(updated 2-17-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 51 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets fished right on the bottom. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs fished around Adams lake and Gold Creek. Bass are fair on topwater lures and jerk baits. Catfishing is fair on worms and minnows hung from limb lines and yo-yos around cypress trees in 6 feet of water.
Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing
(501-607-0590) had no report.
(updated 2-24-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said at the time of this report, we have 24hrs of water release from one unit of generation. As the Greers Ferry Lake level reaches the desired level for Corps of Engineers to resume maintenance work on the dam, we anticipate a change in the current generation pattern and expect to see more favorable water levels for wade fishing. Streamers, San Juan worms, micro jigs and sowbugs are working well for fly fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, use hot pink, cotton candy and purple bodies on gold and chartreuse 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 (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 2-24-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips
(501-690-9166) said the Power Commission decided to change the current drawdown plan on Greers Ferry to one unit of generation around the clock until the lake level is 457 feet. This is the level needed to do the repair work necessary to bring the second generator online. March 1 is the target date for this level unless we get a large amount of rainfall before this date. When the lake reaches this level, the generation should return to demand only, which should allow wade fishing. The one generator water is at a flow of about 3400 cfs. Drift fishing is available on this water but no wade fishing. Large nymphs and streamers are taking fish.
(updated 2-17-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company
(501-207-1770) said fishing has been great recently for rainbow trout during high flows. The water levels should be back down to low flows after this coming weekend. The fishing will continue to be great during low flows and wading will become possible along much of the river. Pink San Juan worms, midges and sowbugs have been working along with egg imitations. The key has been getting your lure down to where the fish are in the swift current.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.11 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said the water level is 3.85 feet below normal pool and is on a slight rise from the rain. Bass fishing is good on crankbaits, jerk baits and slow rolled spinnerbaits fished on the flats and on 45-degree chunk rock banks. Some bass are still out deep and can be caught on Carolina rigs and Alabama rigs. Crappie fishing has been slow at best with a few fish coming in and around the pole timber 15-23 feet of water on jigs and jigs tipped with minnows. Catfishing is good on jugs baited with an assortment of live bait on short drops. Walleye fishing is slow but should change with the warm rain, the bite should really pick up then on crankbaits, grubs, drop shots and minnows. The best bite on the lake is for hybrid and white bass in 20-35 feet of water on flats and points in and around staging points. Look for shad and use spoons, in-line spinners, swim baits, grubs and Alabama rigs. The moving baits work best on cloudy days and the spoons are best on sunny days.
(updated 2-17-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) said the water is murky and high. Crappie are biting well on live minnows fished around stumps in 6 to 7 feet of water. Catfishing is fair in deep water. No report on bass or bream.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Itty Bit Swim’Rs in monkey milk, pennyback shad, blue ice shimmer and Cajun cricket in 4 to 10 feet of water. Catfishing is good on worms, shad and minnows. Bass are biting buzzbaits and worms. White bass are biting well on Johnson Silver Minnows and Bobby Garland Itty Bit Swim’Rs. Bream are biting on crickets and worms.
Overcup Landing had no report.
(updated 2-24-2016) Fosters Four Seasons
(501-868-9061) said fishing has been slow on Lake Maumelle lately. The white bass run is still a little ways away, but the water temperature is in the low to mid 50s. A few black bass have been caught as well. Drop by Fosters for a fill up of ethanol-free gas and a hot meal during this cold snap.
Jolly Roger’s Marina
had no new report.
(updated 2-24-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said catfish are fair on bait shrimp, dough baits and bass minnows. A few bream are biting on crickets and redworms. Bass are fair on bass minnows and brood minnows. Crappie are fair on no. 6 crappie minnows .
(updated 2-24-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few walleye were caught over the weekend on brooder minnows, but the action has slowed a lot from the last few weeks. More smallmouth and spotted bass have been caught on the brood minnows lately, and some good fish at that. A few crappie are being caught on no. 6 minnows and pink crappie minnows . Catfish are biting on night crawlers . A few bream were reported on crickets on the warmer days.
(updated 2-24-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bream been biting a little on crickets, but it’s still another month until fishing will get good. Bass have been hitting bass minnows fairly well. Crappie are fair on no. 6 crappie minnows . Catfish are fair on night crawlers and shrimp.
(updated 2-24-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie are fair on no. 6 crappie minnows and no. 12 bass minnows. A few really nice ones have been caught on blue ice-colored jigs. Catfish are biting fairly well on goldfish and black salties. Bream are fair on crickets. Bass are fair on spinner baits Beetle Spins.
