Shocking Samples Check Fish Health in Arkansas
Shocking Samples Check Fish Health in Arkansas
Oct. 14, 2015

Fall Electrofishing Gathers Great Information

As the water cools and fish begin to move closer to shallow water, fisheries biologists across the state will have their hands full with many types of sampling efforts to assess the health of lakes and rivers going into winter. Electrofishing crews will weigh and measure largemouth bass during this time to give a true weight (without eggs) and help determine the health of not only the bass population, but the forage species as well. 
Arkansas and White river levels are available at:
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit:  
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit:  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. Visit for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
(Updated 10-7-2015) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and about a foot low. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets about 10 feet from the shoreline. Crappie are fair on minnows and white/chartreuse jigs around the Highway 89 Bridge and in Caney Creek about a foot and a half deep. Bass are biting well on white spinnerbaits and flukes fished around lily pads in 3 feet of water. 
(Updated 10-7-2015) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said crappie are beginning to move up the creeks. They are biting chartreuse jigs and rosey red minnows set 3 feet deep. Bream are off their beds and scattered 1-3 feet deep. You can catch them by covering water with a crickets or wax worm. Bass are biting fairly well on small plugs at edges of channels. Catfishing has been very good on nightcrawlers, stink bait and shiners.

(Updated 10-14-2015) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red is receiving a few hours of afternoon generation during the weekdays, but less generation on the weekends. With low water, remember to use small fluorocarbon tippet to increase your catch numbers. Hot patterns continue to be streamers, midges, eggs and soft hackles. For Trout Magnet fishing, candy cotton and bison-colored bodies on gold and chartreuse jig heads are working well. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Greers Ferry Lake Powerhouse recording or check the Corps of Engineers website for real-time water release and the Southwest Power Administration generation schedule.  
(Updated 10-14-2015) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said fishing remains good on the Little Red. Low, clear water during the day is good for fly-fishing and the fish are active. There is a midge hatch in the mornings and mid- to late afternoon, with a small mayfly hatch in the afternoon.  Small nymphs, midge pupae and emergers are still the best bet.  Light tippet and a good presentation are more important due to the clarity of the water. October 15 is drawing near and that is the date the mandatory generation ends. Hopefully, we will continue to see a regular generation keeping the water temps and depth of the water on the shoals at a good level for fall fishing and the brown trout spawn. I have not noticed any brown activity on the shoals, but my clients are catching an occasional brown. It is a bit early for the browns to be moving to the shoals.
(Updated 10-14-2015) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said fishing has been good. We have had low water flows that provide great wading opportunities up and down the entire river. Hot flies have been sow bugs, midges and pink San Juan worms.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.56 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
(Updated 10-14-2015) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 3.49 feet below normal pool and falling. Hybrid stripers and white bass are eating well, especially on the south end of the lake during most of the day. Some feeding on top is going on with any rain. Try topwater baits, swim baits, spoons and in-line spinners. Bream are guarding fry and can be caught shallow on small crankbaits, crickets and crawlers. Crappie are biting well on minnows an jigs around any pole timber or brush piles on the lake. A few walleye are mixed in with the hybrids and whites, but there’s no consistent pattern for them right now. Catfish are eating live and cut bait closer to the deeper water on jugs and lines. Bass fishing is steady on drop-shots, Carolina rigs, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits.
(Updated 10-14-2015) Cody Smith of said water levels are 5 feet below top power pool and falling slightly with no significant rainfall. Water surface temperatures are still in the lower 70s lake-wide. Game fish are spread out from one foot of water to 30 feet. Look for fishing to improve greatly with water surface temperatures falling over the next couple weeks. White bass and hybrids are feeding on top most mornings in isolated locations. Once we see our surface temperatures get down in the mid 60s look for surfacing throughout the day rather than first and last light.

