Weekly Arkansas Fishing Report – April 19, 2014


Weekly Arkansas fishing report for April 19, 2014. Enjoy your time on the water and catch a bunch.

LITTLE ROCK – Water temperature is a key factor for successful fishing in early spring, according to anglers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Fishermen across the state begin stirring when days warm up. But most realize the air temperatures go up much quicker than water temperatures. Several days in the high 60s or low 70s will have people out in shirt sleeves, but the water in the lake they are using remains chilly.

Big water warms more slowly than small water, meaning a large, clear and deep lake will be cooler for longer than a “dark” and shallow lake. An example is Lake Conway and Greers Ferry Lake. Conway is shallow for the most part. Greers Ferry is deep. Conway’s water color is darker than mostly clear Greers Ferry. So Conway will have water temperatures warmer than Greers Ferry – as a general rule.

Still, Greers Ferry has numerous feeder streams, and back in these, water will warm up sooner than the water in the main body of the lake.

Places where water is flowing in from rain runoff are always good areas to try for fish. Along with this runoff water tends to be warmer, it also brings food for fish into the lake.

Anxious anglers should also remember the rule of cool or cold water fishing: go slow. Fish movements are usually directly related to their metabolism which is slow under cool conditions. Slow down retrieves of lures. Give fish time to catch up with them.

Here are approximate water temperatures for spawning of Arkansas game fish:

Largemouth bass 68-72 degrees, smallmouth bass 59-60 degrees, striped bass 59-65 degrees, spotted bass 63-68 degrees, white bass 57-68 degrees, warmouth 75-80 degrees, bluegill 70-75 degrees, redear sunfish 68-75 degrees, green sunfish 75-85 degrees, black crappie 62-68 degrees, white crappie 60-65 degrees, channel catfish 75-80 degrees, blue catfish 70-75 degrees, walleye 45-50 degrees, sauger 40-45 degrees, paddlefish 50-55 degrees, rainbow trout 50-55 degrees and brown trout 47-52, degrees.

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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 3-26-2014) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said crappie are biting well in 2 to 9 feet of water early in the morning and late in the afternoon on chartreuse jigs and pink minnows. Bass are fair. No report on bream or catfish.


Little Red River (Greers Ferry Tailwater)


(Updated 4-16-2014) Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said the water is flowing at 2,850 cfs (about 3/4 units worth of flow). Trout fishing is excellent on wax worms and Power Bait. Artificials, such as Rapala Countdown minnow-style crankbaits and Rattling Rogues, are working excellently on brown trout as well.

(Updated 4-9-2014) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ’em All Guide Service said current release over the spillway is equivalent to around ¾ of one unit. This release will continue until the lake level drops below 462. The power plant is expected to be repaired in a couple of weeks and water release will occur through the turbines instead of spillway. Current flies working well are San Juan worms, March Brown imitations, soft hackles and streamers. Hot pink Trout Magnets on chartreuse jig heads are working well for those spin fishing.

Greers Ferry
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.50 msl).


(Updated 4-16-2014) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 0.45 feet above normal pool and is rising. The surface water temperature is 49 to 57 degrees. The main lake hybrids and white bass are going pretty good, but the river bite slowed with the cool weather; try spoons ,in-line spinners, grubs, and jerk baits. The crappie bite seems to be better in the dirtier water on minnows; try really shallow around brush up the rivers. Not much report on bream as they are just now pulling up shallow. Some straggler walleye are still being caught in the river and a few are being picked up in the lake on grubs and spoons, but it’s fairly slow. Bass fishing slowed with the cold front; each day is different. The fish on steep banks are a bit more consistent. Try jigs, crankbaits, Alabama rigs and a jighead worm.

(Updated 4-16-2014) Cody Smith of www.fishgreersferry.com said visibility in the lower section of the reservoir is as great as 15 feet with 6 to 8 feet of visibility over much of the reservoir. Wind has been key to finding and staying on an active bite. Most all species are in full blown spawn. Walleyes, crappie, smallmouth, spotted bass and largemouth are being taken on a variety of baits fished from the bank to 14 feet of water. Most walleyes are still milting and some are still dropping eggs. Whites and hybrids are still up the creeks, rivers and on some main lake flats finishing up their spawn as well.  Stay shallow and chase the wind for a good bite.