River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 53.3 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms in 5 to 6 feet of water. Crappie are holding on the channel edges and are biting well on minnows and jigs fished in 7 to 8 feet of water. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and soft-plastics fished in 5 to 6 feet of water near the channel. Catfishing is slow.
The folks at Fish ’N Stuff
(501-834-5733) said the water is still muddy and at normal flow. Crappie are biting well on black/chartreuse jigs near the backwaters. No report on bass, catfish or bream.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy and high. Crappie are fair on minnows. No report on any other species.
(updated 2-17-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy and at normal level. Crappie are fair on minnows. No report on any other species.
(updated 2-24-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is clear and getting back to normal level. Crappie are fair on minnows around the timber. Catfishing is fair on jugs baited with minnows or prepared bait. No report on bass or bream.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.57 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(updated 2-24-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock
said surface water temperatures are 46 degrees and the water level is almost back to normal. Warm weather had fish moving out of their winter haunts before the cold snap. Bladed Alabama rigs baited with Keitech 3.8 Fat Swimbaits fishe along secondary points and bluffs in 35 feet of water have been good for bass. Keep the boat in 35 feet of water and look for steep breaks, ledges or channel swings close to the bank halfway back in major creek arms. A few smallmouth have been caught on Megabass jerk baits. And on spoons in 35 to 45 feet of water If the wind is blowing, a Rock Crawler or Wiggle Wart fished on 45-degree banks has worked. Keep the boat close in 12 feet of water and cast parallel to the bank. Strikes are going to happen when it rolls over the rocks. The most productive areas are transition areas where bluffs meat chunk rock or chunk rock meets clay or gravel. Always keep an eye out for bait on the graph and seagull activity, especially when you get into the creeks. Fishing is only going to get better as temperatures warm. The random walleye bite should also start picking up.K Dock Marina
(417-334-2880) is closed until March 4, 2016.
(updated 2-24-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort
(870-453-2424) said the water is still flowing, but is on its way back to normal, hopefully. Trout are biting well on Power Bait and shrimp fished on a White River rig or three-way rig.
(updated 2-24-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said the White has seen heavy generation with no wadable water. The combined outflow and generation equal 27,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) or the equivalent of nine full generators. The hot spot has been the catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (sizes 8-10), Y2Ks (sizes 12-14), 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). Streamer fishing has heated up with the high water. With the heavy flows, the fish have been pushed to the bank. The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy, 24- to 30-foot sink tip line. 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 554.12 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(updated 2-24-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said in an effort to lower the lake levels before the spring rains, the Corps of Engineers has opened flood gates. Releases on the Norfork equal 10,000 cfs, the equivalent of three full generators. The water has been off-colored, but is beginning to improve. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18-22) 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 (size 18 elk hair caddis). My favorite combination has been a cerise worm with a Sunday special dropper.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,124.40 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 2-24-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is in the mid- to high 40s. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on jigs and minnows fished 6 to 12 feet deep. Bass are fair to good on crankbaits and jerkbaits fished with a long pause in 8 to 12 feet of water. Spoons have also worked well in deeper water. Catfishing is slow. Stripers are fair on brood minnows and live shad. Some walleye are being caught in the river arms. Most of the action is from the upriver side of the lake.
(updated 2-24-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) said surface water temperature is in the low to mid 40s. Stripers are making their way into backs of coves feeding on bait using warmer water temps, a degree or two is all it takes to concentrate bait and stripers. Some fish are using deep water adjacent to road beds, gravel bars, tree lines and bluffs. Look for water temperatures that are concentrating bait. Stripers in the White River and War Eagle arms are in warmer water pockets, close to the banks and on the bottom along gravel bars. Use these intersections of warm water and structure to your advantage. Try dragging baits close to these areas, including along the bottom on gravel bars. Fishing is good on live shad fished on down lines 20 to 30 feet deep and on small umbrella rigs using white or chartreuse grubs. Trolling no. 14 Husky Jerks or Smithwick Rogues in black/chrome or purple/chrome are working as well. Dead sticking a large soft jerkbait also works. Hot spots for stripers include Indian Creek past the marina near the power lines, The bluff in front of the marina at Rocky Branch and the smaller islands in front of Larue Cove, Cedar Creek, Ford Creek, Ventris, Shaddox Hollow, Monte-Ne, Hickory Creek and War Eagle and the White River. The runoff is beginning to clear, so try upriver of the mud line. Walleye are moving into the creek and river arms to spawn. Walleye can be found from 5 to 30 feet, deep depending on areas you fish. The best method is three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Also try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse.