(Updated 10-7-2015) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is clear and a little low. Crappie are biting fairly well on minnows fished around cover in 4 to 5 feet of water about 40 to 50 yards from the bank. Catfishing is still good on worms. Bream and bass are slow.  
(Updated 10-7-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on minnows, Bobby Garland Baby Shads and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs in BBQ chicken, Cajun cricket, blue ice and monkey milk colors. Catfishing is good on shad, minnows and worms. Bass are biting on buzzbaits and worms. White bass are biting on Cajun Spins, Johnson Silver Minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad grubs. Bream are fair on crickets and worms.  

Overcup Landing had no report.

(Updated 9-30-2015) Jan Johnson at Brewer Lake Bait Shop (501-354-4108) said Conway Corporation reports the lake level at 325.9 msl (normal pool level is 330.0 msl). Crappie fishing is very good early in the mornings and late afternoons on live minnows, jigs and crankbaits fished 13 to 14 feet deep in 20 feet of water. Catfishing is fair at night using nightcrawlers, large minnows, shad and bream. Bass and bream are slow.

(Updated 10-7-2015) Charley's Hidden Harbor at Opello said the wind and cooler temperatures have moved bass up to shallower water. Black/blue jigs fished in 3 to 10 feet of water and shad-colored crankbaits fished in 5 to 10 feet of water along jetties has worked fairly well. Catfishing is good on whole shad fished in 10 to 15 feet of water. White bass are fair on shad-colored crankbaits fished around jetties warmed by the sun. Drum are biting extremely well on crayfish-colored crankbaits around jetties.   

(Updated 10-7-2015) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water level is 2.7 feet below the spillway and the water temperature is 78 degrees. Largemouth bass are biting well on wacky-rigged worms, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and jerk baits in 10 feet of water and shallower. Spotted bass are biting well on crankbaits and jigs in 10 to 15 feet of water. White bass are excellent just west of Jolly Rogers Marina and on the east side of the lake. They are being caught on CC spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails when they are schooling and on Bandit and Bomber crankbaits trolled 15 feet deep when they are roaming. Crappie are fair in 15 to 20 feet of  water around brush. They are being caught on crappie minnows and jigs. Bream are excellent on live worms fished 15 to 20 feet deep around any submerged brush or fish attractors you can find. Catfishing is good on chicken livers, small bream and commercial stink bait in 10 to 15 feet of water. 

(Updated 10-7-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said lately the catfish having been doing well on chicken livers and shrimp. Crappie have been slow, with a few being caught on pink minnows . Bass have been hitting topwater baits. Bream have been hitting crickets.

(Updated 10-7-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said the water is still low. Catfish are biting fairly well on trotlines baited with goldfish and black salties. Bream have been hitting well on crickets. Bass have been slow on Zoom Brush Hogs. A few crappie have been caught on no. 6 crappie minnows.

(Updated 10-7-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bream slowed down a lot, but a few big ones are being caught on crickets. Bass have been hitting buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting on livers and nightcrawlers. No report on crappie.

(Updated 10-7-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie been fair on no. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish are biting well on shrimp and Sonny's dip bait. Bream are fair on crickets and redworms.

​(Updated 10-14-2015) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is about a foot high and clear. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets fished along the bank in 2 to 3 feet of water. Crappie are excellent on minnows and black/chartreuse jigs fished 6 feet deep along the channel edge. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and worms along the bank in 4 feet of water and less. Catfishing is good on chicken liver fished on the bottom in 8 to 20 feet of water. 

(Updated 10-14-2015) The folks at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is low and clear (almost 3 feet of visibility). Bream are biting well in shallow water. Crappie are fair around rocks in 15 feet of water. Bass are excellent on black and blue jigs fished around grass in 1 to 5 feet of water. The catfish are not biting as well with the cooler water lately. 
(Updated 10-14-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on jigs tipped with a minnow. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits around rock jetties. Catfishing is good behind the dam on skipjack. 

(Updated 10-14-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is low and clear. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are beginning to bite well on jigs and minnows. Bass are fair on soft-plastic worms and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on skipjack.  