(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 4-16-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said bream fishing is excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is also very good on minnows and jigs. No report on catfish or bass.

Lake Overcup
(Updated 4-16-2014) Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said the water is high and a little murky. Crappie were being caught in shallow water on minnows and black/chartreuse and white/chartreuse jigs, but the rain and cold has moved them back a little. They should be back in with the warm weather coming. Bass have started up good. Catfish are fair on cut shad and large minnows. Bream are still slow.

(Updated 4-16-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. No report on bream, bass or catfish.

Brewer Lake


(Updated 4-16-2014) Jan Johnson at Brewer Lake Bait Shop (501-354-4108) said the water is a little cloudy due to several inches of rain this week. Crappie are moving into the shallows and being caught on live minnows and pink, white and red/chartreuse jigs fished 2 to 4 feet deep. Blue and channel catfish are still in deep water but are doing good on trotlines baited with large minnows and cut bait and on poles with stink bait or liver. Bass are excellent and hitting a large variety of lures around the banks. Several 8-pound-plus fish were caught last week. Bluegill and redear are becoming active and taking redworms and crickets in 2 to 3 feet of water.

(Updated 4-16-2014) Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) the water is still a little low. The crappie should be back good with the warm weather coming. They were being caught on minnows and black/chartreuse stingers and white stingers. Catfish are fair on trotlines and noodles baited with large minnows or liver. Bass are fair. Bream are slow.

Lake Maumelle
(Updated 4-2-2014) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water temperature is 54 degrees and the water level is above the spillway. Fishing is picking up. Largemouth bass are excellent on jigs and jerkbaits fished around grass in 5 to 8 feet of water; there are still a few 5-fish tournament limits up to 20 pounds being caught lately. Spotted bass are in 5 to 10 feet of water and are excellent on jigs and shaky head worms. White bass are excellent up the creek. They are spawning, and there are reports of limits coming in on Rooster Tails, crappie jigs and minnows. Crappie are biting well on brightly colored jigs fished around grass in 1 to 5 feet of water. Bream are excellent in 5 to 10 feet of water on live worms and crickets.

(Updated 4-2-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream fishing is slow, but a few have been caught on redworms. Crappie fishing is excellent on 1/8-oz. Johnson spoons, white/chartreuse and red/chartreuse jigs and pink minnows. Bass are excellent in the morning and evening on shad-colored spinnerbaits, Zara Spooks and shallow-diving crankbaits. Catfishing is fair on green sunfish, shad, skipjack and minnows.

Benton City Lake
(Updated 4-16-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a few bream have been caught on crickets . Crappie have been scattered, but a few have been caught on No. 6 crappie minnows .

Sunset Lake
(Updated 4-16-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said the lake was stocked with catfish a little over 3 weeks ago. People were catching them on fresh chicken livers; then they started catching some of the bigger ones on bait shrimp. Four customers caught tagged fish . The Catfish are still biting, but not as good as when they first stocked it. Bream are biting crickets and redworms. Some people are catching some nice bass on bass minnows and brood minnows.

Saline River Access in Benton
(Updated 4-16-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said one customer caught a very nice walleye over the weekend on one of the forks to the Saline. Catfish have been caught on bass minnows and brood minnows hanging from trotlines. Some nice smallmouths have been caught on brood minnows and green pumpkin 4-inch lizards or brush hogs in watermelon seed, green pumpkin and watermelon/red. A few crappie have been caught on no. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin’s Tennessee Shad 2-inch grubs up at the spillway.

Lake Norrell
(Updated 4-16-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie are still doing fair on no. 6 crappie minnows. bit it’s is a very hard lake to crappie fish. Bass and catfish have been biting well in the creeks. Some large redear have been caught on crickets fished near the bottom. Norrell has plenty of large redear sunfish, and when bream season is in full swing, it’s the place to go.

Bishop Park Lakes in Bryant
(Updated 4-16-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said Lake Norma has produced a few good bass on red shad or bubblegum colored soft-plastic worms. Lake Charles has produced a few crappie on pink crappie minnows. Bream are fair on crickets. Catfishing has been fair on liver and nightcrawlers.