(updated 2-24-2016) Beaver Dam Store
said watercraft can now launch immediately below the dam as well as Bertrand boat ramp and Houseman access. Try fishing Power Bait in white, red, chartreuse or pink tipped with wax worms or night crawlers. Also try trolling Berkley Flicker Shad crankbaits or no. 9 Rapala Original Minnows downstream from Betrand boat launch for numbers of fish. There is wadable water right now, but bottom conditions have changed dramatically since the large releases. Areas that were wadable before the current increase by now be too deep, and tons of gravel and sand have been moved to form new riffles and bars to investigate. Egg patterns, big nymphs, hares ears, midges, pheasant tails are a great pattern to dead drift right now.
(updated 2-17-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service
(479-640-8733) said the Corps of Engineers has been releasing a lot of water lately, which can make fishing tricky. Trout are biting very well when waters are calm. Fishing from the bank is still a little questionable with the high water level, but if you can, fish with light terminal tackle with Power Baits on the bottom. Throwing spoons also has produced some nice trout.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the bait shop at Duck Camp is closed for the season.
(updated 2-24-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is murky and at normal level. Bass are biting well on yellow/black jigs and Bobby Garland Baby Shad jigs fished off the docks on the far east side. No report on bream, crappie or catfish.
(updated 2-17-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and at 48 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 8 feet of water. Bass are fair on jig-and-frog combos around ledges and rocky points. Catfishing has been good on chicken livers and shad.
(updated 2-17-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said some good catches of crappie have come in lately at Lake Poinsett. The mild winter may have the crappie moving up to spawn earlier than usual. Minnows are the top bait at the state park bait shop.
(updated 2-24-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 51 degrees at the marina. Crappie are biting well on yellow jigs fished around brush in 20 feet of water. Bas are biting well on Missouri craw-colored jigs. No report on bream or catfish.
(updated 2-17-2016) Lake Frierson State Park had no report.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are running at 389 cfs at the spring and water clarity has been clear. The warm weather lately has had the trout biting as well. We’re still catching plenty of fish but bigger ones have been hard to get to bite. Y2Ks and guppies have been the hot flies and silver spoons and hot pink Trout Magnets have been hot for spin fishing.
(updated 2-24-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the river is still running high with dingy water. The surface temperature is 49 degrees. Bass are biting fairly well on crayfish-colored crankbaits and on soft-plastics in the mouths of creeks and backwaters out of the current. Walleye are slow, with the current too swift to fish properly. No report on catfish, crappie or bream.
(updated 2-17-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said surface water temperatures dropped back a bit with the cooler nights, down to about 50 degrees, but you can still find low to mid 50-degree water in places. Visibility is still pretty low – less than half a foot in most places and up to half a foot of visibility in protected backwater areas. Black bass are biting fairly well considering that it's the second weekend of February and the average size is good when you do get a bite. A few fish have come off vertical woody cover, but most of our bites have come from the steeper rock banks in Lake Langhofer using finesse worms on shaky heads. Slow-rolled shallow- and medium-diving crankbaits run parallel to the bank can get bites as well, especially later in the day when the surface water warms a bit.
(updated 2-17-2016) Cane Creek State Park said the recent shift in weather has turned out to be delightful for anglers. The crappie are biting better on shiners and teal jigs. The bass are biting well on the south end of the lake on white jigs and silver Rapalas. Catfish and bream are slow.
