Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report – May 3, 2014

 

Weekly Arkansas fishing report for May 3, 2014. Enjoy your time on the water and catch a bunch.

 

Fishing Highlight of the Week: Fisheries personnel from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will begin removing tornado debris on Wednesday through Friday from Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir. The tornado track took it over the lake and rubble from the twister landed in Lake Conway. This debris has made boating in the southern section of the lake dangerous and could cause damage to the spillway if not removed. Anglers are advised to fish the Gold Creek area if they plan to make a trip to Conway before the weekend, as it has the least amount of debris.

Also, from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission:

Anglers reminded to renew licenses for start of $75,000 Hot Springs fishing challenge 

HOT SPRINGS – Renew that fishing license or get yourself a new one. The start of the biggest-ever Hot Springs Fishing Challenge is May 1.

You’ll need a valid license to win part of the $75,000 prize pool in the Annual Hot Springs Fishing Challenge, which runs from May 1 through July 31. It will have a total prize pool of $75,000, compared to $60,000 last year, according to Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison.

“The prize for catching Big Al, the top-money fish, is $10,000,” Arrison said. “And we have increased the total number of tagged prize fish placed in Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine from 53 to 60,” he added. 

“The Fishing Challenge has proved to be so popular with Hot Springs residents as well as with our visitors that we thought it was time to ramp up the number of potential winning fish and the prize money,” Arrison said. “Judging from the responses we got during the first two Fishing Challenges, we view the contest as a real source of positive attention to the great fishing available in Hot Springs.

“Once again, we are partnering with our friends at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery to bring this fun-filled contest to the people of Arkansas and our visitors. Commission staff members select and tag the prize fish for us and they supervise the release of the fish into the lakes. Without them we could not possibly stage the Challenge.”

The 2014 Hot Springs $75,000 Fishing Challenge will begin at 6 a.m. on May 1 and end at 5 p.m. July 31.

The total number of tagged prize fish released into Lakes Hamilton and Catherine will include:

  • 1 fish, known as Big Al – $10,000
  • 4 fish (up from 2 last year) – $5,000 each
  • 35 fish (up from 30 last year) – $1,000 each
  • 20 fish – $500 each

The first two years, the grand prize fish, nicknamed Big Al, was not caught, Arrison said, “so we hope this year to hand some lucky angler a check for $10,000, in addition to prizes for 59 more tagged fish.”

For additional information, call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.

Central Arkansas

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

 

(Updated 4-16-2014) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water level is high, but bream are still biting well along the shoreline on worms and crickets. Crappie are responding best to minnows and jigs around cypress trees near Adams Lake and Greens Lake. Bass fishing is good on soft-plastic lizards and worms. Catfishing is very good on trotlines and yo-yos baited with live goldfish and minnows.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said the landing is still open and fishing is good. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets and wax worms about 8 to 10 feet away from the bank. Crappie fishing is fair around live cypress trees. Bass are biting well on spinnerbatis, buzzbaits and lizards. Catfishing is good on limblines and yo-yos.

Little Red River (Greers Ferry Tailwater)

 

(Updated 4-30-2014) Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said the water is muddy and at normal level. Trout are being caught on wax worms, marshmallows and nightcrawlers.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ’em All Guide Service said recent rains have jumped the Greers Ferry lake level up 3 feet and caused the Little Red River to be high and muddy the past few days. This has shut down fishing on the mid- and lower sections of the river. With expected generation of one or two units over the next few days, the river should be clear and back in good shape by the weekend. Hot pink and chartreuse Trout Magnet bodies on chartreuse and gold jig heads continue to work well. Caddis, midges, San Juan worms, sowbugs and streamers are working well for fly-fishing.

Greers Ferry
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 465.20 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).

 

(Updated 4-30-2014) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is above normal pool and is rising. The surface water temperature is in the high 50s to mid-60s. Bass fishing is pretty good; males are roaming around in spawning areas, and the females will make the big move to the banks in the next two weeks or so. Catfish are biting well on trotlines and jigs baited with live and prepared bait all over the lake. Crappie are biting well; they are in all three stages of the spawn.Bream fishing is fair, but will be on fire by the next full moon. Walleye are slow after the storm and should rebound by the middle of next week. The white and hybrid bass are slow after the storm as well. As the water clears the bite will pick back up in the main lake.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Cody Smith of www.fishgreersferry.com said water levels are on the rise from the rain and storms. Lake levels are up 4 feet and slowly rising. The bite over the last week was incredible. Over the weekend I had 4 guide boats on the water which boated over 200 fish during two 5-hour trips. We caught 31 walleyes and a slough of spotted bass, largemouths and smallmouths. White bass and hybrids are biting in select areas as well. Live bait presentations are still best, however soft-plastic swimmers are running a close second.

