White Oak Lake Gets a Biological Boost
White Oak Lake Gets a Biological Boost
June 29, 2016
AGFC biologists slurry a fertilizer into pumped lake water to fertilizer White Oak Lake near Chidester.
White Oak Lake Gets a Biological Boost
White Oak Lake had a heavy green look during the spring, but that was to make the fishing there in south-central Arkansas better for the rest of the year. In April and May, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists annually fertilize the 1,700 acres that make up the upper and lower sections of the lake near Chidester.

Lake fertilization leads to the development of phytoplankton, or algae bloom. The phytoplankton serves as food for the tiny baitfish and bream, which the bigger fish then feed upon. Fertilization and the algae bloom also temporarily reduce sunlight reaching the deeper vegetation, which can take over a lake and ruin the fishing. Some lakes are fertilized by crop duster, but the AGFC employed a barge carrying a water tank (photo above) for Upper and Lower White Oak Lake. Fisheries biologist Andrew Yung and the staff in Camden slurried the fertilizer in the tank with water drawn from the lake, then pumped it out as the boat moved across the water. “It’s a real slow process, but it’s pretty simple” Yung said. “We try to cover most of the lake. We place 5 pounds per acre. It takes us about a day to get it done, and then we come back about a month later and do it again.”

Lakes like the upper White Oak are considered lower productivity lakes that require more food to handle many hungry mouths, hence the annual fertilization work. The project increases the lake's carrying capacity. Some people believe it’s better to just stay off the lake until it clears, but Yung says, “People who fish a lot know that when water conditions change like that, you may need to change baits or change colors.” 

Yung reports that White Oak Lake had an excellent spawn last year, and he's heard good reports of big bass being caught in the lower section. This three-day holiday weekend would make a great time to check out hidden gems like White Oak Lake and the many other Arkansas lakes for prime fishing opportunities.
Visit the AGFC Facebook Page
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.
(updated 6-29-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water was stained but at a normal level. Surface water temperature was 90 degrees on Tuesday. Catfishing was excellent on the lake by the creek channels on limb lines and trotlines. Use minnows or goldfish for bait. Bass rated good, with most action around lily pads. White spinnerbaits, topwater frogs and plastic worms worked best. Bream were also good around lily pads using worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was fair and best around the Highway 89 bridge and around cypress trees. Use minnows or jigs.
(updated 6-29-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) had no water level or temperature reports, but did hear fair reports on crappie fishing around the Highway 89 bridge. Pink minnows and jigs were the way to go for crappie. Flathead catfish were also being brought in on trotline in good numbers; use slicks, minnows or goldfish. No other fish were reported.

(updated 6-29-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red is receiving several hours of daily generation on weekdays providing excellent wade and drift fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. With low water and bright sun, remember to use fluorocarbon tippet to increase your catch numbers. For fly fishing, we suggest sowbugs, midges and woolly buggers. For Trout Magnet fishing, red and cotton candy colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads are working well. 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 6-29-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the river is low and clear with afternoon generation of about 4 hours during the week and 1-2 hours on the weekend. The fishing is good with the best bite in the morning and mid-afternoon. The best flies are sowbugs, small midge pupas and pheasant tail nymphs with some fish being caught on micro jigs in deeper water. There is a small blue-winged olive hatch from mid-afternoon to dusk. Happy 4th of July; the lakes and rivers will be crowded this weekend so please be courteous to your fellow anglers and be safe. The river is low, so be careful running your outboard motors – the rocks always win.
(updated 6-15-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) reported the fishing on the Little Red has gotten substantially better over the last week. They are getting 4-6 hours of water release each evening. Wading on the upper river is best. The hot flies have been midges, pheasant tails, and pink San Juan worms. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.33 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 6-29-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake according to the Corps of Engineers web-site is supposed to be 462.54 feet for this time of year but is at 461.34 feet that is 1.2 feet below normal pool. The bass fishing is going using Texas rigged worms, C-rig lizards and football heads out deep, with some schooling fish being caught on top and some under hybrids and whites at different places around the lake. Some shallow fish can be caught if the conditions are right; try shallow crankbaits and spinnerbaits. The catfishing is good in one area and not so much in the next for some reason using jugs and trotlines with a variety of bait. The bream fishing has been off as well with the hot weather, so quick try from real shallow out to 28 feet of water using crickets and crawlers for the best results. The walleye bite is on again and off again, conditions playing a role. Try dragging crawlers and or crankbaits or dropping live shad straight down in 15-28 feet of water. The hybrid and white bass are acting crazy as well all over the lake – here one day gone the next. With schooling going on and the fish on structure not wanting to bite all the time, if you can get them to fire you can have a good day. Try spoons, in-line spinners, topwater baits and live bait in 25-45 feet of water. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water level was high and was had a dark, murky look, leading to a spotty to good week of fishing mostly for bream or catfish. There was no report on crappie caught and bass rated poor. However, bream fishing was good with worms and crickets. Catfishing was good with worms or Magic Bait. 

