun. The other location where his guests have gotten into topwater fish is back in the major creeks in shallow water. Fish are chasing shad early, but even after you don't see them they are still coming up for a topwater lure. Wiggle Warts are also working very well most days. Crappie fishing is in its normal hot water slow time, but there are some good crappie being caught. They are still under docks and you can also find them scattered along the deep water bluffs. Locate a ledge 20-30 feet down and they will be suspended along the ledge. Small swimbaits as well as live minnows have caught some nice fish. Norfork Lake water level is holding stable with minimal power generation and currently sits at 552.73. The surface water temperature is ranging from 87-92 degrees depending on the time of day. The main lake is clear and some creeks and coves are stained with others clearing. The lake is in great shape for all your summertime fun activities, not only fishing.
(updated 7-20-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is 552.8 and the water temperature is in the mid- to upper 80s. Stripers are suspended around 35 feet deep early in the morning. As the sun gets higher, they may move as deep as 60 feet down in 100-foot and deeper areas. Look along channel swings on bluff ends and in the deeper coves and on some of the deep flats. Black bass are hitting topwater lures early. Once the morning bite has died, switch to a jig, Texas-rigged worm or drop-shot rig with a small minnow-style lure or 4-inch finesse worm in 15 feet of water. The bass will move as deep as 30 feet during the hottest part of the day. Look for some white bass hanging in coves. Key in on the ditches that run through the coves close to any flats. 
(updated 8-3-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake rose 0.1 of a foot to rest at 3 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 27.2 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had reliable wade-able water every morning, when it was a bit cooler. All of the lakes on this system are at or near seasonable power pool. We should expect more generation in the afternoon to supply power for the increased demand for air conditioning. The Norfork has fished better on the lower water this week. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #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. My favorite fly has been the Green Butt.


(updated 8-3-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the river. There are no dams and the river is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


(updated 8-3-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. Try his favorite lure for smallmouths, the Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering. There are no dams, there are large drainages and the creek prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.



Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,118.16 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 8-3-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported that water was clear and surface temperature was 90 degrees. Water level was normal. The best fishing was for catfish, using prepared and live bait. Bass were fair early in the day and late with spinnerbaits, topwater baits and spooning. Crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Bream were fair using crickets. 
(updated 8-3-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper activity forecast for the week is good. Fish are on main lake structures and mouths of coves, etc. Some Beaver Lake striper are using gravel bars, points, humps, treetops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. The lake has begun cooling and surface temps have dropped 2-4 degrees on the main lake. Fish are locating in areas with bait near where springs are found. Fishing weighted-down lines will definitely get you some fish. Striper fishing will be good on live shad fished on down lines from 25-40 feet deep; also try trolling small/large umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on downriggers. Jerkbaits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. On the mid and lower sections check out these hot-spot areas, where water surface temperature is in the mid-80s: Beaver Lake dam, where hybrid cove has fish; 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. Three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.


(updated 8-3-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said fishing has been good this week in the river. Trout are very active and biting on various PowerBaits with light terminal tackle. Walleye are still being caught in small numbers between Spider Creek and Houseman Access by jigging with minnows and white grubs. Smallmouth bass are also active and hitting on various Rapalas and Rooster Tails thrown and retrieved from structure. Most generation is accruing in the evening hours, so get out there early. 
(updated 8-3-2016) Beaver Dam Store reported the fly fishing has been pretty good and should remain good. Norfork has been dumping trout regularly on Fridays. The browns can be caught using midges, streamersand hopper patterns. For rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, numphing and swinging small soft hackles. Good lures are gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series No. 4's and 5's. Try these colors in PowerBaits: white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black and olive and hares ear, tungsten copper Johns, WD 40s and Trout Magnets. Catfish are biting on Wicked Sticky catfish bait along with Magic Bait crawfish/chicken blood bait.


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


(updated 8-3-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported the water was stained. It was at a normal level with a surface temperature of 83 degrees. Bass fishing was excellent using minnows, live worms, plastic worms, spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Two 40-pound catfish were pulled in back-to-back last week, and overall the catfish are biting really well. Use worms or blood bait. Bream were good on redworms or crickets. Crappie fishing was fair. Most were around brush piles; use minnows and jigs. 


(updated 8-3-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported the clarity as dingy and a surface temperature of 92 degrees. Water level is normal. Catfishing was excellent using chicken liver or shad. Bass were good on spinnerbaits and topwater lures. There were no reports on bream or crappie. 



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 8-3-2016) 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 8-3-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water was at a normal level and clear, with a surface temperature in the 90s. Catfishing was excellent using c hicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bream were good on redworms and crickets. Bass fishing was fair early in the day or late, using crankbaits or topwater lures. No reports on crappie. 