(Updated 4-16-2014) Jeff Mays of Anglers Outpost Guide Service (501-253-1905) said the lake is near normal pool and rising with recent rain.  The water temperatures are in the mid- to upper 50s and rising quickly.  This week should see the temps reach the 60-degree mark in the upper part of the lake.  Fish are responding well and moving into the 5- to 7-foot range. Black bass have been very active, while crappie seem to move in and out with the cold nights.  Fluctuating conditions on the upper lake make for inconsistent action, with one day producing well and the next day not so well. The crappie spawn should peak soon with action in the buckbrush. Lots of fish are still holding in the pole timber.  

Harris Brake Lake

(Updated 4-16-2014) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said bream fishing is fair in the coves on worms, crickets and meal worms. Before the rain crappie fishing was excellent on minnows and jigs around the shore. Bass are fairly good on white grubs fished along the main channel in 16 feet of water. Bass also were moving shallow before the front and were being caught on spinnerbaits and soft-plastic lizards. Catfishing is good in deeper water on chicken livers.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said the water is clear to slightly dingy. Bream fishing is excellent on redworms and crickets. Redear are biting on redworms fished near the bottom. Crappie fishing is very good in 3 to 8 feet of water on minnows and Slab Slay’Rs or Baby Shads in bone white, Cajun cricket barbecue chicken and monkey milk colors.  Bass were biting well on soft-plastic worms and spinnerbaits. 

Lake Overcup
(Updated 4-30-2014) Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said the water is a little high but clear. Crappie are finishing their spawn and moving to deeper water. They are being caught in 8 to 10 feet of water, but some are still shallow. A pink/chartreuse, pink/white/chartreuse and black/chartreuse jig seems to be best. Bream are starting to bed up and are being caught on crickets, redworms and wax worms. Catfish are fair on cut shad and large minnows. Bass are being caught in the shallows on lizards and black sot-plastic worms.

 
(Updated 4-30-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs with Bobby Garland baits in bone white, barbecue chicken and blue/white. Bream are slow on nightcrawlers, redworms and crickets. Bass are slow on spinnerbaits, soft-plastic worms and flukes.

Brewer Lake

(Updated 4-30-2014) Jan Johnson at Brewer Lake Bait Shop (501-354-4108) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is around 64 degrees. Crappie are at 10-12 feet and are hitting minnows, brown/chartreuse, red/chartreuse and black/chartreuse jigs. Limits are being caught. White bass are feeding on shad, and hitting at the surface on minnows and shad-imitating baits. Bass are good around the banks on plastic worms and lizards (purple was the best color last week). Catfish are a little slow, but still being caught on jugs and trotlines baited with goldfish, bream and black salties. Bream are good around the shore on crickets and worms.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said the water is clear and still a little low. Crappie are being caught over brush piles on white stingers and red/white/chartreuse jigs. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets and wax worms. Catfish are being caught on noodles and trotlines baited with cut shad, liver and night crawlers.Bass are fair.

Lake Cargile
(Updated 4-23-2014) Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said the water is a little high and clear. Crappie are spawning and can be caught in shallow water on jigs and minnows. Bream are beginning to bed up and are fair on redworms and crickets. Bass are biting well on spinners and soft-plastics. Catfishing is good on nightcrawlers and on trotlines baited with shad or liver.

Lake Maumelle
(Updated 4-30-2014) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water temperature is 80 degrees and fishing is steadily going better. Largemouth bass are excellent on black/red spinnerbaits and floating worms in 5 to 10 feet of water around grass. Spotted bass are excellent on jigs fished in 5 to 10 feet of water. White bass can still be found up the creek past Sleepy Hollow, and can be caught on Rooster Tails, crappie jigs and minnows. Crappie have spawned and are moving out to 10 to 15 feet of water. Bream are excellent in 10 to 15 feet of water on crickets and live worms fished around any brush you can find.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bass are fair early in the morning and late in the evening on bone Super Spook Jr.’s, sexy shad-colored crankbaits, white/chartreuse spinnerbaits and watermelon/red Senkos. Fish are holding close to creek channels and ledges, waiting to move up and spawn. Crappie are excellent from 20 feet deep, all the way to 5 feet deep. Some fish are pre-spawn, but most are moving up to spawn now. The best lures are electric chicken Bobby Garland jigs, pink minnows and crappie minnows. Catfishing is fair off main lake points and places with wood and rock both nearby. Trotlines baited with shad, liver, stink bait and green sunfish are working well. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets in 10 to 12 feet of water.

Benton City Lake
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said some bream and catfish have been caught on worms and crickets. No recent reports of bass or bream action have come in lately.

Sunset Lake
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said catfish are biting bait shrimp, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. A customer brought in a 20 pounder Tuesday afternoon that he caught on a cricket and 4lb. test line while bream fishing. Bream have been biting crickets and redworms. Crappie are here and there but are biting no. 6 and pink minnows. Bass are hitting live minnows, small spinnerbaits and soft-plastic worms and lizards.