No report.
(updated 6-29-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said the water was closer to clearish in clarity and the surface water was hot. Catfish rated from good to excellent the past week. Chicken liver, blood bait and dough bait worked best. Bass fishing was poor. Crappie, though, rated good with size 6 crappie minnows. Bream fishing was good on crickets. Foster’s is the only shop in the area selling non-ethanol gasoline, and also has bait, tackle and other supplies available. 
(updated 6-29-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marinareported black bass good to excellent. Black bass are biting on Wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. They can be caught in 12-15 feet of water. Blacks are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. This Tuesday night’s black bass tournament saw 11.06 pounds brought in by the winners, Brad LeQuieu and Anthony Wright, and four duos caught 8 pounds or more. The big bass weighed 3.62 pounds, by Cody Bryant and Jeff Barrett. Kentucky bass are good and are being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water and mixed in with the black bass. White bass are good; use deep-diving Bandits and Bombers, as they are all over the lake. They are being caught (in The Main Lake) on CC spoons, white jigs, and Rooster Tails when schooling. They are mixed in with the crappie, which also were caught in good numbers. Crappie are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs. Crappie are 15 feet deep and around the edges or the channels.
Bream fishing is excellent. Bream can be found at 13 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing also is excellent. The catfish are being caught in 15 to 20 feet depth on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. Third pounds is very common for the catfish being caught.
(updated 6-29-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported an excellent week of bass fishing on the lake, as long as it was early in the morning or late in the evening. Shaky Worm and black and blue jigs were working best. Meanwhile, it was a fair week for crappie, with the fish working in about 10-14 feet of water and biting minnows and jigs.

(updated 6-29-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are biting on chicken livers, nightcrawlers, bait shrimp and minnows. Bream fishing has been fair with crickets and redworms. Bass have been hitting minnows and 4-inch lizards, and a few have been caught recently on crawfish. Remember, the bass at Sunset Lake must be released. A few customers report catching some crappie on size 6 minnows.

(updated 6-29-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass have been eating up some 4-inch green pumpkin and watermelon candy Zoom lizards. Texas rig ’em with a small bullet weight and a good sharp, wide gap worm hook. Light line will also increase your bites in the clear water of the Saline. Catfish have been caught on trotlines and limb line baited with goldfish, black saltys and crawfish. Crappie have been slow, but some are still finding a few around logs and brush close to current. Let a size 6 minnow drift down river as close to the cover as possible without tangling. Bream are almost always going to bite a cricket or worm on the river. Use a small hook, light line and tackle and you can have fun all day. You're going to catch a lot of small ones but some big ones are there, too, and they're all fun to catch. Speaking of fun to catch, this is the time of year to catch some gar on the river. Sight fishing with size 12 minnows, a good sharp, strong hook, heavy line and medium/heavy action rod and reel is much fun and challenging. Give it a try. Have fun with any fish you catch and always be safe. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream almost always top the reports from Norrell this time of year. Big bream usually come from deep water structure such as brush, logs or rock piles, but some good ones also can be found around docks and walls around the banks of the lake. Crickets and redworms work best. Try tight-lining in the deeper spots and fish 3-4 feet below a cork around the banks. Bass fishing has been fair, mainly at night. Dark-colored lizards and worms or topwater/buzzbaits have been getting it done for some. Catfish have been biting minnows, black saltys and goldfish on jugs and trotlines. Crappie have been slow to bite anything.

(updated 6-29-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some really nice crappie are still biting on size 12 minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Cajun cricket and glacier colors. Bass have been biting minnows, plastic worms and Carolina rigged lizards and topwater baits early in the morning. Catfish have been biting well for some using chicken livers, minnows and nightcrawlers fished around the banks right before dark. Bream are biting well on crickets and redworms.

(updated 6-29-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said everything is slowly getting back to a normal summer mode. Catfish are getting stronger and stronger. You’ll find them holding channel cats around the docking cells, which are usually deeper with rocks all around them. Use a stink bait. Catfish are hitting early or late; go to the downside of the jetties early and late in 6-12 feet of water, and use bass minnows or bream. Kentucky bass are very good when the water is above the grass lines. Use frogs. When the water drops, go to a secondary drop off and fish crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Bream are very good around the grass lines. Use a Mepps blade or Rooster Tails. Bream also are on overhangs when the sun comes out; use crickets then. White bass are schooling early and late where you have shad schools. Point Remove Creek, Flag Lake Cutoff and near Grandma’s Mobile Home Park campground. Use shallow diving crankbait in white or pearl. During the day, fish the jetty points and use a CC spoon. Black bass are under the overhangs, use chatterbaits. The backwater has been very good both early and late. No reports on crappie or stripers. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley said bass fishing is now very consistent. To catch good numbers, use a small shad colored crankbait and work ambush areas where the current is broken up by rocks, wood, docks, etc. Larger fish can be caught by flipping a 3/8-ounce Crock-O-Gator black and blue jig to rock and wood cover. Catfishing has also been getting hot with much better numbers coming in. Check main river holes and drops with your favorite cut bait. On slow current days try drifting these same baits in the inside sand drops. 

(updated 6-29-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water was clear and at a normal level. Bream are bedded up and are biting on worms and crickets. Bass fishing was good using topwater, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing was good with live bait, worms and chicken liver. Crappie were working well in 4 feet depth on minnows or jigs. White bass reports were poor.
(updated 6-29-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bass fishing being excellent early in the day and late evening. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater were all working well. Crappie were fair and situated about 10-14 feet deep. Use minnows and jigs.

