Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is stained and is at a normal level. Surface temperature is 82 degrees. Bream are located about 10 feet off the shore in about one-half feet of water and the reports have been good. Use worms or crickets. Crappie are suspended about 6 feet in depth and around the cypress. The bite has been fair. Use minnows or jigs. Bass seem to be about 3-4 feet under the surface and around the lily pads. Try using plastic worms or topwater frogs. The bass reports have been fair. Catfishing, though, is excellent with best reports coming from using trotline and limb lines. Minnows, small bream and goldfish and drawing them.
(updated 9-14-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the bad news is this week the generation has been two units for about 20 hours per day. The good news is the lake level is now 462.7 and falling at about 0.3 feet daily. Hopefully they will cut the generation back on Thursday or Friday to the five hours in the afternoon. The normal level for the lake is 462.04 as of Oct. 1. Now that the lake is within a foot of the normal level the generation should be reduced.
James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co.
said the fishing on the Little Red has been great. The Corps has been releasing two units of water each day for 18 hours. The key to success has been to follow the lower water and make sure you are down deep enough. Hot flies have been pink San Juan worms and egg patterns. Trout Magnets have been producing good numbers of fish as well.
(updated 9-7-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service
said the Little Red River continues to receive two units of generation for several hours each day. Even with the increased generation pattern, you can find opportunities to wade fish early mornings on the upper and middle sections of the river. For fly fishing, we recommend streamers, sowbugs, midges and Woolly Buggers. For Trout Magnet fishing, we recommend candy cotton, hot pink and red-colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads. This Saturday, Sept. 10, is the annual Little Red River Cleanup. More information on the cleanup can be found on 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.55 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said he hybrid and white bass fishing is good all over the lake, as some are schooling and some are sitting on structure feeding off and on throughout the day on various baits including, but not limited to, topwater baits, in-line spinners, spoons and swimbaits. Find the bait and the fish will be close by. The bass fishing is going pretty good shallow and out deeper; try spinnerbaits on windblown areas, topwater baits for schoolers, and the deeper fish can be caught with a C-rig and drop shot. The catfish are feeding day and night all over the lake on just about any bait of your choosing and will continue to be good for a while. The walleye are eating at various times, especially under cloud cover, on flats in 12-28 feet of water, and some are following hybrids around eating what they spit up. Bream fishing is good on crickets and crawlers. The crappie are halfway into their fall feed; try a jig and/or minnows in 10-18 feet of water.
Cody Smith of Fish Greers Ferry guide service
reports the fall transition is underway on the reservoir. Water surface temperatures are ranging in the low to mid-80s depending on time of day and location on the lake. Summer high surface temps of 90 degrees have come and gone, look for a cooler rain to really spur on the lake’s shad and gamefish transition into more seasonal habitats and locations. Right now the fish are spread from one end of the spectrum to the other. Some of the gamefish and baitfish responded to the first cool off a couple weeks ago and went shallow in a hurry feeding on the newly acquired threadfin shad population while the deeper fish are still feeding on blue gills and crustaceans out in their summer haunts. Deeper locations are still holding a few quality bites while the shallow fish are moving a lot and hard to pattern on a multiday basis. Fast-moving baits with small baitfish profiles have been best for the skinny fish, while bulky bluegill patterns are working best for the ones out deep. The shad population is really ganged up in 10-18 feet of water and depending on time of day and location are harboring just about every species in the reservoir, but as mentioned are moving around a lot. Some crappie are moving to the mid-level brush piles while others are hanging in the creek channels feeding on bait as it transitions from in to out and out to in. Once the lake sees 78 degree surface temperatures, look for the bite to become much more consistent and days of catching will be the regular.
(updated 9-7-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) said catfishing was slower this week but there were still reports of fair numbers of catches and nice size catfish. The water at the resort is clear. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. Good reports of bass on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures.
(updated 9-14-2016) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is almost normal around 21 feet. Clarity is good. Temperature is around 89 degrees on the surface. Bass are doing great on worms and crankbaits on the bank and around brush. Bream are doing well on crickets, shallow and 3-4 feet of water. Crappie are improving, but are still slow. What crappie are being caught are biting minnows and jigs. Catfish are doing fair with bream and dough bait. They had a 32- and 28-pound flathead on Sunday morning with 3-4-pound channel cats. The shop is off state Highway 9.
(updated 9-14-2016) Fosters Four Seasons
(501-868-9061) said the lake is clear and level
is normal. No surface temperature was available. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie action is good with
minnows and jigs. Bass bite is good on spinnerbaits
. Catfishing is good, with worms, blood bait and chicken livers working best. White bass reports were fair. Fosters has all anglers’ needs in the way of bait and food, and also sells non-ethanol gas.