(updated 7-20-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said the river is running at 375 cfs and clarity is clear. The river is the lowest it has been all year, making for easier wading and excellent fishing. The catch has been great early in the day and hot in the afternoon. Olive burnt woollies and Guppies have been the hot flies this week. Nymphs will produce also but the burnt olive woolly has been the hot fly. Swing it and wait for that hard hit at the end of the swing. Catching some nice sizes lately, too. Hot pink Trout Magnets are not only hot for trout, but the smallmouth bass love them, too. Chartreuse Trout Magnets have been good for trout as well. Be careful in the afternoons. Stay hydrated and wet wade.
(updated 8-3-2016) John Berry in Cotter said the Spring River is fishing well. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is 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 8-3-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said fishing is 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.



Southeast Arkansas

(updated 7-27-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water surface temperatures are in the low 90s on the main channel and mid- to upper 90s by the end of the day in backwaters and in Lake Langhofer. The river is still moving a bit, enough to position fish on jetties. Black bass, especially the larger ones, are slow after about 11 a.m. Massive schools of small shad can be found throughout the river, pretty much everywhere, so downsize to small shad-imitating lures and be patient because bites are few and far between right now.  


No report.


No report.


(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.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 257.33 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 8-3-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Monday it’s hotter than blue blazes at Millwood. The lake is about 2 feet below normal conservation pool and falling. There is slow current of 703 cfs in Little River; tailwater is about 226.9 feet msl. Water temperatures were stable over the past week, ranging from near 80 degrees to the 92-degree range later under a full sun, depending on location. Lake level is in the process of a 30-day, 2-foot drawdown for bank stabilization near Cottonshed Park, according to the Corps of Engineers. Use extreme caution during navigation on Little River and Millwood due to stumps and submerged lodged timber are at or near surface. Clarity and visibility is improved compared to last week in most areas on main lake and Little River. Away from current, clarity and visibility ranges about 10-15 inches. Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake is stained. Little River's visibility ranges 12-15 inches depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranging about 20 inches depth of visibility depending on location.
Largemouth bass are good from 2-4 pounds on topwaters early in the day and late. Best activity period continues to be from predawn to around 9:30 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 are still randomly taking good keeper bass. Pop-R's and Ken Pops in bone or frog colors and Baby Torpedoes in frog and shad patterns are still drawing reactions at the surface at daybreak. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads and soft plastic frogs all remain working and drawing good responses early in the day. Best color of buzzbaits remain Blue On Black, Bleeding shad (white/pink), or Casper Ghost 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 continue on black- or June bug-colored soft plastic frogs this week around pads in clearest water you can find. Big bulky 10-12-inch worms, in black grape, watermelon candy, red bug, and plum or June bug are 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. War Eagle spinnerbaits continue drawing strikes in pondweed and hydrilla and lily pads in Firecracker, Firetiger and Aurora colors where stumps and in vegetation collide, over this past week in Little River. Bream-colored chatterbaits and squarebill crankbaits, are working around pads, hydrilla, and stumps from 3-6 feet deep near cypress trees along steep banks of Little River. Chrome and blue spoons are working in stumps and timber from 10-15 feet deep.
Whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on Fat Free Shad crankbaits, Little Georges, Beetle Spins, Rooster Tails and Rocket Shads at about 8-10 feet deep. The crappie bite continued to improve over the past week, and were biting over planted brush piles using vertical jigging tubes and jigs in 12-16 feet of depth. Best colors were white/chartreuse, black/chartreuse, and pink and white. Blues and channel cats continue biting well in Little River on trotlines about 8-12 feet deep, in creek mouths and outer bends of the river. Best bites continue to be on cut shad, chicken hearts, gizzards, and other cut bait.  