Saline River Access in Benton
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said bass fishing has been good with live minnows, small Texas-rigged lizards and worms, crawdad-colored crankbaits and small injured minnow-type lures. Light, clear line will improve your chances of success. Crappie fishing has slowed, but some are still biting no. 6 crappie minnows and small artificial baits. Catfish have been caught on trotlines and limblines baited with live minnows, goldfish and black salties. Bream and other small sunfish can almost always be caught on crickets or redworms. Again, light line and tackle will usually increase your catches.

Lake Norrell
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been better on the lake than we remember in years past, but they have slowed to almost a stop. The few caught recently bit on pink minnows fished about 1 foot under a small cork in about 2-3 feet of water. The big bream are starting to bite well on crickets and redworms. We’ve had customers catching them from 4-5 feet to 16-20 feet deep. Tight lining seems to work best. Bass are biting floating worms and Texas-rigged worms or lizards around docks, walls and brush. Spinnerbaits have worked for some on windy days off of the points and along steep banks. Catfish have been biting no. 12 bass minnows and nightcrawlers late in the day and right after dark.

Bishop Park Lakes in Bryant
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie are still biting pink minnows and some jigs. Some nice stringers of bream have been caught on crickets and redworms. Catfish are hitting bait shrimp and nightcrawlers. Bass will bite live minnows or floating trick worms fished close to the bank.

Lake Winona
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie have been picky and slow, but some nice ones have been caught on no. 12 bass minnows. Bass fishing is fair on trick or finesse worms when it’s calm, and spinnerbaits have worked well on windy mornings. Catfish will bite nightcrawlers, no. 12 bass minnows, shad and stink bait. Bream are biting crickets and redworms in 3-5 feet of water.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
(Updated 4-23-2014) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo said people are starting to come to the river finally, now that all the bad weather has passed. Black bass are biting well on green pumpkin lizards fished in 4 to 8 feet of water. White bass and stripers are moving up Point Remove Creek, Petit Jean River, Coppers Gap and Flagg Lake Cutoff and are biting well on chartreuse or pearl chatterbaits. Crappie are biting well on chartreuse jigs tipped with ah minnow in Coppers Gap, Petit Jean River and behind the islands in Willow Bend. Catfishing is good on jetty tips; worms have been the best bait for the catfish lately.

Little Maumelle River

(Updated 4-30-2014) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows fished in shallow water. Bass are excellent on spinnerbaits, square-billed crankbaits and soft-plastics.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bass are excellent around brush and stumps on watermelon/red lizards, Senkos and trick worms. Black/chartruese crankbaits also are working well. Crappie are excellent around stumps, brush and bridges on Cajun cricket Bobby Garland jigs, red/chartreuse and white/chartreuse MidSouth super jigs, pink minnows and regular crappie minnows. Catfishing is fair on troltines set around stumps and baited with shad, skipjack, livers, stink bait and green sunfish. Some good flatheads and blues are starting to show up. Bream are fair with a few folks catching some in the fresh water trickling in from the rain; redworms and crickets are working the best on the bream.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(Updated 4-23-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said crappie are biting well on Roadrunners and red/chartreuse or black/yellow jigs fished around wood and rock in slack water. Bass are excellent around jetty points on square-billed crankbaits, Senkos, lizards and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is excellent on trotlines baited with sunfish, skipjack, livers or worms in the main channel. No report on bream

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(Updated 4-30-2014) Vince Miller from Fish ’N Stuff said the water level is below the small craft advisory, but there is some flow right now. Crappie are in the shallows, spawning in brush out of current behind jetties. They are biting red/chartreuse and black/chartreuse jigs. Bass are biting excellently on creature baits, tubes, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits around grass out of the current.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bass are fair on the fronts and rear of jetty points on shad-colored square-billed crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps. Soft-plastic lizards adn Senkos have been producing well in the backwaters near cover. Crappie are fair, but are getting better. A few limits have come in lately on white/chartreuse, red/chartreuse and black/yellow MidSouth super jigs fished in slack water near current. Catfishing is excellent drift fishing and trotlining around depe holes. green sunfish, skipjack, livers and worms are working well. Try to fish areas near current with cover.Below the dam, white bass are excellent on chartruese split-tial grubs and bass innows. Crappie are excellent below the dam when the flow is high out of the hdyro plant. 

(Updated 4-23-2014) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said crappie fishing is good in backwater areas on minnows and jigs. Crankbaits and worms seem to be the best baits for bass below Terry Lock and Dam. Skipjack fished below the dam is working well for catfish, but nothing else is bringing in the cats. 

Clear Lake
(Updated 4-23-2014) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting fairly well, and most anglers catching largemouths are using spinnerbaits and soft-plastic worms.

Peckerwood Lake
(Updated 4-30-2014) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said bream are fair to good. Crappie are fair to good on minnows. Bass are fair. Catfishing is good on chicken liver and worms.