(updated 9-7-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina
reported that the lake has changed with the recent weather, and crappie are hitting again while the black bass have improved. Jolly Rogers will be wrapping up its black bass tournament schedule with the Fish Off on Sept. 17. Black bass are biting well on wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits early in the day and late in the evening. Blacks can be caught in 15-20 feet of water. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. The rain and cooler weather have activated the bass. Kentucky bass rate good and can be caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water mixed in with the blacks.
White bass fishing is excellent. Use CC spoons or deep diving Bandits and Bombers. They are all over the lake and are being caught in the main lake on CC spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when schooling. Rain did improve the crappie fishing in the last week and it rates good. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs. Crappie are 20 feet deep; try the edges of the channels and on the old road beds. Bream fishing is excellent and can be found in 15 feet at the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good. They are being caught in 15-20 feet of water using stink bait, small bream and chicken livers.
(updated 9-7-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that crappie fishing is fair. Crappie are around the main lake points and are found in 10-20 feet of water. Jigs of all colors are working, as well as minnows. Bass fishing was reported fair. Bass are mostly deep and are biting spoons, 3 ½ jigs and deep-diving crankbaits. Catfishing is fair on trotlines baited with shad, goldfish or minnows. No reports on bream or white bass.
Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff
(501-834-5733) had reports that bass were good on drop-shorts and crankbaits, while bream were good and biting redworms.
(updated 9-14-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fair on minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Bream fishing is fair with crickets and redworms. Bass have been biting slow to fair on minnows and small plastic worms and lizards. Crappie have been biting slow on pink minnows.
(updated 9-14-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said bass were biting pretty good this weekend on minnows and small plastics. Catfish were biting minnows, goldfish and nightcrawlers. Bream are almost always biting crickets and redworms on the river. Crappie fishing has been slow with reports of only a few biting size 6 minnows. The gar are still plentiful and quick to bite minnows when cast within a few feet of them. They're a good challenge and a lot of fun to catch. If you just want some fun fishing, Lisa suggests you give it a try. Wherever you go and whatever you're fishing for, be safe and it'll be a good trip.the river should be great for this weekend. Bass will bite large minnows, four-inch lizards in almost any color, small crankbaits or small spinnerbaits. Catfish have been biting minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Crappie are starting back up in some deep holes and back waters. No. 6 minnows and small crankbaits fished fast have been working fairly well for some. Gar fishing is fun and challenging with minnows fished on strong hooks and heavy line. Bream will almost always bite crickets or worms on the river and are usually abundant and fun to catch regardless of size. Take a kid fishing this weekend and everyone stay safe.
(updated 9-14-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream are biting crickets and redworms. Bass have been hitting minnows, plastic worms and lizards and small buzzbaits at night. Catfish are biting well on trotlines and juglines baited with minnows, goldfish and black salties. No reports of crappie being caught.
(updated 9-14-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop
(501-778-6944) said crappie are slowing a little but customers are still catching some nice one on size 6 and size 12 minnows. Bass have been caught on the minnows as well while crappie fishing. Catfish have been biting well at dark on nightcrawlers, minnows and chicken livers. Bream fishing has been good with crickets and redworms.
(updated 9-14-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said bream are good and are around the grass when water is up; use crickets. Bass seem to like white small crankbaits and the bite is good around timber. Also try a live redworm with twist tail and swim it around the grass for reaction. Catfishing is good on shad and worm combi fish tips around the jetties. White bass are active early in the morning and late in the day around schooling shad. It’s best to use a crankbait in white or pearl colors for good results. Late in the evening, shad are schooling in the mid-channel, and the Kentucky bass and white bass are all over them. Use a shallow-diving crankbait to get good results. Drum are going crazy these days around the jetties; use a crawfish crankbait or a jig.
(updated 8-31-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley reported bass fishing at the Cadron Pool has been a little better the last two weeks. With flows around the 20,000 cfs the fish will keep feeding pretty much all day long. Just remember to work the main river areas with moving water. The fresh water will typically be cooler and more oxygenated than the hot backwaters. Although you can definitely catch fish by fishing slow, Kelley said he prefers to stay on the move, fishing all of the main river structure that he comes to. Try squarebill crankbaits, bandit crankbaits, and 1/2 spinnerbaits tight to cover that has the most current on it. Catfishing has been consistent, but not great. Definitely spend the majority of your efforts chasing cats after dark. You still want to focus on deeper areas, but because there are times of slack current, you might need to drift over multiple holes before you get that good bite. Live shad and bream have been working the best lately.
River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said water is clear and surface temperature was 80 degrees. The level and current are normal, and fishing is running fair to good. Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie bite is good on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting fair early in the day on spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is fair using blood bait and cut bait. White bass are good and preferring Rooster Tails.
(updated 9-14-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reported the water was stained and the level was low. Bass are good and around the jetties are attracted to white spinnerbaits and crankbaits, as well as green pumpkin finesse worms. Catfishing has been good using stink bait.