(Updated 10-7-2015) Herman's Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is fairly clear, for Peckerwood anyway. The water level is low and stumps are showing. Bream are fair on micro jigs. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs around channels and stumps. Bass are biting well around the stumps near the channel, too. Catfishing is excellent on hot dogs soaked in strawberry Kool-Aid and garlic. 

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 665.94 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).(Updated 10-14-2015) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said the lake is about 7 feet away from being back to normal. We are looking forward to getting our launch ramp back for the fall.  Shad have become very concentrated on the flats. Many anglers are catching good numbers of white bass near K Dock. Once the lake stops dropping 6 inches per day, the fall bite should be great for all species. The surface water temperature is 70 to 72 degrees, and the water clarity is clear. Black bass are biting well on a variety of baits. Topwater lures are working well in the morning. Spinnerbaits are producing on windy days. Jigs and crankbaits (particularly squarebills) are producing well around points and high rock bluffs, however zebra mussels have moved in at many areas and will tear up your line, so check it often. Many anglers have resorted to fishing with braid to save their line from being cut. Walleye are fair on bottom-bouncing night crawlers.  Trolling crankbaits will improve once the lake stabilizes. Crappie are fair on live minnows. White bass are biting well on lipless crankbaits, Rooster Tails and small spinnerbaits.  Follow the surfacing shad and you’ll find the fish.
(Updated 10-14-2015) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said said surface water temperatures are in the 70s. The Army Corps of Engineers has been steadily running water. If you are fishing by the dam, be sure to fish the long points with gravel and chunk rock for smallmouth. Dragging a tube or shaky head, with a Zoom trick worm or UV worm in brown, watermelon or green pumpkin 20 to 27 feet deep. Fishing has been better up the lake and in the bigger creek arms. Fall is here and the shad are starting to migrate. Keitech swim baits fished super slow are working, as are Rite Bite ½-oz. PB and J jigs with a Net bait Paca Craw or Zoom Fat Albert or Creepy Crawler in green pumpkin will work as well. Look for points back in that flatten out in deeper water 20 to 26 feet deep. Anglers also are catching a few largemouths and spotted bass in the very backs of creeks on War Eagle spinnerbaits on windy days. For the walleye guys, bottom bouncers are starting to work on deep sides of main lake points. Use a 1 ½-oz. bouncer with a worm harness in 24-26 feet of water, and then run 30-32 feet.