Lake Pickthorne
(Updated 4-16-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said crappie fishing is excellent in the stumps on minnows, small, 1/4-oz. spoons and red/chartreuse jigs. Bass are excellent on Senkos, finesse worms and square-billed crankbaits.

Lake Valencia in Maumelle
(Updated 4-30-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said catfishing is excellent on worms, minnows, liver, hot dogs adn stink bait. Hatchet Jack’s will be on location Thursday, May 1, sponsoring a fishing derby for the Maumelle Senior Center.

Lake Willastein in Maumelle
(Updated 4-30-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bass are excellent around grass on Senkos, spinnerbaits and top-water lures. Crappie are fair around the bridge and dock using minnows. Catfishing is excellent on minnows, worms, livers and stink bait. Bream are excellent around culverts and docks on redworms and crickets.

North Arkansas

Bull Shoals

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.51 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 654 msl).

(Updated 4-30-2014) Ken Minsky of Ken Minksy’s Loch Leven Guide Service said the big warm up in water temperatures we experienced a week ago really got the fish moving into shallower water. The recent low pressure accompanied by high winds and below average temperatures may put a temporary halt to the action anglers were enjoying. Spotted bass and crappie are in 8-12 feet of water. I did notice while bow fishing that some spotted bass have moved into 1 to 2 feet of water, with a few beds being made.  Smallmouths are being caught in 8 to 18 feet of water near secondary points.  Walleye were caught anywhere from 5 to 30 feet deep on main lake structure and structure near primary points. Suckers are still running up creek arms and carp are just about everywhere, especially in the backs of shallower bays. Gar are just starting their mating routine with some making a showing along main lake bluffs, White bass are spreading out throughout the larger creek arms as well as the main lake, adding great fun to anglers targeting other fish.

White River (Bull Shoals Tailwater)

 

(Updated 4-30-2014) Newland’s Resort below Bull Shoals said water conditions are trending toward the higher side, with four to five generators running all day, including weekends. Popular baits have been shad, sculpins, Power Bait (white and yellow) pink artificial worms, Rapalas and Little Cleos. Several nice browns (from 18 to 22 inches) were caught last week. Be sure to visit the Projected Water flow page and live web cam at Newland’s web site.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said trout fishing is good, trolling a pink worm with marshmallow or Power Bait from the boat. Two to four generators have been running all day, so wade fishing has been eliminated. Some large brown trout are being caught on Rogues and Rapalas

(Updated 4-30-2014) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the hot spot was Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers, Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a prince nymph suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers have been running more water and that has been an advantage to streamer fishermen fishing sex dungeons and circus peanuts. We have had some spectacular caddis hatches. The trout have not been keying in on them due to the higher flows. This is our best hatch of the year and hopefully we can get some lower water before it is over. Before the hatch, fish green caddis pupa or prince nymphs (size 14). You will often get more strikes at the end of the drift as the fly rises. When the move to the surface and begin keying in on emergers switch over to a green butt soft hackle (size 15). When they start taking adult insects off the water’s surface, you should switch to a green elk hair caddis pattern (size 14).

Lake Norfork

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 554.07 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 552 msl, April-September – 554 msl).

(Updated 4-16-2014) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said Norfork Lake is at normal pool. The water temperature is in the high-50s and rising. The water visibility is stained. The night bite is good. The lake is warming up fast and the stripers are moving into the banks. The big fish have moved up the creek and are starting to feed. Shad have started moving to the banks and the stripers are following. The lake should be in the 60-degree range by week’s end. The best bite iss mid-day with clouds or overcast skies. Sunny days the bite is off with very little activity. The stripers were caught on 5 to 7 inch gizzard shad. The night bite is strong, the best times are from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.; fish the banks that had wind on them during the day with Rattling Rogues. Crappie are biting on minnows, small spoons and jigs on brush piles in 20 feet of water in the mornings. Later, as the day warms up, the crappie are moving shallow. Limits are being caught in all the major creek arms. The walleyes will be spawning now with the water warming. The rains this week will see a big push up the river to spawn. The best spots are at the state line, Liner Creek, Udall Marina, and from Bridges Creek to the 160 bridge.

(Updated 4-9-2014) Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said fishing is heating up. Stripers, bass and crappie are all starting to bite. The fish are moving to the banks to feed both in the day as well as in the dark. The lake surface water temperature has consistently been in the low to upper 50s. The best bite for striped bass is still back in the creeks. A few fish are starting to move out into the main lake, but the water temperature needs to rise more for a consistent main lake bite. Live bait is working very well; shiners, threadfin shad and gizzard shad are all working. If you are live bait fishing, make sure you have several lines out with no weights. It will not be long before fluke and spook fishing will start to take off. Over the last several days bass fishing has become much better. Largemouth, spots and smallmouth bass are moving into the shallows feeding on baitfish. Stick baits, swimming minnows, crankbaits and plastics are all starting to work. Crappie have started to move into shallow water over brush. The water is pretty clear so when you are fishing brush piles you will need to stay away and cast into them. The fish will not be very deep, so you don’t want to spook them. Live bait with a slip cork or small paddle tail baits tipped with a minnow work great. Walleye, white bass and catfish fishing should start to heat up very soon. Look for these species on shallow flats and main lake points. Currently the walleye and white bass are back in the creeks and will be moving out. Catfish will be starting their spawn soon if not already so look shallow.