(updated 9-14-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water is clear in the pool and reports have been good. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie action is good on minnows or jigs. Bass are on the bite in Clear Lake when you present spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms and lizards. Catfish reports, however, were poor in the Clear Lake area as well as near Terry Lock and Dam. Crappie are in the backwaters near the dam and are fair; use minnows or jigs there. Bream are biting well near the dam, and bass action should be good near the dam end of the pool if you use spinnerbaits or crankbaits.
(updated 9-14-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported water temperature is down to 83 degrees and the river is at normal level. Bream are active and the fishing is good using worms or crickets. Crappie reports have been good using minnows or jigs. Early, good action has been reported on bass, with spinnerbaits and crankbaits working best. Catfishing is fair; try cut bait. No white bass reports.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing near the Terry Lock and Dam is fair. Fishermen are snagging and using skipjack and shad. There were no other reports from that end of the pool.
(updated 9-14-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is clear and at a normal level. All species of fish have been good the past week. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are working minnows and jigs. Come early for the bass bite, when it is best using topwater (especially Zara Spooks). Catfishing is good on worms and blood bait.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is good on the levee. Try chicken livers, chicken hearts and night crawlers.
Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported fair catfishing at the lake. Nightcrawlers, hot dogs and stink bait are working best. Remember to sign up for the Seniors fishing event at Lake Valencia scheduled for Sept. 9.
(updated 9-14-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream have been biting crickets and worms. Catfish are biting bait shrimp, chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bass have been hitting fair on minnows and some plastic worms. Some crappie have been biting size 6 and pink minnows.
(updated 9-14-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said fishing has been about the same the past few weeks. Bass fishing is fair using spinnerbaits, topwater lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is fair, with shad and chicken livers getting the best bite. No other reports.
(updated 9-7-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bream was fair in the Maumelle River. Bream were in 6-12 feet depth and biting worms and crickets. Bass were fair and hitting crankbaits as well as flipping jigs and black buzzbaits. Catfishing was fair, with shad and chicken hearts the best baits. There were no crappie reports.
Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900), now run by Larry and Shirley Walters, said the water level this week was low but was clear. Surface water temperature was 84 degrees. Bream fishing reports were poor. Crappie are good and are suspended deep. Minnows and jigs are working to bring in crappie. Bass are staying in deep water and are favoring 10-inch worms. Catfishing is fair, with the best baits being bloodbait, chicken livers and cut up shad.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.03 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 8-31-2016) K Dock Marina
reported that lake conditions have really changed in the last recently. Rain and cool nights have dropped the surface temps down about 10 degrees from last two Saturdays ago. Water is also stained, making it great for bass fishing. The walleye and crappie bite should get better now that we are reading water temps in the low 80s instead of the middle 90s. Been seeing a lot of large catfish being caught on a variety of methods. Both channel and flathead cats are starting to feed. Most recent water surface temperature was 82 degrees. Black bass are good topwater, including Zara Spooks, Ploppers and buzzbaits. Also good on large plastic worms and jigs in 18-25 feet off of points and steep bluffs. Also good on large crankbaits in the same range. Walleye are fair to slow on bottom-bouncing nightcrawlers in 30-plus feet of water. Crappie are slow on live minnows in brush piles. They are suspended in 20 feet. (Crappie should start to come up better with the surface temp cooling down.)
(updated 8-31-2016) Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock
reported water temp has come down quite bit. Cold nights have come through, some big changes on the lake. The 92-, 94 is down to 84 for the high. Over the apex. Rain coming in, water coming in back of creeks, big fish are beginning to move around a little bit. Guys are catch8ing walleye trolling right now, using deeper crankbaits. They’re trolling the flats up around Oakland, some of the main lake points. Those walleye are suspended about 25-30 feet and the baits in that general area too. We;’ve got a thermos, about 30 foot. You don’t have to fish deeper than 30 feet to get some action, For bass, the ledges are still holding a lot of fish. The Whopper Plopper is working. Fish the conditions. If you have wind and cloudy conditions, start fishing the PowerBaits. You can flip a jig up around the ledge rock. The fish are starting to come up into the bushe, try a Right Bite ½-ounce jig there. There is a ton of shad back in the creeks. There aren’t a lot of bass there yet, but it’s just a matter of time before the bass move back in there. If it’s sunny and calm, a drop-shot will work well. Pulled a lot of fish on the drop-shot the other day. Robo worm with a 12-14-inch leader so they’re being caught off the bottom. Most of the presentation is vertical over the trees, channel swings. A lot of times you’ll three or four fish from the same school. Topwater has been on and off. If it’s sunny out and not a lot of wind, they’re hitting the Lucky Craft Sammie and the old Biffle Bug, and the Green Pumpkin Red and Green Pumpkin Orange. Lot of fish are suspended at about 20 feet and jerkbaits are working. Early in the morning they will be a little bit shallower. Fish the conditions.
(updated 9-14-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported fair water, with normal to low level in the evening. Trout bite is good on PowerBait, particularly pink-colored. Grasshoppers are also working, as well as Rooster Tails. Brown bass are very active.
Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock
said the rainbow catch has been plentiful, good size and color, great for a shore lunch or for returning to the river for another day, and the weather is magnificent. They’ve had nippy mornings and warm afternoons. A day on the river right now is a glimpse of heaven, Gamble says. The browns have been a little smarter – they know where to hide in the low water, but a good guide is useful in finding them, understanding their behavior and feeding patterns, and helping you bring a brown to the boat. They also continue to see keeper-sized cutthroats and have awarded numerous catch-and-release pins this season for trophy cutthroats. Bronze/copper spoons are flying off the shelves; the gold Blue Foxes are showing some success. Orange and chartreuse PowerBait, as well as the always-favorite florescent yellow, are a must in your tackle box.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said that last week they had no rain event, moderate temperatures and moderate winds at Cotter. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.5 feet to rest at seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 34 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.4 feet to rest at 5.5 feet below seasonal power pool and 19.5 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.1 feet to rest at 4.9 feet below seasonal power pool and 13.5 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, they had heavy generation in the afternoon last week with wadable water every morning. The bite has been excellent. With reliable wadable water, the hot spot 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 size 14 hare and copper nymph 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 553.72 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).(updated 9-14-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort
said the lake is in the final stages of the late summer fishing pattern. Water depth is falling very slowly and currently
sits at 553.74 feet msl
. Periodic power generation is occurring daily. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are still stained. As the lake water cools and the oxygen returns to all depths, the fish will scatter to all parts and depths of the lake. The surface water temperature is slowly falling each day, was in the low 80s one morning this week, and it’s expected we’ll see the upper 70s very soon. Lou said there has been little change with fishing since his last report. Striped bass fishing is still the best in the dam area. The early morning and late afternoon bites are the best, and the fish continue to be caught in 25-35 feet of water whether on the bottom or suspended in deeper water. Lou said he is starting to find a few stripers heading upriver and also back in the mid-lake creeks, but no big schools at this time. It will not be long, though. Live shad, either threadfin or gizzards, are working the best, but vertical jigging spoons and casting blade baits worked on the bottom are also picking up some nice fish. The biggest fishing change has been with largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. Lou has located some nice topwater action at sunrise, but it only lasts 30-60 minutes. It's plenty of time to have some fun with a Zara Spook. Lou says the best place he’s found has been back in a creek that has the old river channel swing in close to shore. The fish are hitting a little bit of everything when they are active. He has been using a fluke, Rat-L-Trap, Kastmaster and a Zara Spook, and all of these baits have landed some nice fish. Most of the big spotted bass have hit live bait set at 24 feet. Large flats are another good area to fish. Look in the 25-35 feet depths and you will find scattered schools of white bass, largemouth bass, crappie, catfish
and walleye. Lou has been vertical jigging a spoon on the flats and once he finds the bait, he said he finds the fish right in the same spot.
Guide Steve Olomon of Steve’s Guide Service
said the Norfork Lake level is 554 and the water temperature is in the low 80s. Look for the stripers early in the morning suspended 30 feet off points and in coves. They can be on the bottom or out in deeper water as the sun gets higher and will move deeper from 30 to 50 feet. Steve said he found some stripers and hybrids in Koso Bay this week and there were a few coming up chasing shad bait fish, but was over in about five minutes. There were stripers down under the topwater fish and the only thing I could get them to hit was an in-line spinner. They would not hit a spoon. Look for the stripers within a few miles of the dam. When the water temperature starts cooling down they will move up in the creeks and back up in the lake. There will be stripers still down around the dam area. The bass are coming up hitting topwater baits early (Zara Spooks). Steve found some in a creek along a deep channel swing. Marked some suspended fish (at 30 feet) in 90 feet of water and dropped a jigging spoon and caught some nice Kentucky bass. Also caught some on jigs in 15-25 feet of depth on some flats.
(updated 9-7-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
said the Norfork Lake stripers are being inconsistent. One day it’s fast and furious, then the next day it’s very slow. The weather last week as was up and down; we started off hot and then it turned cold. The water temperature dropped 8 degrees with a north wind, and now this week it will be hot with a south wind. Fishing should get back to a heavy bite early in the morning and in the late afternoon. The fish are still in 32-35 feet of water early, then move out to deeper water feeding on shad. I have found them in 40-80 feet of water after 8 a.m. If you hit a school of stripers, they will hit every line. The fish can be found near the dam. Start looking at all the points within a mile of the dam and you will find them feeding before light. Walleyes are being caught on points and flats using bottom bouncers and spoons in 28-35 feet of water. The best live bait this past week for stripers has been gizzard shad.