(Updated 10-30-2015) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is crystal clear and high with eight generators turning around the clock. Rainbow trout fishing is excellent as long as you stick to high-water tactics from a boat. The fish are colored up beautifully right now.   
(Updated 9-30-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the White River saw high levels of generation with no wadable water. On heavy generation, the best way to catch fish is to switch to longer leaders and heavier weight. On the White, the hot spot was the Wildcat Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (size 8-10), Y2Ks (size 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead size 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 hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with an orange egg suspended below it).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 558.17 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(Updated 10-14-2015) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said stripers are starting to school up for the fall bite. Lots of stripers can be found in the Robinson area on the bottom in the 50-foot range. They still are reluctant to bite, but you can get one to hit every once in a while. This will change once the water and weather turns colder. I fished Red Bank and the state line two times and found lots of stripers but no bites. The next time I went up to Red Bank there were no stripers to be found which told me they had migrated farther up the lake. I fished the state line area and found active stripers both days I fished there. The fish were aggressive and hitting all sizes of bait. As the water temperature continues to drop the Calamity Beach and Robinson Point areas will get better thorough November. 
(Updated 10-7-2015) Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing is in transition to the fall fishing pattern. This basically means that fish can be and are at any depth in the lake. The fish will soon start to school up and feed heavily for the winter months. Over the last 3 days the largemouth and smallmouth bass have moved to the shoreline. With the lake still about 6 feet over normal pool, we still have buck brush underwater. The bass are up in this brush. I have fished several different methods for bass; top water, casting a chatterbait and casting a shallow diving crankbait. All 3 baits have produced some nice keeper size large and smallmouth bass as well as many short fish. I've been fishing the windblown main lake points as well as secondary creek and cove points. The fish are up tight to the bank. You will catch lots of bass, but most will be on the short side. Bluegill are along the shoreline near sunken brush piles in 20-30 feet of water. A couple of our guests fished yesterday afternoon and brought back a basket full of nice bluegills. Crickets are deadly. White bass can be found back in the major creeks following the shad. I haven't found any top water action lately, but the trollers are having fun. Stripers and hybrids are on the move and are starting to school. Sunday morning I was fishing a deep bluff line point and had huge schools of fish show up. I had live threadfin shad down 30 and 50 feet. I was also jigging a spoon. The live bait poles started to get hammered, but the bites were not super aggressive. I managed to land two hybrids in the 6 - 7 pound range and missed too many to admit. I had several good bites at 50 feet, but sad to say I missed all of them. I suspect the deeper fish were the stripers. These schools of fish are constantly moving so if you are in the right place at the right time you will see more fish than you know what to do with. I keep checking my normal fall haunts as these fish will eventually get more consistent on these feeding locations as the lake water temperature lowers. These fish will be at all depths from along deep water bluffs to deep flats. Top water action for striped bass and hybrid bass typically starts when the water temp gets into the 60s. The current Norfork Lake water temperature this morning was 73-74 degrees. It should continue to fall each day. 
(Updated 10-14-2015) Guide Steve Olomon said the water temperature is in the low- to mid-70s. The stripers are scattered all over the lake and can be from 30 to 50 feet deep. There are some whites back in the creeks following the baitfish. There are baitfish up in the flooded brush along the banks. Throw spinnerbaits and crankbaits along the outside of the brush. The windblown banks are better. I found a few bass coming up early that would hit a Spook, but the action is short-lived. Throw a jig and drag it along the bottom out to 30 to35 feet of water. We need some cooler weather to get the water temperature down into the 60s and the fish will start feeding better. It will also move the stripers up and the night bite will start again.
(Updated 9-30-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork has fished better now that the lake level has dropped enough to prevent the leakage around the flood gate that was being repaired. It has had the only wadable water and has been crowded at times. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (size 18-22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (size 14-16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small beadheaded 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 and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite combination has been a grasshopper with a root beer or ruby midge dropper. There is a major construction project at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. Youths can still Dry Run Creek for some excellent fishing. It has seen more pressure with school out. It still fished well. 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). 

(Updated 9-30-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River are navigable. Smallmouths are fairly active. Try inline spinners, Rebel crawdad crankbaits, 4-inch finesse worms and tubes for good spin-fishing action. For fly-fishing, it’s tough to beat a Clouser minnow or crayfish pattern. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

(Updated 9-30-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service said Crooked Creek is navigable. Smallmouths are fairly active. Try inline spinners, Rebel crawdad crankbaits, 4-inch finesse worms and tubes for good spin-fishing action. For fly-fishing, it’s tough to beat a Clouser minnow or crayfish pattern. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are 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 1,124.02 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(Updated 10-14-2015) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are very good, with many anglers going after them. The best bite has been on brush piles in 6 to 8 feet of water. Catfishing is good on live gold fish. No report on bass
(Updated 10-14-2015) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said the water is in the low 70s. Stripers are leaving their deep water summer haunts as the water is beginning to cool. Watch for surface activity from stripers, white bass and hybrids. Stripers are using main lake points, humps, ridges, rock piles, brush lines and ditches on their annual uplake migration. They are searching for food and are scattered throughout the lake. They will be making their way into the creek arms soon as the water temp is beginning to cool. Fishing is good with live shad fished from the surface down to 30 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse grubs for stained water. Plugs trolled on flat lines or slightly weighted lines will work. Try using large, slender plugs like Rapala no. 14 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6inch model. Striper are also being caught at night by casting main lake points with large surface lures like Redfins and Rapalas or large Rat-L-Traps. Hot spots include main lake structure and secondary points around points 1, 3, 5 and 6. The mouth of Indian Creek, back to the power lines and in Dry Creek are hot spots.  The bluff in front of the marina, the island an the smaller islands in front of Larue Cove are all producing stripers. Also check Cedar Creek, Ford Creek and Goat Island at Larue. Striper activity is picking up around Prairie Creek and Coose Hollow, be on the lookout for topwater action. Most walleye have moved to the second drop and are being caught about 20-30ft deep they can be caught using a variety of methods. Try three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Also try Shad Raps in natural colors and Rat-L Traps trolled at 1-2 mph. Bink pro scale 1-oz jigging spoons in white or white/chart combo are producing walleye.