(Updated 4-16-2014) Guide Steve Olomon said the water temperature is in the upper 50s to the low 60s. The water is warmer back in the creeks in the stained water. The main lake is clear. There is a little top water action in the morning for bass and a few whites are coming up. The best action has come on white Zara Spooks and 4-inch swim baits. Throw a Rogue at night for hybrids and stripers. Throw it to the bank and remember you have to reel it very slowly. Don’t be surprised if you pick up walleye also.

North Fork River (Norfork Tailwater)
(Updated 4-30-2014) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork has fished a bit better of late. Since it has had the only wadable water, it has been a bit crowded. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles like the green butt. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). 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. Some anglers have been fishing heavy articulated streamers on sink tip lines on the higher flows.

Buffalo River
(Updated 4-30-2014) Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River is navigable and clear. With the water warming, the smallmouth will soon be active. The most effective flies are Clouser minnows and crawfish patterns. Carefully check the water level before entering the Buffalo River.

Crooked Creek
(Updated 4-30-2014) Berry Brothers Guide Service said Crooked Creek is navigable and clear. With the water warming, the smallmouth will soon be active. The most effective flies are Clouser minnows and crawfish patterns. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek.

Northwest Arkansas

Beaver Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.37 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).

(Updated 4-30-2014) Roger Cravens of JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass have begun moving shallow. Look for bass to be along gravel banks with timber and visible cover. A Texas-rigged craw flipped around the cover or a spinnerbait fished parallel to the bank should entice some strikes. For fish that are staged a bit deeper, look for them to be holding in the middle of small pockets and the adjacent points. A Carolina-rigged lizard or tube should catch those fish.  Monte-Ne, Blackburn, Prairie Creek, Both CLifty’s and Van Winkle have all been good. Crappie have begun to spawn on the south end of the lake and should be north of the Ark. Highway 12 Bridge by the weekend. Look for fish to be under logjams in the backs of pockets, under laydown trees along sloped banks and along pole timber close to the bank. A 1/32- or 1/16-oz. jig under a bobber will do the trick in these areas. For deeper fish, look along a channel close to brush piles or timber in 15 to 30 feet of water.  A curly tail jig on a 1/16-oz. jighead will work in those areas. The White River upstream from Point 12, Piney Creek, Monte-Ne, Joe’s Creek and Blackburn have all been good for crappie. White bass continue to bite well in the backs of windblown coves and far up each river arm. Anything that resembles an injured shad will do the trick. Indian Creek, Coose Hollow, Monte-Ne, Hickory Creek and both War Eagle and the White River have been good. Catfishing has been good late in the day into the evening using liver and worms in Monte-Ne, Hickory Creek and the 412 bridge area.

 

(Updated 4-30-2014) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said walleye are done spawning and the white bass are right behind them. Stripers are feeding throughout the day with peaks at dusk and dawn. Fishing is fair on live shad fished from the surface to 25 feet deep. Trolling small umbrella rigs with white grub, Rapalas, Bomber 15-16As or spoons on flat lines with planer boards near the channel are also producing. Watch for schooling fish and have a spoon or Redfin plug ready! Check the following hot spots: At Lost Bridge North, walleye and white bass are being caught on medium-diving crankbaits; Highway 12 Bridge, walleye are being caught on medium-diving crankbaits, spinner rigs with nightcrawlers and minnows and jigs, and white bass are being caught in numbers; at Prairie creek, medium-diving plugs, jigs and spinner rigs with nightcrawlers are catching good walleye. War Eagle and the junction of War Eagle and the White River are producing walleye and white bass, as well as plenty of stripers. Blue Springs is producing stripers, walleye and white bass on medium-diving crankbaits, jigs and spinner rigs with minnows.

(Updated 4-9-2014) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is muddy. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting very good on minnows and jigs fished around cover just off the bank. White bass are upriver, but you have to find clear water and fish deep-diving crankbaits for them . Walleye are biting well on black grubs and minnows as they move upstream to spawn.

Beaver Tailwater

(Updated 3-26-2014) Scott Branyan at Ozark Fly Flinger  said there is a bit of a fishing slump on the tailwaters with the increased releases, cold water temperatures and high feeder streams the past week. Some warmer weather, sunshine and stable water conditions will improve the fishing. Fishing on Beaver tailwater was slow the end of last week. Water temperature was 41 degrees with the prolonged generation. Some afternoon shutdown returned beginning Sunday, but weather has been cold. There were no signs of shad coming through last week with the peak in generation. Shad patterns did not produce well either. Darker streamers work better although catch rates were way down. Generation early in the morning and again late in the day continues this week. 