(updated 6-29-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water level near Terry Dam was normal and water was clear. Bream were good on worms and crickets. Bass were good on spinnerbait, crankbaits, plastic worms and topwater. Crappie were in the backwaters and were biting fair on minnows and jigs. Catfishing was good using worms or chicken liver. In Clear Lake, conditions were clear and normal. Bream were biting redworms and rated good. Crappie remained fair in that area on minnows and jigs. Bass were good and liking regular worms and plastic lizards, was well as other topwater lures, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing was fair on worms and shad.
(updated 6-29-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reported the water remained stained to muddy and was at normal level. Surface temperature was 75 degrees. Fishing all-around was good. Bream were working around the grass on redworms or crickets and the catch was good. Crappie worked good in 6-8 feet or water around the brush piles, using minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was good using topwater and crankbaits. Catfishing worked best with nightcrawlers and prepared bait and rated good. 
(updated 6-29-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is almost clear and at normal level, and surface temperature was in the mid-80s. Bream were good in 5-6 feet of water around the Burns Park area. Try wax worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was good in 10-15 feet depth around brush piles. Use minnows or jigs in red color. Bass were good, also in 10-15 feet of water. Best bait was a magenta trick worm. Catfishing was good below the Murray dam. Worms were working best. White bass was good. Try a Rooster Tail. In the area of the pool closer to the Terry Lock and Dam, fishing was good in water that was stained by clearing. Temperatures were in the mid-80s. Bream were good on worms and crickets. Crappie rated good, with minnows and red colored jigs working best. Bass were biting in 10-15 feet depth on plastic trick worms. Catfishing was good on trotlines baited with chicken liver. Rooster Tails seemed to have the attention of the white bass here too, and they rated fair.
(updated 6-29-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) only report on fish in the pool was on the fair catfishing. Skipjack, shad and chicken were working well, while the snagging was fair. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the week was fair overall for anglers. Water was clear and at a normal level. Catfishing was fair; worms, blood bait and nightcrawlers were used. Bass were biting fair on crankbaits and topwater lures, especially spooks. Bream were fair on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing rated poor; try minnows and jigs.

No report.

(updated 6-29-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bass fishing being excellent as long as anglers start early before the sun gets up or get back out late in the evening. Black buzzbait was getting hits. Bream were working fair around the docks on redworms and crickets.

(updated 6-29-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that the catfishing remained excellent on the lake. Try chicken liver, chicken hearts, nightcrawlers or stink bait. There were no other fish reported. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bream and catfish have been caught in the last few days on nightcrawlers, crickets and bait shrimp. Bass fishing has been slow with reports of a few being caught on minnows. No reports of crappie being caught recently.

(updated 6-29-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water was clear and surface temperature was in the mid- to upper 80s. The water lever was normal. Bream were working in 3-4 feet depth on worms and jigs. Crappie were biting at 6-8 feet deep around the brush piles; try minnows or use jigs and red and white magnets. Bass were fair; best bait seemed to be a white spinnerbait. Catfish were working trotlines baited with shad and rated fair. White bass activity was reported to be fair.
(updated 6-22-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported water level normal on the Maumelle. Bream fishing is fair around brush piles using redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair. Try pink and regular minnows. No other reports were available.

No report.

(updated 6-22-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that catfishing was fair. Use skipjack, chicken hearts or shad. Water level was normal.