Tom related that he took Kevin and Will out for their first time using live bait. Last year they tried using spoons with little success, so they wanted to see how a live bait guide uses shad. They started off where Tom had been catching fish every day, but the fish had moved since the cold wind and lake temperature dropped. Tom’s son, Sean, was fishing near the dam and was marking fish and caught one, so the group headed his way. It sure helps to have another person fishing the same way you do, Tom said, and it helps finding and staying on fish when they move around. The group arrived at Sean’s location and immediately hooked up. Tom start off with 41 gizzard shad to catch a limit of stripers. On this day, the group went through 39 shad to catch six stripers. The bite was so fast that they could not keep up with the hits. Both Kevin and Will were getting bites but just could not hook the fish. Sean only used eight baits to catch six stripers – some days it works out that way. They finally caught their limit by 7:15 a.m. Both guys were very happy using live bait. The fall bite will continue this way into November.
John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake fell 0.1 feet to rest at 1.6 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 25.8 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, they had reliable wadable water every morning, with light generation in the afternoon.
Norfork has fished better on the lower water and has not been as crowded with wadable water on the White. 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 less crowded with school back in session. It has fished a bit better and is 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).
John also related, “Somehow I got Labor Day off. My assistant manager at Blue Ribbon Fly Shop, Henry Seay, was scheduled to work and I had an opportunity to fish on a holiday. Generally we get a major influx of tourists over a three-day weekend and a lot of them want to go trout fishing. As a result, our trout streams can get rather crowded, on these holidays. My wife, Lori, and I were more interested in a bit of secluded water, for our fly fishing outing. The secret was a bit of patience. We just waited for everyone to leave. After a nice lunch, we drove over to the Ackerman Access on the Norfork tailwater. At first, the parking lot looked crowded but we soon noticed that everyone was packing up to leave. Lori and I talked to several of the anglers as they were leaving, to be sociable and to get an up to date fishing report. By the time we had our waders on and rods rigged, the parking lot was almost empty. I headed upstream, while Lori fished close to the access, with a promise to join me upstream later. As I waded into the Catch and Release section, I noted that I pretty much had it to myself. There was a single angler far upstream. He was fishing one of my favorite spots but I had plenty of water to fish and I knew that he would eventually leave. I began the day fishing a Green Butt, my signature fly. It was still on my rod from the last time I fished this rod, a Sage ZXL 9-foot 5-weight with an Orvis CFO reel and a Rio Gold fly line. It is one sweet casting rig and I fish it often. I took a nice 14-inch rainbow on the third cast but the action abated quickly. I switched to a partridge and orange soft hackle and caught a couple more trout, but the going was slow. I looked upstream and noted the other angler walking out of my favorite spot. I walked up and chatted to him as he was coming out. He said that he had caught a nice brown in the run. Even though he had hammered it for over an hour, I thought that I had a shot. I took a minute or two to re-rig. I stripped off the partridge and orange and put on a red fox squirrel nymph with a copper bead and copper wire. Below that I tied on a ruby midge. I then added some lead and a strike indicator. Almost immediately, I caught two 10-inch brookies back to back. I kept fishing the run and landed a 15-inch rainbow. I just knew that a bigger trout was lurking there. I kept casting into the run and finally hooked a big fish. It jumped and I got a good look at the 22-inch brown. Unfortunately it was able to spit the hook when it got a bit of slack in the line on the jump. I continued fishing and landed a few more trout. The big fish was an 18-inch cutthroat. I just needed the brown for a grand slam. It was not to be. After a while, I cranked in my line and headed downstream to find Lori. She was fishing a nearby run and doing well. She was using a partridge and orange soft hackle and catching some nice trout. I sat down nearby and watched her fish until she was ready to go. We reveled in the solitude and the fishing. Around 4p.m. we walked out hand-in-hand and headed home. Fishing on Labor Day had been great!”
(updated 9-14-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Buffalo is navigable. The smallmouths are still active. His favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the Buffalo River. There are no dams, it has large drainages and is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
(updated 9-14-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Crooked Creek is navigable. The smallmouths are still active. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek. There are no dams, it has large drainages and is 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 1,116.35 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 9-14-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported Beaver Lake is clear and the surface temperature is 84 degrees. The water level is low for this time of year. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are working fair. Trolling minnows and jigs are the best bets. Bass are fair by using jigging spoons, Shaky Heads and topwater lures. Catfishing is fair on limb lines and trotlines; use shad as bait.
(updated 9-14-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) said the lake turnover has begun. You will notice the green stuff building up on your line as you are fishing, and this has got Beaver Lake striper on the move using main lake structures and mouths of coves, etc. Some Beaver Lake stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, treetops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing weighted-down lines will definitely get you some fish. There has been some topwater activity from striper and white bass. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good with stripers taken on live shad fished on down lines in 30-60 feet depth. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs like Rapala size 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors, and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in the 5-6-inch model on downriggers. Jerkbaits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. Fishing location is greatly influenced by the lake level and curret flow; current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure. Check the daily lake level and flow data on Mike Bailey’s website. On the mid- and lower sections, these areas have been hot spots, with water surface temperature now in the low 80s: Dam and Hybrid Cove, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, Point 5, Point 6, Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar Creek and Larue.