(Updated 10-14-2015) Beaver Dam Store said they will be sponsoring the annual free One Fly/One Lure Tournament Oct. 17 on the Beaver Dam tailwater. Registration will be accepted until 6:30 a.m. the day of the tournament. Visit the store’s website for more information. Fly-fishing has been excellent on midges in size 16 to 18, woolly buggers and micro jigs in olive or brown, and prince nymphs. Rapala F9’s and F7’s also have been working well now that the brown trout have pushed up the river. Trout Magnets have been producing good numbers of fish, as have inline spinners. Bait anglers should focus on using Power Bait in white, chartreuse, red or sunrise. 
(Updated 10-14-2015) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said water levels are within the normal range, which is consistent with this time of season and generation schedule. The trout have been highly active in the early morning hours, biting on various Power Baits using light terminal tackle. Pulling Rapalas is still getting the job done on some of the bigger ones in the warmer waters downstream from Houseman Access. A few walleye have been caught toward Beaver Town and Holiday Island in the 14-foot range. No significant white bass have been marked from Houseman to Beaver Town.

(Updated 10-14-2015) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said it's been a good week to be crappie fishing on Elmdale. Several have been caught using minnows fished 7 to 10 feet deep.  Most anglers are using slip bobbers, but some just tightline it. Try around the launch ramp and brush piles located just off the parking lot. Bass fishing was fair on black shaky head worms.  Brown and green bass jigs with a little orange mixed in also worked well. Use a brown swimming chunk trailer. Buzzbaits are good about daybreak. After that, switch to a black/blue spinnerbait on cloudy days or a white spinnerbait on sunny days. With a lot of the grass gone, crankbaits also are getting some good strikes. A few catfish were caught on minnows.  Bluegill were good on redworms.

(Updated on 10-7-2015) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water level is normal. Bream and crappie are slow. Bass are fair on artificial lures. Catfishing is fair on worms and a few are being caught on crickets by bream anglers. Overall the fishing has been poor. 

(Updated 10-14-2015) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is 72 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets fished along rocky areas in 3 to 4 feet of water. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished in 8 feet of water. The fish are all over the channel, so stick close to its drop and you’ll likely find a few. Largemouth bass are biting very well on spinnerbaits and soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is good on shad and chicken liver. 

Northeast Arkansas

(Updated 10-14-2015) Lake Poinsett State Park said there are plenty of catfish being caught and the bass catch has been good, too. Minnows and crickets have been good sellers, so the bream and crappie anglers are probably doing pretty good as well. 

(Updated 10-14-2015) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said no one has been to the lake or marina lately. No report.   

(Updated 9-30-2015) Lake Frierson State Park said water levels are slightly below normal pool, but recent rains may bring it back up. Channel catfish are fair on nightcrawlers and dip baits fished under a float at varying depths. Blue catfish are slow with a few caught on cut bait. Bass are fair with good periods early and late as the fish are still chasing shad. Minnow-imitating lures fished around and on top of schooling shad are producing some fish.  Bream are still being caught on crickets and small worms all around the shoreline. The bigger fish are still a little further out and deeper.  No report on saugeye or crappie. Cooling temperatures should get fish feeding and stir up the saugeye. Crankbaits and other minnow imitators should be more and more effective for saugeye and bass as the weather cools.