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 661.30 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 6-22-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) reported the fishing has been a little tougher after this last week of extreme heat. The surface temp around our area is already at 88 degrees! Pretty hot for the middle of June. The water is clear to stained. Start fishing your deeper summer patterns for walleye and crappie. Bass are still good on a variety of jigs and lures. Also, keep in mind that the boat launch at the end of K Highway is almost completely under water. With the new seasonal pool now set at 662.00 feet msl, their boat launch and access road is a thing of the past. Frustrating to think that fishermen and recreational boaters living in and visiting the Branson area will struggle to find an access onto Bull Shoals Lake. Black bass are good on topwater early mornings and evenings. Also good on jigs, plastics in the brush and big worms. Walleye are fair on deep-diving crankbaits and bottom-bouncing nightcrawlers. Crappie is slow to fair on live minnows at 15-20 feet deep.
(updated 6-15-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said the lake rose a few feet earlier in the month. There is a lot of brush in the water up to 5 feet around the shoreline. The water temperature is higher then normal. It is in the low 70s to mid-80s around the lake depending on where you take it. That is a little higher then normal. The water is still fairly clear. There seems to be a thermocline forming around the 18-22-foot level, which is normal for this time of year. Bass fishing is still great. Most of the reports are good with topwater bite the most reported. Then weedless plastics in and around the brush in shallow water. This should change to deeper fishing fairly soon during the day with the water temperatures rising. Walleye fishing hasn't been the best. They have not seen many caught or at least getting reports of many. Not sure why either, because it is usually very good this time of year. It was good March, April and the first two weeks of May but has slowed down since the middle of May. The patterns that follow are still catching some. Not much else to report. For bass, use crankbaits, Swimming Minnow plastics, spinnerbaits, jigs, french fry worms, Carolina rigged plastics, stick baits and topwater. Yes thats right! Just about anything you want to throw. For walleye, trolling deep-diving baits is working in 15-20 feet of water, bottom bouncing with nightcrawlers, slow retrieval of a spoon, slow retrieval of a split shot and nightcrawler. To catch white bass, troll with crankbaits, cast with swimbaits and small jigs or try night fishing with lights. They are seeing lots of crappie being caught. The main pattern being reported is swimming an 1/8-ounce to 1/64-ounce jig just off the bottom along the shoreline. They are spawning so they are not grouped up. You might have to fish a lot of shoreline to catch a bunch. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported the river level being very high, with eight to nine generators running. The water is clear. Trout fishing is good, but it’s harder since the water rose. Rainbows are good. Use power bait or power worms.
(updated 6-29-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said Bull Shoals Dam has been issuing some water this week, with falling water as the morning progresses, then gradually rising water until late afternoon, evening hours, when levels become pretty high and swift. They weren't offered any real wading opportunities this week, but bank/shore fishing was more rewarding than most times. Drift fishing with white and chartreuse power eggs and lots of pink/white mouse tails provided the best catches for bait fishers. They had enough water to have luck with rogues, dark backs, white bellies. On Tuesday the water was lower than it has been for a week, so Gamble said they were back to catching with Zig Jigs, olive/ginger, tri-olive and black. The upcoming forecast is for cooler temperatures (whew!), but continue to stay hydrated and slathered in sunscreen (on you, not your bait or fishing equipment.) Enjoy the Natural State and especially the beautiful Ozark Mountain region of Arkansas. 
(updated 6-29-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) ) said the area has had no rain, brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds in the past week. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.7 feet to rest at 1.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 661.67 feet. This is 32.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.5 feet to rest at a foot below seasonal power pool and 15 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.7 feet to rest at 1.2 feet below seasonal power pool and 9.8 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, they had more generation last week with little wade-able water. All of the lakes on this system are currently at or below seasonable power pool, and with the heat wave we have been enduring, expect more generation to supply more power for the increased demand for air conditioning. Without a doubt, the area’s best and most prolific mayfly hatch of the year is the sulphurs, Ephemerella Dorothea. Berry suggests how to fish the orange-ish/yellow mayflies in size 14 that are starting to hatch on the White and Norfork rivers. Berry has had numerous reports of sulphur sightings on the White and reports of trout actually taken on sulphur dry flies during a hatch on the Norfork River (Berry says he was sworn to secrecy on the exact location). This is definitely good news in that, the hatch is occurring during a period of reliable low water on both rivers (hopefully), which offers some great opportunities to catch the hatch. The hatch occurred quite a bit later last year. The best fishing was in late July. Last year all of the action was on the Norfork River because they were running a lot of water on the White during the hatch and the trout never keyed into them there. Berry says he was lucky enough to catch the hatch several times last year both while guiding a client and then fishing on his own. His best fish on the sulphur was a fat 19-inch rainbow. He also landed what he described as a spectacular 18-inch cutthroat the same day. The best way to fish the sulphur or any hatch is to fish all phases: nymph, emerger and adult. Before the actual hatch begins, the sulphur nymphs will become more active and the trout will begin keying in on them. Berry’s favorite fly to imitate the sulphur nymph is the bead-head pheasant tail nymph size 14. He used to use the copper John in the same size 14, but has had more success of late with the pheasant tail. He fishes it below a strike indicator, with the trick being to achieve a perfect drag-free drift. He gets a lot of strikes at the end of the drift, when the fly begins to ride up. It looks like an emerging nymph. When you observe takes on the top but do not see any adult insects, it is time to concentrate on fishing the emergers. This is where the nymphs have risen to the film (the top 2 inches of the water column). The adults are trying to emerge from the nymph shuck and break through the surface tension of the water. They are unable to move as they drift downstream with the current and are extremely vulnerable to predation. To fish this phase the most productive method is to swing soft hackles. Berry’s favorite fly for this technique is the partridge and orange in a size 15. This is frequently the most productive method, even when the hatch is in full bloom. When you see trout taking adult insects off the surface of the water, it is time to switch to fishing dry flies. After the insect emerges through its nymph shuck and breaks through the surface tension of the water, it climbs up on top of the water and drifts downstream until its wings dry and it can fly off. It is very vulnerable at this time. For the fly fisher this is the most exciting phase. The idea of a good fish coming up and snatching an adult insect from the surface of the water is exciting. Berry says it certainly flips his switch. His favorite fly for this phase is a sulphur parachute in size 14. He said he originally used a light Cahill but found that the sulphur parachute was more effective and a lot easier to see. The secret to success is to get a perfect drag-free float. The tendency when fishing dry flies is to set the hook too soon. There is something about watching a good fish rise to the surface to take a dry fly that gets your adrenalin going. The British say that you should bow to the trout and say “God save the Queen” before setting the hook. Berry, though, says he waits until the trout shuts its mouth and moves below the surface of the water before setting the hook, and that seems to work. The sulphur hatch has provided Berry some of the best dry fishing he’s ever enjoyed. Give it a try.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 555.68 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 6-29-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said Norfork Lake continues to stay HOT. The lake temperature is hot and the striper fishing is hot. Before daylight look for stripers in 35-45 feet of water feeding on crawdads. When the sun comes up, start moving out to 100-130 feet of water. After 8 a.m. the fishing turns off using live bait. Stripers continue being caught at the Highway 62 bridge and Robinson Point. On the south end of the lake the stripers are appearing on the deep side of the points; they are also in the deep channels and bays that abut a bluff. The lake is very clear this year and the creeks are clear due to the continual dam generation. One gate needs maintenance and the lake level must be down to 553 and stay that way up to two weeks. Catching bait some days is taking up to five hours to catch 30 baits. Once the lake level reaches 553 the creeks will return to normal water color. Jim called Tom from Cabool, Missouri, about taking him and his two daughters striper fishing. They had not fished for stripers before, so we set it up for Sunday. Tom says he had a good week overall; one thing about summer fishing Norfork Lake is the pattern will stay the same but the fish react to weather and boat traffic different each day. On Thursday and Friday, fishing was very hot; he says they could not keep a bait in the water for the first two hours. Each day they caught at least 10 stripers in little over an hour. Saturday there was a major lighting storm north of them and that shut down fishing. They caught only four but did catch a 16-pounder. Tom said he was very disappointed because he could see the fish but they just did not want to take the bait. On Sunday with Jim and his girls, Reynolds decided to start very shallow and was rewarded with stripers everywhere. Within 10 minutes they hooked up and it stayed that way. They caught seven before light and kept six, then the bite slowed down but they caught their limit by 7 a.m. and were back cleaning fish by 7:20. This time of year with the water temperature being so high, Reynolds says he does not release legal fish. The mortality rate when fighting fish is very high right now. Therefore if you book with Reynolds, expect to catch fish but you will keep them. So, he says, your trip may not last the four hours but you will have a great time.
(updated 6-29-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 555.93. The Corps is running one generator continuously. The lake surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 80s. The main lake is clearing and the creeks and coves are slightly stained. Striped bass fishing is continuing to be a strong bite. Fish are still scattered throughout the lake and are mainly concentrated in 25-40 feet of water either on the bottom or suspended in deep water. For the last couple of weeks, he has been fishing with his daughter and her family and they had a blast. All including the little ones were catching fish. After keeping several limits of stripers the first couple of days, they started releasing all fish caught. Lou’s 4-year-old granddaughter had fun catching bluegills at the dock and she is getting really good with her Tinkerbell pole. Live thread fin shad has been working great for his group, but vertical jigging with a spoon and trolling with swimbaits also produce some nice fish. Largemouth bass fishing has slowed a little but is still good. There is some topwater action early in the mornings, but the bigger ones are going deeper. He has found bass partway back in creeks at channel swings near points. They are in shallow water early, then move out to 20-30 feet of water as the sun gets high in the sky. There are plenty of bass hanging out in the shadows of the docks during the day.
Crappie fishing is also in its hot-water mode: hard to find, but once you locate them you will catch some nice fish in the 10-14-inch range. A couple of his guests have been crappie fishing and did well both Monday and Tuesday. Start looking for brush piles back in creeks and coves. The brush should be in 20-35 feet of water and the fish will be suspended on the tops of the brush, but some of the nicer ones will be deeper. There are still plenty of nice crappie in the shadows of the docks during the day. There are some nice walleye being caught. Look for walleye in 25-35 feet of water. They will be around main lake points that have brush nearby or at this same depth along the rocky bluff walls. Jigging spoons as well as a crawler harness are working.
(updated 6-22-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is 557.1 feet msl and the water temperature is in the mid-80s. Look for stripers down 35-60 feet deep. They can be close to the bottom in 35 feet depth or they can be suspended in 100 feet. Check the deep side of points and close to the creek channels in the creeks. They had a few small stripers in the 2-4-pound range and some hybrids about 4-6 pounds coming up hitting Zara Spooks in a creek while they were sitting in 55 feet. There were a few whites, large mouth and some smallies mixed in. Steve and his group hit another spot and got into a few spotted bass. They were not coming up chasing, they just came up and hit the spooks in Big Creek. The group caught a few stripers and a couple hybrids on jigging spoons suspended at 30 feet in about 55 feet of water. F or more information on the area and lake visit www.LakeNorforkFun.com.
(updated 6-29-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake fell 0.6 feet to rest at one 0.1 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had limited wade-able water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are currently at or below seasonable power pool. With the heat wave we have been enduring we should expect more generation so supply more power for the increased demand for air conditioning. The Norfork has fished better lately. 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 and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite fly has been the green butt. Dry Run Creek will be very busy, with summer vacation, in full swing. It is cleared and fished well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases

(updated 6-15-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) saidthat 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 6-15-2016) 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 1,119.93 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 6-29-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported that the very hot weather of the past week has slowed down the fishing during the day. Surface water temperature on Monday was 80 degrees. The water was at normal level and the clear. Bass rated “so-so,” some fair reports, some good and then great at night when the sun goes down. Bass were in the brush areas. In the daytime, topwater, finesse worms, Shakey Heads and Ned rigs were working best. Later, go with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Flicker Shad, Bandit 300 and Arkie 350 series stood out. Bream fishing was good on worms and crickets. Catfishing was good on jug lines, limb lines and trotlines using prepared bait or chicken liver. Striper fishing was slow. Crappie were fair; they suggest trolling for crappie using minnows.
(updated 6-29-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said water surface temperatures have been in the high 80s. Stripers are on main lake structures and mouths of coves, etc. There has been some nice topwater action! Some Beaver Lake striper are using gravel bars, points, humps and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Try lightly weighted lines, free lines, balloons and planer boards in presenting your baits and it will definitely get you some fish. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad fished on free lines and down lines from surface to about 20 feet deep; also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs, flat lines or slightly weighted lines like Rapala No. 14 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model. Jerkbaits like flukes will also produce. The night bite action has been hot.
On the mid- and lower sections check out these areas that have been the hot spots for stripers: Beaver Dam, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge North, Point 3, Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, Point 5, Rock Branch and the bluff in front of the marina. Walleye are now back down on the main lake in numbers and on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-20 feet depth depending on areas you fish. Go with three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combination and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.

(updated 6-29-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy said fishing has been great this week. White bass are still very active throughout the tailwaters. Try using various Rapalas at different depths; it helps to have sonar to help locate the schools. Trout are biting on different spoons and various power baits on light terminal tackle. Walleye are still being caught, but not in high numbers. Using a crawler rig, tipped with a nightcrawler, has been doing well, along with jigging and pulling various hard baits.
(updated 6-29-2016) Beaver Dam Store reported that the fly fishing has been pretty good. Generation last Friday started at 1 p.m. with two units running until 8 p.m. The occasional brown trout can be caught using midges, streamers and hopper patterns. For rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, numphing and swinging small soft hackles. The white bass and striper fishing has tapered off at White Bass Cove. Not to say they are not there but the occasional feeding frenzy has been noted when bait fish are present. The Zara Spook in fin/pearl with red head color is the hot ticket along with pearl. Jerkbaits are also producing. Gold and silver Colorado spoons, red and gold Bouyant spoons and Flicker Shad in pro series Nos. 4 and 5 have been good lures. Power baits in white, red, yellow, chartreuse and peach have worked well. Good flies have been pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black and olive, 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.