(Updated 4-2-2014) Beaver Dam Store said walleye fishing is picking up downstream from Houseman Access to Holiday Island. Drifting crappie-size minnows along the bottom or trolling a firetiger Flicker Shad crankbait at 2-3 mph looks like the ticket. A customer brought a picture of a 28″ Brown caught with a a streamer last Sunday. Midges, pheasant tails, peacock herl soft hackles and woolly buggers will get some attention. Nickle and gold Colorado spoons are hard to beat. We have some GULP maggots that will work when nothing else will on a micro jig.

Lake Elmdale
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the lake is clear and around 2 feet below normal. This has not stopped the crappie from spawning, but could effect where the redear and bluegill spawn this year. The most active area for crappie is from the flood discharge area at the end of the dam along the west shore up to No Fish Cove. Trolling close to Harmon’s Bluff also has produced well. Then on south from around Goose Island, up into the Brush Creek area. Minnows are working the best, but a 1/16-oz. jig tipped with a crappie nibble will produce a few fish. Bass fishing has been good on brown finesse wacky worms. Square-billed crankbaits and chatterbaits have produced  as well. Crickets have worked best for the bluegill, but redworms are a close second.

Lake Fayetteville
(Updated on 3-26-2014) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said some small crappie are being caught, but no big keepers lately. A few largemoutt bass are showing up. Catfishing is very good on nightcrawlers. Slip rental fees are due for everyone keeping a boat at the dock.

Lake Sequoyah
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and 70 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, soft-plastic lures and top-water lures. Catfishing is good on shad and chicken livers.

Prairie Grove Lake
(Updated 4-23-2014) Lake Manager Dennis Kruse said there was finally a nice weekend to fish, but the fishing was not very good at all. Fishing was slow for all species.

Northeast Arkansas

Lake Poinsett
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lake Poinsett State Park said we love this time of the year. It’s “fishing season.”  Crappie fishermen are happy with their catch, and have been using minnows more than jigs. Some 3+ pound crappie have been reported. Catfishing has been good on nightcrawlers and goldfish. Bream are biting very well on crickets and redworms.

Crown Lake
(Updated 4-30-2014) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and about a foot high. The surface water temperature is 63 degrees. Bream fishing is fair to good around the docks. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is excellent on topwater lures. Catfishing is excellent on live and prepared baits.

Lake Frierson
(Updated 4-30-2014) Lake Frierson State Park said water temperatures have risen into the low to mid-60s depending on location and time of day. This should trigger more activity in the coming weeks. Bass have been fair with fish being caught on white or chartreuse crankbaits, dark soft plastics, and a few fish have been caught early on topwater poppers and buzzbaits. Catfish have been good, with channels and blues being caught on nightcrawlers, dip baits, chicken liver and minnows. A few flatheads have been caught on minnows and goldfish. Crappie have been poor to fair; some reports continue to come in from the northern end of the lake where the bushes are flooded. Saugeye have been fair with some fish being caught near the levee on crankbaits and minnows; try different depths and colors to find the fish,  usually 3-10 feet deep. Bream have been fair on crickets, redworms and pieces of nightcrawlers.  The bream should be picking up soon with warmer temperatures; the bream in the aquariums at the visitor center have been working on beds.

Spring River

 

The renovation of Dam No. 3 on the Spring River is underway.  Accesses at Lassiters, Cold Spring and Bayou are available for the Spring River, and anglers may have better success launching at these places during heavy traffic periods.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 400 cfs and water clarity is mostly clear. The trout have been biting excellently. Water diversion at the dam is scheduled for next week. Guppies and Y2Ks have been the hot flies. Hot pink and purple haze Trout Magnets and white Rooster Tails have been great for spin fishing.

Southeast Arkansas

Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(Updated 4-30-2014) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperature is in the low 70s. Water clarity is right under one foot in Lake Langhofer and a little murkier on the main channel. The main channel is not flowing much. The post-spawn slump has taken hold. Largemouth are still being caught, but they are tougher to find and smaller. You can still catch fish on rocks and shallow woody cover; they have not yet moved out to brush piles but should do so in a few weeks. The crappie and white bass are biting extremely well in Lake Langhofer. Crankbaits and small swimbaits over sandbar points and humps in Lake Langhofer are producing lots of 1- to 2-pound white bass with the occasional large striped bass. If you’re looking to just have fun, give the largemouth a break and go after white bass and crappie for now.

Cane Creek Lake
(Updated 4-23-2014) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park in Star City said bass fishing has been very good on soft-plastic worms and real nightcrawlers. Crappie have been hit-or-miss with the weather. Catfishing is good.