Local angler Geoff Wright said catfish are hitting pretty well on Chicot with most anglers using stationary methods. Live bait is crucial during cold weather, although dough bait is worth trying as well. Some folks are catching bream. Seems like they are starting to pick up on crickets, minnows, or other live bait. The real excitement right now is crappie. They are biting on minnows and black jigs. Some anglers have reported catching a limit a day, mostly in coves and other areas off the main body of the lake. Seems like they are biting rather shallow, above the thermocline.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.66 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said the lake level is 4 inches above normal conservation pool and is falling. Current in the river dropped with a gate discharge of 1,500 cfs Monday. Navigation has improved, and is considered normal this week. Surface water temperatures range from 52 to 58 degrees. A few ramps are still closed from the recent flooding, and Millwood State Park remains closed for repairs. The Army Corps of Engineers is replacing many river buoys that were swept away during the flood. Water clarity improved to 8 to 15 inches of visibility in the main lake away from current. The river’s clarity is about 4 to 6 inches of visibility, and the oxbows have 20 to 30 inches of visibility. Largemouth bass continue to improve with the warmer weather. Many bass from 4 to 8 pounds have been caught as well as a 10. 87 giant weighed in a Media Bass tournament Saturday. The best activity has been during the warmest time of the day under full sun in 3-5 feet of water with good clarity. The best reactions over the past week have been on chatterbaits, swimbaits, jigs and lizards. Chatterbaits in black/blue, Texas craw or Avocado colors with large thumping swimbait trailers and Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in chili pepper, watermelon candy/red, and Texas craw continue working on sunny flats next to cypress trees and stumps close to creek channel swings. Echo 1.75 Squarebills in chartreuse shiner, gold or sexy chrome will get a few random bites during the warmer days in flats close to deep creek channel swings. Plum, blackberry or California 420-colored lizards took a few good bass over the past several weeks near flats in the creek channels on stumps and in the ridges of Horseshoe Oxbow up Little River. Bang Die Dappers on a swim jig head or swim bait belly hook head continue to work using trickster, Houdini, pumpkinseed/chart belly colors on flats near cypress and in pockets of vegetation along edges of vegetation grass lines and dead lily pad stems approx 5-9 feet deep are working. Schools of white bass continue biting well between White Cliffs and the Highway 71 bridge at Wilton. Backwater sloughs feeding Little River, just out of the main river current, were holding some good schools of whites over the past several weeks. These fish were hitting Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits and medium-running cranks in 4 to 9 feet of water. Crappie improved over the past few days with the reduction of current in Little River and improved water clarity. Blakemore Roadrunners in white/chartreuse were taking nice slabs early in the week by vertically jigging planted brush piles. Catfish continue biting consistently over the past week in Little River on trotlines and yo-yos using homemade cut shad, buffalo and chicken gizzards or hearts, set from 12-18 feet deep.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 540.85 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 404.09 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
Iron Mountain Marina
says the surface water temperature is 52 to 54 degrees. The water is clear at the mid-lake area and dingy upriver past Goat Island. Crappie and hybrids are being taken trolling Shad Raps and deep-diving crankbaits. Crappie also are being taken around brush tops and brush piles in 12 to 20 feet of water on minnows and GULP. The state park marina
reported that crappie in the mid-lake area slowed last week. Caddo Valley Bait Shop said bass are being caught near the marinas on spoons and in Brushy Creek on finesse worms.
Local angler George Graves said said the surface water temperature is in the low 50s, and the lake is clear up to Arlie Moore and a light stain above there. Bass fishing is fair with lots of smaller fish (13 to 15 inches) reported. Looks like what used to be non-keeper slot fish are now showing up in livewells. The best pattern has been the Alabama rig thrown across points on the sunny side of the lake. Look for fish between Arlie Moore to Point Cedar and outside the spawning coves. Also lipless crank baits have been producing in red or crawfish colors. Quite a few Kentucky bass are being caught along the bluff banks across from Point 15 and the West side of Goat Island. Try a 4 inch finesse worm in green pumpkin/red flake worked slowly down the down the bank to about 20 feet. There are rumors of crappie showing, but nothing confirmed. Now is the time to look for crappie on the deep brush. Look for attractors in the Shouse Ford area and drop a 2-inch curly tail grub on a 1/16 ounce jug head to just above the brush. Tennessee shad and black/chartreuse are good for starters. Hybrid fishing is only fair with the fish scattered between the mouth of Beaton Creek to Point Cedar. Trolling a small umbrella loaded with 3-inch curly tail grubs or swim baits about 2 miles an hour or slower has been the best tactic. Make sure the lures are running between 12 and 15 feet. Even though the sonar will show lots of fish deeper, the feeding fish will be up higher. No reports on catfish or bream, seems most are fishing for bass or hybrids.
(updated 2-17-2016) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said the warmer weather has the fish perking up a little. Bream are biting fairly well on worms and crickets. Catfish are biting well on trotlines baited with live bait or prepared catfish baits. Tightlining catfish baits or worms also is working for catfish. No report on bass or crappie.
Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said few crappie being caught in Grand Marias and on the old river bed. Bass are fair on soft plastics and spinnerbaits. No report on catfish. The river is beginning to rise again.