(Updated 10-14-2015) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said the river is running at 280 cfs at the spring and water clarity has been clear. Leaves are beginning to change and the river is looking great. The fishing has been slow. Trout from Norfork are scheduled to be stocked this week. Nymphs and Y2K’s have been hot this week. There have been a lot of Tricos hatching the last few weeks, so a simple gray hackle fly on a size 14 nymph hook has worked well. Hot pink and white Trout Magnets are working well also.
(Updated 10-14-2015) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said the water on the Spring River is navigable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff because 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 10-14-2015) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report. The water is high with the releases still drawing down the White River lakes.

Southeast Arkansas

(Updated 10-14-2015) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the low 70s and falling. The algae bloom is still in place, but it is clearing. Visibility is about the same in the main channel as it is in Lake Langhofer – about 1 to 2 feet. Black bass have started coming off their summer locations to move shallow. Topwaters, spinnerbaits and crankbaits up shallow in the morning and finesse worms and jigs the rest of the day should get you bites. The key this time of year is the obvious presence of baitfish.

(Updated 10-7-2015) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park in Star City said Cane Creek’s crappie are biting well on shiners and pink or red crappie jigs. The bass have been biting very well, especially if caught breaking in the early morning or late evening. Catfish are biting well on live bait as well as some stink bait. Bream have slowed a bit.

 Lake Chicot State Park had no report. 

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.31 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(Updated 10-14-2015) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level is at normal conservation pool and steady. There is only light current in Little River with the gates releasing 172 CFS Monday. Surface water temperature ranges from 75 to 78 degrees. Water clarity  continues to improve with 15 to 25 inches of visibility on the main lake away from current. Little River above McGuire remains stained but is improving. Oxbow water clarity is running anywhere from 20 to 40 inches. Bass have been excellent the last few weeks on topwaters early and crankbaits later.  Most bass are the most aggressive at dawn around shallow vegetation on frogs, Bass Assassin Shads, buzzbaits and shallow jerk baits.  Later in the heat of the afternoons, Largemouth bass are best on crankbaits, squarebills and bulky 10-inch worms around cover and cypress trees in 5-10 feet of water. Spotted Bass continue to congregate at creek mouths that dump into Little River.  Spots are aggressive on smaller lizards and tubes with best colors over the past couple weeks being pumpkinseed/chartreuse, appleseed, or green pumpkin/blue.  Zoom trick worms, wacky rigged in watermelon-red flake, are working as well around isolated stumps, cypress trees and vegetation. Smithwick Rouges, straight tail, 5-6" worms like the Yum dingers, trick worms, and Salty Rat Tails continue taking nice bass this week, as are solid body frogs, and 5" to 7" Bass Assassin Shads for the Largemouths.  Crazy Shads, and Bass Assassin Shads worked around wood cover in close proximity to vegetation are drawing good early morning top water explosions.  Good bites continue on the soft plastic frogs this week around any remaining pads and cypress trees. War Eagle spinnerbaits in Coleslaw, Spot Remover, and firetiger in more stained water areas, continue taking a few random fish hold up deep in vegetation and grass patches.  Work a spinnerbait in and around grass, then rip it free near the edge to draw best reactions. Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past few weeks drawing best reactions are the Salt & Pepper Silver Phantom, Bad To The Bone, and Houdini.  Working these erratically around vegetation and under cypress trees seems to be best presentation over the past couple weeks.  Rat-L- Traps and Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbaits are working around deeper drops into the creek channels from 5-8 feet. Best Rat-L-Trap colors have been Transparent in clear water, Fathead Minnow or Oxbow for stained sections of creek mouths dumping into Little River.  Ghost Minnow, Gold and Millwood Magic are the best colors for Echo squarebills. White bass have disappeared over the past week and have not been seen lately. The crappie bite improved on planted brush over the past week now that the clarity is getting better. Cordell smoke, paddle tail grubs on light wire jig heads and Blakemore Roadrunners in white/chartreuse were working this week in 9-10 feet of water over planted brush piles. Blue catfish and channel cats continue biting well in Little River on yo-yo's and trot lines baited with chicken livers, hot dogs and stink bait set 12-15 feet deep.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 538.72 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
(Updated 10-7-2015) Gary Lammers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said surface temperature is 78 to 80 degrees. The water is clear throughout the lake. Spotted bass are on main lake points and are hitting finesse worms and live crawfish in 15 to 20 feet of water. Largemouth bass are hitting white spinnerbaits along rocky points and shallow brush piles and buzzbaits in the shallows early in the morning and late in the afternoon. White bass are schooling early and late and are hitting CC spoons and shad-colored crankbaits.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 395.66 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
(Updated 9-30-2015) Local angler George Graves said the surface water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is good with quite a few nice catches reported. Some surface activity has been reported in the early morning. Almost any topwater lure will work if you get it in front of the fish. Later in the day, try medium-running crankbaits and lipless crankbaits in the major coves off secondary points.  Texas- and Carolina-rigged worms in green pumpkin and red shad also are working well. Look for fish at midlake around Alpine Ridge and Yancey Creek.  Also with the shad migrating toward the creeks, try Big Hill and Brushy creeks. Hybrid fishing is fair with fish showing in the shad schools in the Shouse Ford and Beaton Creek areas.  Look for breaking fish and throw a Tiny Torpedo, Baby Zara Spook or a 3-inch swim bait.  When the fish go down, fan cast a jigging spoon, and fish it up from the bottom. A few fish are still in the deep water off Deroche Ridge. These are bigger fish.  Also look for schooling fish around Alpine Ridge. Lots of bream are biting on the full moon. Look for fish in most any cove with some cover. For bluegills, use a float and fish about 4 or 5 feet deep. For shellcrackers, tightline a split shot rig near the bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water. Use worms for shellcrackers and crickets for bluegills. Catfishing is very good both by bottom fishing in the coves or with noodles in deep water at night. When cove fishing, look for one with standing timber in about 20 to 30 feet of water in the Iron Mountain and dam areas. Set the noodle baits around 20 feet deep. Best baits are hot dogs soaked in strawberry Kool Aid, chicken livers, nightcrawlers, cut shad or Catfish Charlie.