(updated 9-7-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy
(479-244-0039) said the river this past week has been quite low, but that has not slowed the trout bite. Trout are biting well on various spoon, and PowerBaits fished under light terminal tackle. Trolling has been more productive between Houseman and Beaver town in the deeper waters. A few white bass are still being caught when the school is located. Walleye bite has slacked off in the tailwaters, but you can still get a few farther downstream toward Holiday Island. Generation has mostly been happening in the evening hours, so morning is the time to get out and fish. Don't look for the water levels to rise unless we get a good bit of rain. For the bank fisherman, the low levels offer up better spots to get into the trout.
(updated 9-14-2016) Beaver Dam Store
reported the fly fishing in the tailwaters has been exceptionally good and should remain that way. Norfork Hatchery dumped trout last Thursday just below Beaver Dam and at Bertrand Boat Ramp access. Good news for fisher wading: Water levels have dropped significantly and many areas that were not accessible during higher water have opened up, creating more areas to fish. Boaters should beware of the low water conditions. Many new gravel bars have exposed themselves, causing dangerous conditions. Brown trout can be caught using midges and streamers. For rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, nymphing and swinging small soft hackles, scuds and cracklebacks. Good lures these days are gold and silver Colorado spoons, red and gold Bouyant spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series Nos. 4 and 5. Good PowerBait colors are white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive and hares ear, tungsten copper Johns, WD40s 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 closed the bait shop the remainder of the year.
(updated 9-14-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported water as murky and at a normal level. Surface water temperature was 77 degrees. Fishing is good for all species. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are also favoring redworms along with minnows and jigs. Bass are hitting just about everything thrown. The bass are good; use spinnerbaits, topwater baits, spooks and plastic worms. Catfishing is good with goldfish.
(updated 9-14-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported conditions as clear and low water, with a surface temperature of 82 degrees. Fishing is good to excellent. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are situated about 8 feet in depth and the bite is good on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is excellent, with the best reports coming on chicken livers or live bait.
Seth Boone at Lake Poinsett State Park
said Lake Poinsett is doing well on bass with yellow buzzbaits. Crappie are doing OK on minnows, particularly a rosy. Catfish are biting well in the morning and the late evening on goldfish and rice slicks. Bream are doing well on worms.
(updated 9-14-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the clarity is clear and water level is normal. Bream fishing is good using crickets. Bass fishing has slowed down some and rated poor. Most catches came on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater. Catfishing is good using chicken livers. There were no reports on crappie.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are running at 320 cfs and water clarity has been clear. The river is low and clear and the trout are biting great. Y2Ks and nymphs are working great. Sight fishing has been really good over the last few weeks. Work upstream and look for that big trout. Cast a nymph up above and let it drift into his waiting jaws. Hot pink trout and white Trout Magnets are working great, while it’s blue and yellow spinners for spin fishers. The river is looking in tiptop shape, so get out and enjoy.
(updated 9-14-2016) 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 9-14-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said reports from the Batesville Bridge were that water was clear and at a normal level. Nothing was reported in bream, crappie of catfish, but the bass bite was fair with spinnerbaits and topwater baits, along with any type of soft plastic worm. Walleye are fair using jigheads and minnows.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures have dropped down into the mid 80s. Water visibility is around 1 foot on the main channel and in Lake Langhofer. Small black bass are schooling with white bass on the main channel of the river near certain jetties with water flowing over them. Larger fish are very difficult to find, but you can at least get some bites chasing these small ones. Use small shad colored crankbaits and work the lures with the current, not against it. Fish can be caught from shallow brush, docks and rocks in Lake Langhofer, but these fish have been pressured so much this summer that they are extremely difficult to catch right now.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 258.76 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said the lake drawdown and shoreline work has been completed, and as of Monday the lake is about 6 inches below normal conservation pool and on a low rise. There is reduced current from the Little River with gates releasing around 160 cfs as of Monday. Water temperature dropped slightly over the past week, ranging 79 degrees early to 88 late in the day, depending on location. Navigation is cautious for Little River as of Monday while lake is returning to normal pool elevation. Tailwater level dropped slightly as of Monday, to 224.5 feet msl. Clarity and visibility have been consistent over the last couple of weeks due to the low water conditions. Away from current, the visibility ranges 8-12 inches. Cottonshed and the northest section of the lake remain stained. Little River’s visibility ranges 8-10 inches. The oxbows’ clarity ranges 10-15 inches. Little River above McGuire Oxbow is stained 3-6 inches, while some areas have better clarity.