(updated 6-15-2016) 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 6-29-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported water at normal level and clear. Surface temperature on Monday was 80 degrees. Bass fishing was good using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing was good; worms, blood bait, chicken liver and nightcrawlers all worked well. Bream were fair on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was poor; minnows or jigs worked best.

(updated 6-29-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported clear but somewhat low water for usual, with a surface temperature of 92 degrees, but the fishing was mostly good. Bream rated good using worms and crickets. Crappie could be found in the deeper parts of the lake on minnows and jigs. Spinnerbait and topwater bait were bringing in good numbers of bass. Catfishing was good using shad or chicken liver. 

Northeast Arkansas

(updated 6-22-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said summer and hot temperatures are here, keeping some of our fishermen in the cool.  A few are still going after the bream, crappie and catfish, getting out there early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  The bass are out there being caught on artificial bait. Stay cool; drink plenty of water. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water was at normal level and clear, and the surface temperature was 92 degrees. Bass worked best early in the morning or late at night, rating good, with topwater getting the action. Catfishing was good using nightcrawlers or chicken liver. Crappie fishing was poor. Bream was good on worms and crickets. 

(updated 6-29-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 430 cfs and water clarity has been clear. The river is looking great. Woolly worms, Guppies and big nymphs have been hot this week. On the hot sunny days it is a must to get down near the bottom. Hot pink and chartreuse Trout Magnets have been hot on spinning gear. Super glue the body on to the hook so the body does not slide down. It the body slides down the trout will ignore it. A wading staff is handy wading the river, and wet wading has been the norm with the hot temps. The Spring River is a comfortable 58 degrees, enjoy!
(updated 6-29-2016) John Berry in Cotter said the 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 over and fishing is better. 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 (No. 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (No. 10) and Y2Ks (No. 10). 

(updated 6-29-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water was at a normal level and was clear to about 9 feet, but fishing for all species was poor the past week. Surface water temperature was 82 degrees on Monday. 

Southeast Arkansas

(updated 6-22-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the upper 80s on the main channel of the river up to low 90s in backwaters. Water visibility is less than a foot on the main channel to up to a foot in backwaters. Black bass have been biting fairly well but the heat has definitely slowed them down. Shallow crankbaits on main channel jetties are producing some bites, as are soft plastics and jigs worked through brush piles. Activity slows during mid-day, so focus on early morning or late evening. 

(updated 6-8-2016) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park said bream are biting well on crickets. The bass are biting well on green and white frogs off of the lily pads. The catfish are biting well on bream. Crappie are lying low for now.

No report.