(updated 2-24-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are being caught in 4 to 6 feet of water. No report on crappie or catfish.
Local angler Jaret Rushing said the water level is back to normal, but fishing reports have been slow due to the weather and few anglers on the water.
Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.76 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl).
(updated 2-17-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is still on a fast fall dropping from the recent floods. It’s still high and muddy. No report on the fishing.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland Slab Slay’Rs, Baby Shads and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’Rs in pennyback, monkey milk, blue ice shimmer, Cajun cricket and barbecue chicken in 4 to 10 feet of water. Catfishing is good on minnows, worms and shad. Bream are fair on worms.
(updated 2-17-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the surface water temperature is 46 degrees, warming to 48. Crappie have been good in 8 feet of water on minnows and chartreuse jigs. White bass have been in the creeks, and are being caught on small spoons and tandem crappie jigs. Striped bass have been fair on Alabama rigs and swim baits. Several catfish have been caught on jigs and jerkbaits around creek mouths by bass anglers, so hitting these areas with some live bait should offer some excellent action. Bass have been on the move, but if you can find them they’ve been excellent on jerk baits, jigs, Alabama rigs and Rat-L-Traps. Look for stumpy points and rock bluffs. Also start to check out flats near creek channel swings during warm days to find a few staging for the upcoming spawn.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 575.44 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(updated 2-17-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort
said the surface water temperature is 44 to 48 degrees. The water clarity is about 2 to 4 feet of visibility on the west side of the lake and 6 feet or so on the east side of the lake. Black bass are biting well on jigs, large lipless crankbaits and spoons fished near cover in old creek channels. Stripers are biting well on Alabama rigs and brood minnows fished around major creek channels. White bass, spotted bass and a few yellow bass may be mixed in with the stripers. Crappie are biting well on small spoons, minnows and crappie jigs around brush in 20 to 30 feet of water.
(updated 2-17-2016) The Trader Bill's Fishing Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner
said a couple of anglers have braved the wind and cold. The grass is back in some places, and the bass are hanging out in the grass you can find that sits about 5 feet below the surface. A crankbait fished right over the top of the grass has produced.
(updated 2-24-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
, said water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 44 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy is running varied patterns of flow times from the dam, so anglers need to aware of the generation schedules for safety and prime fishing times. A 5-foot winter drawdown is still in place, which creates very shallow waters in the tailrace with many underwater hazards exposed. Boaters and wade fishermen alike should use extreme caution when navigating this area and always wear a life jacket when on or near the water. On March 5, both lakes Hamilton and Catherine will begin refilling. This process will be complete on March 13. Rainbow trout are biting extremely well below Carpenter Dam. Guided trips regularly catch and release 50 trout a trip with catches nearing 100 not uncommon. Fly-fishermen are wading to areas that hold schools of trout and having success casting small white streamers, micro-jigs under a strike indicator and green or black woolly buggers. Bank anglers are catching limits of trout using corn, wax worms, meal worms and redworms with a marshmallow floater in current or slack water. Spin fishermen are recording limits casting Rooster Tails in brown or silver in 1/16- or 1/8-ounce weights. Small silver or gold spoons, like Super Dupers or Little Cleos are perfect imitators of injured shad. Boaters trolling the main channel have done very well with shallow-running crankbaits against the current. Crawfish or shad lures that run 3 to 6 feet deep are ideal. Walleye are migrating into the area for the spawn. Small males have been caught below the bridge on jigs and crankbaits as these fish prepare for the larger females. Most of the fish weigh about 1½ pounds, but the average weight of the females will be from 3 to 4 pounds in the coming weeks. As more walleye move into the tailrace, they will spawn from the bridge all the way to the dam, with large numbers of fish covering both sides of the channel. Carolina rigs tipped with live minnows or nightcrawlers are an excellent approach in current or slack water from the bank or a boat. White bass have been caught below the dam on jerk baits and light jigs during periods of slack water. These fish won't spawn until May but are often hooked in the tailrace as they feed on shad. A few small stripers have been caught on soft plastics by anglers searching for bass. Large stripers will be caught next month as spring approaches.
(updated 2-17-2016) Mississippi River State Park
(870-295-4040) had no report.
(updated 2-17-2016) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) had no report.
(updated 2-24-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is high but beginning to fall. The water clarity is improving as well. Crappie are fair with some anglers beginning to catch them on yo-yos baited with minnows. No report on any other species.