Bass remain in a good feeding mode over the past few weeks’ drop in surface temperature, and are best from 2-3 pounds on topwaters early in the day and late out of the current and Little River. Most bass are aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands and shallow vegetation, where you can find the clearest water away from current in backs of the creeks, flats and oxbows. Buzzbaits in Bleeding Bream, white and black are working well. Rico Pops, Bass Assassin Shads, Johnson Chrome spoons and soft plastic frogs are all a good topwater choice, early. Work topwaters around pads and vegetation across flats adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels and that will draw good reactions at dawn. Good bites continue on the spoons using a white or smoke colored 2-inch or 3-inch fat, curly tail grub trailer, or June bug-colored plastic frogs and Bass Assassin Shads. Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Silver Phantom, Salt & Pepper and Houdini colors in the current water clarity and conditions. Rat-L-Traps in Ghost and Millwood Magic colors, 1.75 Echo crankbaits in Millwood Magic and gold colors continue working in creek mouths, dumping into Little River. Citrus Shad-colored Bomber deeper diving crankbaits continue to get the best reaction in the oxbows by largemouths and whites alike. Berkley 10-inch worms in Blue Fleck, Watermelon Candy and June Bug-Red, or Red Bug continue working along Little River in 6-10 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River. Whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows and are hitting the Citrus or Chartreuse Shad-colored crankbaits in the back of the oxbows. Over the past few weeks week, with the heavy cloud cover, the whites were again surface-breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows. Those fish were hitting small Ken Pop's, Pop-R's and Chug Bugs with a rear feather tail hook, and Little Cleos, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and chrome Rat-L-Traps. Crappie continued to bite well during the past week on Blakemore Roadrunners and vertical jigging Southern Pro Little Hustler tubes in planted brush piles in 10-15 feet of depth. Nice channel cats and blues were back on the prowl this week and fair to good, up to 7 or 8 pounds each, on trotlines using chicken gizzards, livers or hearts, and cut bait.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 544.24 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 402.39 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 9-14-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is fair for mostly small fish. Best bet is the surface bite early in the morning. The fish will be in the vast shad schools on the points in the big coves between points 2 and 4. Also look in the coves all along the State Park between Caddo Bend and the marina. Most any surface lure will work as long as it is presented close to the "break." Also try flukes and 3-inch swimbaits. Lots of small Kentuckies are in the upper end of the lake around points 14 and 15. If the fish are schooling and in the shad, try a ¼-ounce white Rooster Tail. Also work a 4-inch finesse worm down the rocky bluffs. A few crappies reported coming from main lake attractors. Look for the cover in 18-25 feet of water and 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 colors are natural shad and black/chartreuse.
Hybrid fishing is slow with only a few fish coming from deep water. Look for fish off big points on the south side in the Iron Mountain area. The fish will be in water depths of 80-120 feet suspended at around 50 feet. There is very little schooling activity and the fish are mostly singles and feeding very little in the cold water at the extreme depths. Use the sonar to locate the fish and drop a heavy jigging spoon to just above the fish. Bream fishing is good with lots of small fish around shallow cover in coves. Use a float and bait with redworms or crickets. Also some nice shell crackers showing up on points in big coves at 20-25 feet near the bottom. Drop a short Carolina rig baited with redworms or crickets to just off the bottom. A few decent catfish catches were reported coming on both noodles and trotlines. Set the rigs at night off points in creeks such as Big Hill and Brushy. Bait with chicken livers, hot dogs, cut shad, nightcrawlers and prepared baits such as Catfish Charlie. Also try live small bream and big minnows.
John Duncan of YoYoGuideService.com at Iron Mountain Marina
said the lake level was 402.43 feet msl. Water temperature is in the mid-80s. Summer heat and low water are making the fishing harder. Bream are still deep; try rocky points and brush piles. Local bass fisherman say the bite is moderate. Spinnerbait seems to be the bait of choice. Catfishing with noodles in small pockets 6-8 feet deep, live bait preferable. Crappie can still be picked up in deep cover. They are right in the brush. The problem now is that tops that were 20 feet deep are now 15 feet deep. Drop-shot a minnow into the piles and pick it up a couple of feet. Good luck on finding deep brush piles. The big story is the schooling fish. You can catch white bass, Kentucky bass, black bass or hybrids. The bait fish are tiny shad an inch to an inch and a half in length. Use either topwaters (that will get reaction strikes) or spoon to imitate the bait fish in size. The schooling fish can be located from Iron Mountain all the way to Shouse Ford.
(update 8-24-2016) Local angler Jaret Rushing said the Ouachita River in Camden hit a pair of spikes over the past week and weekend, pushing water levels up to flood stage for several hours. Areas affected were the river, backwaters, oxbows and creeks/streams that are part of the Ouachita River systems.
Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said crappie are biting fair on the upper side, bass biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, no report on bream or catfish.
(update 8-31-2016) Sportsman’s One Stop (870-863-7248) said said there were no fishing reports.
Local angler Jaret Rushing said there were no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 336.98 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl).
(updated 9-14-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025)
reported water surface temperature of 83 degrees and the level was normal. Bream reports were poor. Crappie reports, though, were good with black jigs and minnows working. Bass bite is fair with crankbait working best. Catfish reports were good. Noodles and jugging with shad as bait brought in cats.