Lake Chicot
(Updated 4-23-2014) Geoff Wright at Lake Chicot State Park said a lot of catfish are being caught at Chicot lately, especially on limb lines, yo-yos and trotlines. All sorts of bait is working for the catfish right now. Some crappie are being caught here and there, but the story really is the catfish right now.

Southwest Arkansas

Millwood Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.30 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.60 msl).

(Updated 4-30-2014) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level is at normal conservation pool and steady.  There is reduced current of Little River with the gates releasing around 2,100 CFS as of Monday. Surface temperature ranges from 67 to 75 degrees. Clarity improved to slightly stained this week in most areas on main lake. Visibility ranges 10-15 inches.  Most of the bass we are seeing are post spawn. Largemouth bass up to 8 or 9 pounds have been on the beds for the past couple weeks. The bite was slowed last week with cold fronts that dropped water temps but over this past week, temps are back on the rise again. Plastic lizards, tubes, jigs, spinnerbaits, and Bass Assassin Shads continue taking bass on flats with stumps and in creek channels. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs and Bass Assassin Shads were catching Largemouths in the 4-5 pound class over the past several weeks. The clearest water you can find away from river flow has been the best method over the past few weeks.  Best colors Rat-L-Traps working over the past week that will get bit are Millwood Magic, Red Shad, or Creole Craw around 4-8 feet depth flats near creek channel swings, deflecting off stumps in the clearest water you can locate away from muddy water or Little River current. White bass are post spawn as well, and are scattered throughout the river and its oxbows. Crappie are improving in 3-6 foot deep creek channels around cypress trees on Blakemore Roadrunners, beetle spins, and jigs.  Best colors with the improved water clarity seem to be white, smoke Cordell Grubs, and pink tubes. Blues and channel cats continue to feed well in current in Little River this week on trotlines running 10-15 feet deep, or on Yo-Yos in Mud Lake baited with chicken liver, blood meal and cut shad.

Lake Greeson

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.66 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).

For more information on crappie fishing at Lake Greeson, visit www.actionfishingtrips.com/tripreports.htm.

Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.

DeGray Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.51 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).

(Updated 4-30-2014) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in around 70 degrees and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing remains very good with lots of small and slot fish. Look for fish in the spawning coves up shallow between Arlie Moore and Cox Creek. Throw a lipped or lipless crank bait across secondary points and close to shoreline brush. Anything in a natural shad pattern will work. Try a squarebill if the cover is pretty thick. Some bigger fish reported coming on white/chartreuse spinnerbaits. Also try a Texas-rigged 6-inch worm in green pumpkin or red shad across the same points but a little deeper. A lot of spotted bass are coming from the bluff banks at points 14 and 15, also along the West side of Goat Island. Try a Texas-rigged finesse 4-inch worm fished down the rocky banks. Crappie fishing remains slow with only a few fish coming from the south side between the mouth of Brushy and Iron Mountain. Throw a 2-inch tube or curly tail grub on a 1/16-ounce jig head to any exposed cover in 3 to 5 feet of water. Hybrid fishing is fair at best with the fish scattered between Shouse Ford and Cox Creek. There’s very little schooling activity, so trolling is the best bet. The best trolling lures are crankbaits such as Shad Raps, 4-inch swim baits, Roostertails, heavy spoons and 5-arm umbrella rigs loaded with 4-inch curly tail grubs. Get the lures  about 10 to 12 feet down on a long line of at least 100 feet. Best colors for all rigs are white and chartreuse.  Quite a few white bass showing as well. Quite a few catfish are showing up on trotlines set across points at about 20 feet deep. Bait with cut shad, chicken livers, nightcrawlers, Catfish Charlie or hot dogs.  Also try big minnows and small live bream.  Brushy Creek has been one of the more productive areas.

South-Central Arkansas

Moro Bay
Moro Bay State Park at the junction of the Ouachita River, Raymond Lake and Moro Bay, had no report this week.

Ouachita River Oxbows
(Updated 4-2-2014) Local angler Jaret Rushing said the Ouachita River Oxbows are beginning to see an influx of new water from the rains we had last weekend. This should slow bass down from moving into spawning stages.  Bass are still actively hitting slower moving “shad-like” baits and jigs. Again, color selection is key when targeting bass in these lakes and tributaries. Anglers should match their color choices based on water clarity. Crappie are still biting well on minnows and lighter colored jigs fished around outstretched trees in about 4 feet of water. Their bites are somewhat light, so pay attention and use fluorocarbon lines if possible to help detect the strike.

Tri-County Lake
Jaret Rushing had no report this week.

White Oak Lake
(Updated 4-30-2014) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said on the lower lake, the catfish daily limit is 5 and the bream daily limit is 50; and all other fish are catch-and-release only. Catfish are biting on trotlines. On the upper lake (where there are no special regulations) bream are biting well on crickets and worms early in the morning and evening. Catfish are biting well on worms in the evenings. Bass are a little slow but can be picked up in the mornings and evenings on artificial lures. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs, and bream on crickets and worms. For lake information or a camping reservation please call White Oak Lake State Park at 870-685-2748 or visit http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/whiteoaklake/

West-Central Arkansas

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 346.12 feet msl (flood pool – 373 msl). 