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.53 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 6-29-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said lake level as of Monday was about 5 inches above normal conservation pool and falling. There was current in Little River with the gates releasing around 1,959 cfs. Water temps were stable over the past week, ranging 78 degrees early to 90 degrees at midday, depending on location. Lake level has risen slightly over the past week. Lake level as of Monday was 259.60 feet msl, with current. Navigation considered normal caution on Little River and Millwood; watch for floating debris, floaters, and limbs from recent high discharge at the gates. Tailwater has dropped this week also and is currently at 233.23 feet msl. Clarity and visibility is improved compared to last week in most areas on the main lake and Little River. Clarity and visibility ranges about 10-15 inches. Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake remains heavy 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 fair between 2 and 4 pounds on topwaters early and late. Most bass are most aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, stumps, cypress trees and vegetation shallow. Buzzbaits, Arbogast jitterbugs in frog colors, Zara Spooks in shad patterns and Crazy Shads are still drawing reactions at the surface at daybreak. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads are still drawing good responses, early and later in the day by deadsticking. Buzzbaits are working in Bleeding Bream, black or bleeding shad (white/pink) colors around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels. Best colors of Crazy Shad are chrome/black back and Bass Assassin Shads best in Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom. Good bites continue on black, white and June bug colored soft plastic frogs this week around pads in clearest water you can find.
The bite has improved on jigs in Little River now that the current has slowed some, and fish are roaming the river. The lower discharge and slower flow rates are positioning fish behind stumps yet allowing them to ambush jigs, tubes, bulky 10-inch worms, and squarebill crankbaits with abandon early along old river channel swings. The Bass Assassin Shads in salt and pepper or crystal shad colors continue working around vegetation, and Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills are working around deeper drops in Little River, and in the mouths of creek channels dumping into the river. Magnum sized, 4-inch salty tubes in pumpkinseed, black/blue tail, or Appleseed colors have been working over the past several weeks.
Lots of topwater action continues this week away from current of Little River, and topwater Zara Spooks, Pop-Rs and Jitterbugs, work best right at daylight. Ten-inch bulky worms, jigs, tubes and squarebill Echo 1.75 and deeper crankbaits are working after the topwater bite subsides. Best colors have been black, blue fleck and plum on the big worms. Best Echo 1.75 crankbaits are the Millwood Magic, sexy chrome, and ghost colors. Deeper diving cranks like the Fat Free Shad are working from 6-9 feet deep in Citrus Shad and Tennessee Shad colors. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs are taking nice bass in the 3lb class using Texas Craw, Watermelon Candy, or June bug colors with a green pumpkin or black craw trailer. Swimming the jig and alternating with a big black and blue chatterbait, are working around pads and stumps from 5-8 feet of depth in shady areas of the oxbows.
Whites and hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on Fat Free Shad crankbaits from 7-12 feet deep. White bass were surface schooling two weeks ago in back of Horseshoe and McGuire oxbows. These surface schoolers were hitting casting spoons, Zara Spooks, Clear Rat-L-Traps, and clear Baby Torpedoes. The crappie improved over the past week, and were biting over planted brush piles vertical jigging tubes and jigs from 9-12 feet of depth. Best colors were white, chartreuse and blue combinations. Blues and channel cats continue biting well in the current in Little River over the past week on trotlines about 8-10 feet, in creek mouths and outer bends of the river. Best bites continue to be on cut buffalo, chicken hearts and livers. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.24 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
(updated 6-22-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are still fair for the anglers there.
(updated 6-22-2016) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported surface temperature is in the lower to mid-80s. Water is clear throughout the lake. Crappie are good on brush piles in 10-15 feet depth. A few bass are still roaming the banks and are hitting topwater plugs. Whites are hitting chrome CC spoons and shad-colored 3-inch grubs and are located off points in 15-30 feet of water. Bass are good at night and are hitting Texas rigged worms and Brush Hawgs, black spinnerbaits and deep-diving shad-colored crankbaits.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 405.24 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 6-29-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is fair with mostly small fish being caught. Look for some surface activity early in the morning on main lake points. Throw surface plugs and plastics such as Flukes and Bass Assassins. Also there is a decent night bite on spinnerbaits and big 10-12 inch worms. Dark colors are best on both the spinners and worms. Most any area of the lake will produce bass this time of year so be prepared to cover a lot of water until fish are located. Hybrid fishing is good with quite a few nice catches reported. Look for fish in the lower end of the lake between Point 4 and the spillway and in the big coves along the State Park. Right now, early morning is the best and probably the only time to catch fish. Very little surface activity so use the sonar to locate the fish, which will be suspended at 20-30 feet down. Throw a heavy spoon or big in-line spinner and fish the lure up through the fish. White and chartreuse are the best lure colors. Tip: If you see small white bass "breaking," work the spinners and spoons deep under the fish because the hybrids will sit under the white bass schools.
Bream remain pretty scarce with only a few good catches reported. Look for fish in coves with lots of wood or rock cover and bait with redworms or crickets. The fish will bite pretty quickly if around, so don't spend too much time in an area if no bites. Catfish are fair in the major creeks such as Brushy and Big Hill on trotlines. Set the lines across points in 20-40 feet of water and bait with nightcrawlers, hot dogs, chicken livers, cut shad and prepared baits. Also try live small bream and big minnows. Remember, nighttime is best for cats.
(updated 6-29-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said the lake level slowly dropped last week due to daily power generation to 405.27 feet msl. Hybrids are schooling in the central portion of the lake, the spillway, Mountain Harbor and around State Park Marina. The ones in the central portion are staying up to around 8:30 a.m. The bass bite has slowed down with some action at night on black spinner baits. State Park Marina reports some bass activity on watermelon worms rigged Carolina style. Bream are fair off points around 20 feet deep on crickets and worms. I have one report of good groups of bream off point at swimming area on the south end of the levee off Highway 7. They are grouped around 15 feet deep. Catfishing remains good on noodles and trotlines. Duncan said he personally was off-water since Thursday due to illness. Thursday the water temperature was 88-89 degrees. Crappie were in brush piles from 9-15 feet deep from Arlie Moore to Point Cedar. The larger ones were caught at the deeper range. Minnows are his choice for crappie. Iron Mountain reports around 4 inches of rain in the last few days. Stay cool and hydrated this holiday. Let’s all be courteous and mentor safe boating practices. Happy 4th to all.
(updated 6-22-2016) Darryl Morris at  Family Fishing Trips said whites and hybrids are schooling early in the morning, then settling on deep points by mid-morning.

South-Central Arkansas

No reports.

(updated 6-22-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) ) said bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, bream still biting well on worms and crickets, and crappie are biting well on the lower side. Catfish are being caught on live bait. Overall fishing is good, the fish are very healthy. (updated 6-22-2016) Local angler Jaret Rushing said said water from the torrential rain last week has finally subsided and oxbow lakes and the Ouachita River are fishable again. Anglers took to the water this past weekend and caught bass, bream and crappie on summer patterns. Bass were 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 6-22-2016) Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had no reports.

(updated 6-22-2016) Local angler Jaret Rushing said reports are that bass are staged in creek channels now with best bets coming on shad-like baits 4-6 feet deep. No other reports from the lake.

West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 337.03 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 6-29-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) had no report this week. Water is about 5 feet below normal level. The water was not as low the previous week and the bait shop reported the water at a low level but clear. Surface temperature was 87 degrees, and those conditions led to an excellent week all around for fishing. Bass were excellent in shallow depth using topwater lures. Catfish were also working in shallow water and the bite was excellent on worms and chicken livers. Crappie fishing was excellent; the fish are biting at 5 feet depth on minnows and jigs. Bream fishing was excellent around the shoreline; use worms and crickets. White bass were good.
(updated 6-29-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water was fairly low and hardly enough around for boats unless it’s a light boat with no motor. There were no reports on any catches.

​(updated 6-29-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water level was low but water was clear. Where you can find deeper water, crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is excellent everywhere on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Catfishing is good; use worms, chicken liver, shad or small perch. White bass reports were poor.