South-Central Arkansas

(Updated 10-14-2015) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said bass are fair, but can be picked up early in the mornings and late in the evenings on flukes, spinnerbaits and brush hogs. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good using trotlines baited with live bait and using tight lines with worms and prepared catfish baits. No report on crappie. 

Tri-County Lake will be undergoing a 5-foot drawdown until late fall. This is being done to compact the silt which has been building in the lake, reduce some of the aquatic vegetation in the lake, make repairs on jetties which have deteriorated over the years and address the lake's stunted crappie and bream populations by forcing these smaller fish into areas where they are more susceptible to the lake's predator fish. 
Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report.

(Updated 10-14-2015) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are biting well on spinnerbaits in the shallows. Crappie are biting fairly well on jigs and shiners. A few catfish are being picked up in the river. Bream are slow. 

(Updated 10-14-2015) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass and crappie are picking up. Bass are fair on lipless crankbaits. No report on catfish or bream. 

West-Central Arkansas

(Updated 10-14-2015) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said some good largemouth have been caught lately in the mornings. Anglers are keeping it quiet about lures, but there have been some regular catches of good fish. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.04 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl). 
(Updated 10-14-2015) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water has dropped lower and is getting a bit dangerous for navigation. Be careful on the water. No report on the fishing. 
(Updated 10-7-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011)  said crappie are fair on minnows, Bobby Garland Baby Shads and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs in deep water. Catfishing is good on shad, minnows and worms. Bream are fair on crickets and worms.

(Updated 10-14-2015) Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperature is in the low 80s to upper 70s. The water clarity is good upriver, fair around Shoal Bay and poor on the downriver portion of the lake. Bass fishing is slow from dam to dam. Bass are scattered, some in lily pads, some on rocks and some on wood. The bigger bite seems to be on wood this week. The early morning topwater bite has been good on buzzbaits, frogs, poppers, prop baits and Spooks. The afternoon bite is good on large worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, chatterbiats and jigs. Striped bass have been biting well on topwater poppers, swim baits and jerk baits below the dam on jetties with current and at the heads in creeks. Around 2 p.m. seems to be the best time if there is current. The bite picks back up just before dark. White bass are schooling at mid-river, and will bite well on Rebel Pop-R’s, tailspinners and spoons. Bream have been excellent all along the river and backwater, with many being schooled up on the surface. Worms, crickets and flies all work well. Catfish have improved this week with blues being caught in the main river channel on cut perch and shad. Channel catfish have been caught behind the jetties on worms. Large minnows have been working well on flathead catfish.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.42 feet msl (full pool – 384 msl).