(Updated 4-23-2014) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said crappie fishing is excellent on minnows and jigs. Catfishing also is excellent; anglers are having the best luck with shad. 

(Updated 4-30-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting well on minnows and Bobby Garland plastics in Cajun cricket, barbecue chicken, bone white and blue/white fished 3 to 10 feet deep. Bream are biting well on redworms and nightcrawlers. Bass are fair on soft-plastic worms, spinnerbaits and Rooster Tails. Catfishing is good on nightcrawlers and chicken livers. 

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean Mountain)
(Updated 4-30-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said bream are biting well on worms and crickets, and are on the beds. Catfishing is also good on chicken liver and minnows.

Fourche La Fave River
(Updated 4-30-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the water is stained and low. Crappie fishing is good on minnows an jigs. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and minnows.

Lake Hinkle
Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-7419) had no report this week.

Lake Dardanelle
(Updated 4-23-2014) Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the water is muddy in the river and slightly clearer in the backwater areas. Some clear water is in the extreme back ends of pockets and creeks. Surface water temperature is 74 degrees. Bass have been biting very well on buzzbaits and frogs early and late and on brush hogs and jigs fished around cover during the middle of the day. On windy days, be sure to cast a spinnerbait, chatter bait or square-billed crankbaits around laydowns in the creeks. Crappie have been biting very well on minnows and jigs around dead grass in the river. The crappie in the creeks are holding off the tops of laydowns and around lily pad stems. Stripers and white bass can be found in the mouths of the creeks and at the mouth of the nuclear plant; small crankbaits, white jigs with grubs, jerk baits, tailspinners and inline spinners are working well. Bream have been good on worms and crickets on stumps and brush in creeks.

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.64 feet msl (flood pool – 419 msl).

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.45 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl).

(Updated 4-23-2014) Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs  said the lake temp is in the 60s and the lake level is at full pool. Black bass are being caught on just about anything you want to throw. This is floating worm season, so that is always fun. Also try a jighead worm in the guts of pockets. A carolina rig is a great way to catch a good one and sight fishing is how most tournaments are being won. Crappie are in brush in 5 feet of water and less.  White bass are still in most major creeks.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the surface water temperature is 62 to 66 degrees and the water is clearing. Largemouth bass are biting very well on jighead worms and floating worms. Carolina-rigged lizards and brush hogs also are still producing quality tournament limits. Walleye are biting well on Shad Raps and lipless crankbaits fished on main lake points. Stripers are excellent on top water C-10 Redfins. Try main lake points in all three river basins. Bream are still fair but showing improvement and being caught around brush in the 10-foot range. Crappie are biting well near brush in 2 to 10 feet of water on minnows and crappie jigs. Catfish are very good and being caught on trotlines and rod-and-reel fished near main lake and secondary points with cut bait.

Lake Hamilton
(Updated 4-23-2014) Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs  said the surface water temperature is in the 60′s and the lake level is at normal spring pool. The water is stained from the recent rain, but is clearing up slowly. Black bass are bedding all over the lake. Good fish are being caught on floating worms, jerkbaits and Carolina-rigged lizards and bush hogs. Most fish are being caught in 5 feet of water and less. Crappie also are shallow and are being caught around brush in 6 feet of water and less. White bass are finishing up their run in the major creeks.

Lake Catherine

 

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.

(Updated 4-30-2014) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 55 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Fishable conditions have now been re-established as heavy flows and stained waters have passed through the system. Rainbow trout fishing is excellent with quality limits caught daily by bank and boat fishermen alike. Target areas protected from direct flow with live bait presentations such as redworms, nightcrawlers, wax and meal worms. Artificial lures that imitate injured shad or crawfish are also working well in times of current. Crappie are spawning near the dam and being caught on minnows tightlined over deep water. Small jigs and spinnerbaits in white or yellow are also effective around structure. White and yellow bass are spawning also and can be taken on the same lures. Walleye are in the tailrace chasing shad and recuperating from the spawn. Very large drum are spawning and taking shad and crawfish over sand bars and rocks close to the dam. Topwater action for stripers has been seen below the bridge but few fish have been caught. As May approaches, large schools of shad will migrate toward the dam to spawn and will be followed by large stripers. C-10 redfins and Super Spooks in shad or trout colors are highly effective lures to cast into feeding fish.

Lake Atkins
(Updated 4-23-2014) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no report.

East Arkansas

Bear Creek Lake
(Updated 1-8-2014) Mississippi River State Park had no new report.

Storm Creek Lake
(Updated 1-8-2014) Mississippi River State Park had no report.

White River
(Updated 4-23-2014) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report this week.

Maddox Bay
(Updated 4-30-2014) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is high and muddy. Fishing has been very slow for all species.

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