(updated 6-15-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature was 87 degrees warming to 90. Clarity is beginning to improve on the river. Creeks are clear with dingy backwater. Bass fishing has been excellent, with many different ways to catch them; perch jigs around low-hanging trees that has mayflies in them has been a good technique. Casting frogs around the shad spawn has been an excellent technique. Crankbaits off of drops and points have been working well, also. Buzzbaits around the jetties have been working well, too. Stripers and white bass have been good at the heads of the creeks on topwater popbaits and swimbaits. No word on crappie, but have been seeing a lot on the graph around 11 feet. Bream has been excellent on worms and crickets and mayflies around low-hanging trees and on rocks with grass. Flathead has been good on small perch along jetties and bluffs. Channel cats have been good in the creeks on minnows. Blues have been excellent in the mouth of the creeks on cut shad and skipjack.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 575.06 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
​(updated 6-29-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191) said black bass are good and being caught with Texas rigged worms and creature baits. Brush piles on the main lake and secondary points are producing the best results. Drop shot finesse worms are working great for “spots.” Walleye are still excellent and are being caught trolling shallow running crankbaits and jigging CC spoons. Stripers are still good on live bait. The central area of the lake is 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 still excellent. Try live bait or cut bait in depths of 15-20 feet. The water temperature on Tuesday was 86-88 degrees and the water clarity was clearing. Mountain Harbor fishing guides Mike Wurm, Chris Darby and Jerry Bean are available to take anglers out to the best spots.
​(updated 6-15-2016) David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association said water is clear and the white bass are spot-breaking, as are the striper. Surface temperature was 84 degrees and the fish are moving down, but you will see the occasional spot-breaker. He reports he didn't catch anything Saturday, but he saw fish in the areas of Crystal Chute, around points 6, 7, 12, 13 and 28. The thermocline was between 58 and 780 feet, and that’s where he saw most of the fish. The lake is getting very busy with boats, so be careful. Check out the link above to the association, which will also take you to the association’s Facebook page.

(updated 6-22-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported the white bass are beginning to school early in the morning.

(updated 6-29-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 58 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Lake Catherine is now at normal summertime pool and will remain at this level until late November. Rainbow trout are still present in decent numbers below the dam and thriving in the nutrient rich water. The bite has slowed considerably now that a summer pattern has emerged and 5 fish limits are considered a good day on the water. Trout in the 12 to 16 inch range are present and roaming the shallow waters searching for prey. Bank fishermen are doing well during slack water periods with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Wax or meal worms are also effective presented in the same manner. Corn closely resembles fish eggs and will draw strikes from hungry rainbows in calm water or current flow. Live minnows floated under a bobber has accounted for the largest trout this week as these fish tend to feed on larger prey items. Fly fishermen can still access areas that hold schools of trout, but must use extreme caution when the turbines are running. Micro-jigs in white or black casted with a strike indicator is a consistent technique because the tailrace holds thousands of shad that rainbow trout feed on daily. San Juan worms in red or hot pink give an angler a nice change of pace when the bite is slow. Egg patterns in yellow or white are always the bait of choice when conditions are tough and the fish are finicky. Boaters trolling shallow running crankbaits against the current are recording limits of quality catches with most of the action best below the bridge. Anchoring behind rocks and fishing the current breaks with small jigs and jerkbaits have caught trout in the 18 inch class by experienced guides. Overall, trout fishing is excellent and will remain good until the middle of June. White bass are making a strong spawning run toward the dam from the main body of the lake. Little fishing pressure due to extreme heat has allowed these fish to gather in big numbers on both sides of the tailrace. Current flow drives white bass to feed heavier than slack water and trolling crankbaits and casting Alabama rigs over sands bars and rock structure will produce good catches. Jerkbaits in bright yellow have been the ticket in the stained waters of last week, but now a silver and black pattern has proved to be more effective of late. Live minnows tight-lined over deep water around the dam has targeted bass that moved up early in the flood. A few hybrid bass have been caught on the same lures with better numbers migrating in the area in June. Some striper activity has been observed this week but no big fish hooked or caught. Freshwater drum continue to spawn the tailrace with fish over 20 pounds caught and larger fish lost. Nightcrawlers and live shad are the best baits to use to entice these fish which give fishermen a hard fight test tackle to the limit. Carolina rigs tipped with either bait can draw vicious strikes so rods should never be set aside in a boat or the bank and left unattended. Never navigate the waters below Carpenter Dam without wearing a life jacket and a good knowledge of the bottom structure below the dam.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.92 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.

East Arkansas

(updated 6-22-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said crappie are off their beds and biting at moderate depths of 7-12 feet. They’re hitting live bait; partial to crickets. Bream have been reported to be on their beds in previous weeks, but activity has slowed down since last week (June 14). No good reports on bass or catfish. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center located in Marianna, off of Hwy 44 is selling bait and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Minnows, red worms, nightcrawlers, shad and crickets are available along with a wide variety of jigs and artificial baits. Call for more info or to book a campsite. 

(updated 6-22-2016) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) reported crappie are off their beds and responding lightly to live bait. Moderate bream activity off of the bank and fishing pier. Bass have been reported to be biting on jigs and worms, but nothing of noteworthy size. No reports on catfish. Alleged alligator sighting within the last few days; not yet confirmed by a ranger/other park staff, but be aware if you are out in a boat. Call for more info on the State Park or to book a campsite.

(updated 6-29-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water level returned to normal and the clarity was clear, leading to a better week than they’ve seen in a while. Bream fishing was good on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing was poor, but minnows got some bites. Bass fishing was good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing was good using shad or chicken liver. 

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