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 568.07 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(Updated 10-7-2015) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is clear and the surface water temperature is 72 to 76 degrees. Black bass are very good and being caught with topwater baits and spy baits on points near structure. Walleye are biting well on ¾-oz. CC spoons jigged vertically near structure. Stripers are fair on live bait and hair jigs on main lake points and humps on the east end of the lake. Bream are very good on worms, grubs or crickets near brush in 15 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are biting very well near brush on small spoons, minnows or crappie jigs fished 20 to 30 feet deep. Catfish are fair on nightcrawlers or stink bait.  
(Updated 10-14-2015) Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner with Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports Fishing Report in Hot Springs said there are a lot of shad in the creeks. The live crawfish bite is going strong for spotted bass. Bottom-bouncing a nightcrawler will catch walleye and spotted bass as well.  

(Updated 10-14-2015) Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner with Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports Fishing Report in Hot Springs said shad are moving into the creeks. The drawdown for Lake Hamilton is right around the corner. When it drops, be sure to carry a ½-oz. crayfish colored jig, small white spinnerbait and small crayfish-colored crankbait. The water level drop will expose a lot of crayfish, and the bass will be ready to feed. Fish along any exposed rocky banks with these three lures and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best fishing of the year. 
(Updated 10-7-2015) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said threadfin shad seem to be everywhere. White, yellow and black bass are feeding on the small threadfins. Casting or vertically jigging small silver spoons is working best. Trolling shad-colored crankbaits is doing the job also.

(Updated 10-14-2015) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said Entergy has gone to a minimum flow generation schedule below Carpenter Dam. Flow will occur every few days to maintain lake levels, but this plan is subject to change due to demands on the system. Water temperature has risen to 64 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. Rainbow trout fishing is over until mid-November when the water cools and the stocking program begins again. Large schools of threadfin shad are migrating into the tailrace from the main lake, which has attracted several fish species into the area to feed. Walleye have been caught on brightly colored jigs in the main channel. These fish are on the small size with the majority weighing just over a pound. Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers or live minnows have also been effective in the late evening. A few white and black bass have been caught around the dam on Alabama rigs and spinnerbaits cast over rock structure. Very little surface action has been observed despite large numbers of shad in the area. Catfish are biting well below the bridge on cut bait fished under a jug or tightlined from a boat. As water temperature cools, numbers of game fish will move into the area to feed. Striper and hybrid action has been very slow, but this can change rapidly with the presence of baitfish. Catfish are still being caught below the bridge on cut-bait fished under a jug or tightlined from a boat. 

East Arkansas

(Updated 9-30-2015) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said the bass are moving up and hitting crankbaits and topwater baits off points. Bream are staying on their beds and hitting popping bugs. Crappie are steady on jigs and minnows. Catfish are still hitting steady on stink bait and hot dogs. Mississippi River State Park is hosting a kayak tour at Bear Creek Lake on Saturday, October 31st.  To sign up please call Mississippi River State Park at (870) 295-4040.

(Updated 9-30-2015) ​Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040) said bream are biting well on crickets and popping bugs. Crappie are slow, and the bass are coming up and hitting crankbaits. Catfish are slow. The water temperatures is steadily dropping. The annual Storm Creek Lake Cleanup will be hosted by the St. Francis National Forest and Mississippi River State Park on October 3.

(Updated 10-14-2015) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is a little high. Bream are slow on worms and crickets. Crappie are good. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits, jigs and soft-plastics in the main channel around trees. Catfishing is good on the river.

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