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) is back in action as the water is back to normal. Clarity has been clear; no temperature was reported. The fishing reports came in fair all arounds. Bream were fair on worms or crickets. Crappie are biting fair on minnows or jigs. Bass are just OK these days; give them a red plastic worm for some reaction. Catfishing is fair on the trotlines.
(updated 9-14-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615)
reported water being clear and at a normal level. No temperature was available. Bream fishing is good on worms or crickets. Crappie are working well on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good early in the day; use spinnerbaits, crankbaits or topwater lures. Catfishing is good with worms or chicken livers. White bass are active early in the morning, and reports were good.
(updated 9-14-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperatures in the upper 80s/lower 90s. Clarity is good upper river, stained mid-river through the lower river. Some creeks and backwater appear dirty. Bass fishing has been good in the main river fishing for schooling bass. Use Rat-L Traps, crankbaits and spinnerbaits off of sandbars, frogs and jigs in lily pads, and worms in the creeks with an occasional topwater bite, buzzbaits and ChugBugs. Stripers have been very good just outside the buoy line on swimbaits and Rat-L Traps in 20-25 feet depth, with smaller stripers coming up on the sandbars to school Rat-L Traps and ChugBugs, as well as chrome crankbaits. White bass and yellow perch are schooling around the main river points and cuts. Use crankbaits, Rat-L Traps, bed bugs and Pop-Rs; all have been working great. Bream have been excellent with many being caught on crankbaits. Along the rocks in the main river, try worms, while crickets are working around isolated structure. Catfish have been fair in the main river channel on worms, cut shad and perch.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.39 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort
(870-867-2191) said the water is clearing and surface temperature is ranging 78-84 degrees. Black bass are fair and still being caught with Texas-rigged worms, pig-n-jigs and Pop-R’s. Brush piles on main lake and secondary points are producing the best results for “spots” when fished with live crawfish. Walleye are very good and are being caught jigging CC spoons. Stripers are fair on live bait. The central and east areas of the lake are still the best areas for these fish. Bream are still good. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 20-25 feet deep. Crappie are still fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 25-30 feet deep fished on the bottom near brush. Catfish are fair. Try nightcrawlers, trot line minnows or hot dogs in depths of 15-20 feet. Contact Mountain Harbor’s guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) – for more information.
David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association
said the LOSBA can offer information to would-be anglers about striper fishing on the lake. Draper said he has not been out personally of late, but has a couple reports from others. The lake is clear again after the heavy rains but the lake is also up a couple feet. Fishing with live bait is hit and miss. You can be in one boat catching fish and the boat 50 feet away doesn't get a bite. Fish are scattered and moving, they seem to be following the main channel so Draper’s advice is to try numerous areas that you know the main channel flows through. You may catch fish in a spot one day and never see a fish in that same spot the next day. He said he has not received any information about artificial baits but does know fish are between 25-60 feet deep.
(updated 9-14-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
, reportsthat water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 64 degrees and rises to 67 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace as the normal summertime pool levels continue until November. Entergy is currently running a 12-hour generation schedule per day due to all the rainfall of the past several weeks. Boaters should navigate the area slowly and always wear a life jacket. Sadly, the rainbow trout season is over until mid-November when the stocking program begins again. The vast majority of trout have either been caught or migrated away from the dam. The few fish that remain are extremely wary and almost impossible to catch. Thousands of threadfin shad have migrated into the tailrace in search of cooler water to spawn. Interestingly enough, few white bass or stripers have moved in to feed on the baitfish. No topwater activity has been observed and few bass caught in the past week. No catfish or drum catches reported. This lack of game fish catches are normal for this time of year below Carpenter Dam. However, with the big numbers of shad in the area – schools of stripers and white bass can migrate into the tailrace at any time. Fisherman have to be patient and watch for schooling activity. The month of October normally brings good numbers of white bass into the area, along with hybrid bass. Until the fall weather pattern sets in, fishing below Carpenter Dam will be very poor.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.86 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.
Natalie Carter, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040)
, said reports from the lake were minimal activity, with slight increases over the weekend. Crappie are responding to live bait, no positive reports on bream, and bass are hitting off various lures and worms. Many fishermen trying their hand with the Bream and Catfish, but to no avail that we’ve heard. The State Park is still selling live bait, including minnows, nightcrawlers and redworms, and crickets, as well as various catfish and crappie bait, and artificial lures. The East Arkansas Bass Club is hosting a tournament at Bear Creek Lake on Sept. 24, so be aware of the increased boat activity that weekend.
(updated 9-14-2016) Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported that the lake had minimal activity with a slight increase over the weekend. Crappie are responding to live bait. No positive reports on bream. Bass are hitting various lures and worms. No reports on catfish.
(updated 9-14-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported water being high and stained, and no temperature was available. The only fish being caught, or at least reported, are bream. The bite is good, though, on worms and crickets.