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 543.18 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 402.56 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 8-3-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Fishing is slow on all fronts due to the hot weather taking its toll on both fish and fishermen.
Not much to report on bass except for a few decent catches coming early in the morning on top water plugs and swim baits.  Look for "breaking" schooling fish in the big coves along the south side between points 2 and 6.  Also try a Texas rigged finesse worm in green pumpkin/red flake for some nice Kentuckies in the same areas. No reports on crappies. Hybrid fishing is fair for deep-water fish and fishermen that know how to fish the deep water. Look for fish in the lower end of the lake between the dam and Caddo Bend. Best areas are the big coves at points 2 and 4 and the big coves along the State Park. The fish will be in the thermocline at 40-45 feet. Drop a heavy jigging spoon to just above the fish. The fish are really scattered so it might take some looking with the sonar until fish are located. Best and only time for a bite is very early in the morning. A few nice shell crackers are showing on the deep points at mid-lake.  Look for fish on points in the big coves at 25-30 feet. Tight-line a redworm or cricket straight down and just off the bottom. Best areas are around Arlie Moore, Caddo Drive and the big creeks such as Big Hill and Brushy.
(updated 8-3-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com said the lake water temperature is 86-90 degrees depending on area of the lake you are on. Recent storms have cooled the surface a little. Water is clear with little debris in it. Fishing is slowing down with the heat we are experiencing. Some hybrids are being caught on live bait in DeRoche area. You can still can pick up some trolling with shad color crankbaits (deep divers). There are lots of surfacing fish up and down the lake. These can be caught using topwaters and spoons. The majority of these are whites and blacks. Crappie fishing has slowed to a crawl with summertime factors. Work brush piles a minimum of 15 feet for any success. Live minnows are the best bet. Fish slow and deep. They are biting very slow and soft. Probably pick up one or two in a spot, then move on. Bream are still biting but you have to fish deep and find them. No report on black bass. Fish slow, fish deep, stay hydrated!



South-Central Arkansas

No reports.


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


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


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



West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 336.98 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 8-3-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported the water level was normal and water was clear, with a surface temp reading of 87 degrees. Fishing was good all around. Bream were biting worms and crickets. Crappie were good on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good on crankbaits and topwater lures. White bass was good. Catfish were biting well on chicken liver or shad. 
(updated 7-20-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported crappie biting in creeks on BBQ Chicken, Cajun Cricket, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and Penny Back-co9lored Baby Shad, Slab Slay’rs and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs and minnows. The best bite has been at night. Catfish are hitting yo-yo’s baited with minnows, worms and shad. Bream are biting on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper jigs. Bass are biting best on buzzbaits and other topwater lures. 
(updated 8-3-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said had no reports.


(updated 8-3-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported the water is low but clear. Bass fishing is excellent 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 is slow but is better in deeper waters. Use worms and crickets. Crappie fishing has been poor. No reports on white bass


(updated 8-3-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature is in the 90s. Water clarity is good in the main river, with some dingy creeks. Bass fishing has been really good. Worms, crankbaits, Carolina rigged scam shad and Hoax Fish Bamboozie Craw have been working the best, around isolated structure and shell bad drops. Frogs have been working well in the lily pads. Stripers have been good off the end of jetties on chatterbaits with a scam shad trailer, and swimbaits. Early morning topwater is getting bites in the creeks. Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits have been working well around the inlet of the Entergy nuclear plant. White bass have been very good schooling in the main river small, while crankbaits and topwater baits like a Chug Bug have been working well. Bream have been really good around floating mats in the main river. Around downed trees in the creek, use worms, crickets and grasshoppers. Catfish has been good in the main river on worms along jetties and bluff walls. Dead men always have been working well in the creeks. Live perch have been working well for the fathead. No reports on crappie


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.04 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191) said the water temperature is 86-90 degrees, the water level is clear and the lake was at a level of 573.45 feet msl. Black bass are still fair and still being caught with Texas rigged worms, Pop-R’s and buzzbaits. Brush piles on main lake and secondary points are producing the best results when fished with Texas rigged plastics. Drop shot finesse worms are working well for “spots.” Walleye are still excellent and are being caught trolling shallow running crankbaits and jigging CC spoons. Stripers are fair on live bait.  The central and east areas of the lake are the hottest right now. Bream are good. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 12-25 feet deep. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 20-30 feet deep near brush. Catfish are fair. Try live bait or hot dogs in depths of 15-20 feet. 


No reports.


(updated 8-3-2016) 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 been caught or migrated away from the dam this time of year. Diehard 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 casted 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 have taken 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 386.22 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.



East Arkansas

(updated 8-3-2016) Natalie Carter, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said minimal activity was reported by fishermen. Bass are biting on jigs, with a tendency to be more active in the early morning hours. Crappie are responding lightly to live bait, again in the early morning or late evening hours. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center located in Marianna, off of Hwy 44, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. The park sells redworms, nightcrawlers, shad and crickets along with a wide variety of jigs and artificial baits. 


(updated 8-3-2016) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported minimal activity reported by fishermen. Crappie are responding moderately to live bait, generally in the early morning hours before the heat of the day. No reports on bass. Bream seem to have drastically slowed in activity – few reports of success at moderate depths from fishing pier. 


(updated 8-3-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported the water level was high and clarity was stained. Surface temperature was 90 degrees. Fishing was good early last week, then rained out. Bass fishing was fair to excellent using topwater baits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Bream were fair around brush piles with worms or crickets. Crappie worked fair on minnows and jigs. Catfishing was fair; use worms, chicken livers and nightcrawlers for best chance.



Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit hwww.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
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