Lake Winona
(Updated 4-16-2014) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie are still being caught on no. 12 bass minnows and no. 6 crappie minnows, but fewer fish are being caught lately. Catfish have been fair on livers and nightcrawlers.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
(Updated 1-29-2014) River Valley Outdoors said a few people are catching some crappie on jigs, but overall the fishing has been very slow.

(Updated 4-9-2014) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo said athe weather is still keeping people off the river. White bass are staging at the mouths of Petit Jean River, Point Remove Creek, Flagg Lake Cutoff and Coppers Gap; lipless crankbaits in firetiger are working well. Stripers are staging with the white bass, but as also holding below dams nine and 10; wobble spoons with a chartreuse twister tail trailer are working well. Spotted bass are moving around the jetties. They are biting well in 4 to 15 feet. Largemouth bass seem to be holding to wood cover, but are biting well. Catfishing is very good around jetties on worms and shad. 


Little Maumelle River
(Updated 4-16-2014) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is muddy and cold and the current is high. Nothing is biting right now, but it should pick up in a few days.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
(Updated 4-2-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said crappie fishing is excellent in backwaters on pink minnows, red/chartreuse jigs and Beetle Spins. Bass are excellent on shad-colored spinnerbaits and chartreuse/black shallow-diving crankbaits in backwater areas. Catfishing is excellent on minnows, chicken hearts, livers and worms.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
(Updated 4-2-2014) Vince Miller from Fish ’N Stuff said the river is muddy to clear and the water is still cold. Crappie are fair, but bass fishing has picked up in the shallow areas around jetties and backwater areas. Square-billed crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps, chatterbaits and lizards are working well on the bass. Tuesday night tournaments on the river are getting underway soon. Give Fish ‘N Stuff a call for details.

(Updated 4-2-2014) Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said crappie fishing is excellent on white/chartreuse jigs and chartreuse twister tails on 1/8 ounce jigheads fished around brush. Crappie also are excellent below Murray Lock and Dam on black/yellow jigs.  Bass fishing is excellent in the backwaters and on jetty points on Texas-rigged lizards and Zoom Brush Hogs. White bass are excellent on chartreuse twin-tailed jigs and spoons below Murray Lock and Dam. Catfishing is excellent on skipjack, shad, sunfish and minnows. 

(Updated 4-16-2014) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs in the backwater areas. Bass can be caught on crankbaits and soft-plastic worms. Catfishing has been great on skipjack below Terry Lock and Dam.

Clear Lake
(Updated 4-16-2014) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said bream fishing is fair on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is good on minnows, and a few have been caught on jigs. Bass fishing is good on spinnerbaits. No report on catfish.

Peckerwood Lake
(Updated 4-16-2014) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water level is high and the water is dingy and cold from the rain and cold front. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is good on worms and chicken livers.

North Arkansas

Bull Shoals

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 654 msl

(Updated 4-16-2014) Ken Minsky of Ken Minksy’s Loch Leven Guide Service said Bull Shoals is still in a state of flux with the yo-yo weather patterns this spring. The main lake temperature near Point 24, is 54 degrees, which is very cold for this time of year (We should be in the low 60s by now.). There are some nice catches of white bass in some of the larger creek arms. I still have not witnessed any epic runs and there may not be with these cold weather patterns. The walleyes appear to have completed their spawning activities and should be ready to put on the feedbag. Some nice ones are being caught in smaller creek arms, and some steady action should be in store. Smallmouth and spotted bass continue to provide action in the creek arms as they wait for the water to warm a few more degrees. They are starting to move into shallower water and most takes are coming from the 10- to 18-foot range.

(Updated on 3-26-2014) Mike Worley’s Guide Service said surface water temperatures are in the 40s. Walleye are starting to move to the rocky main lake points and a few are being caught on suspending stickbaits, Alabama rigs and jigs. A warm rain should get the bite going after the cold winter we have had. 

White River (Bull Shoals Tailwater)


(Updated 4-16-2014) Newland’s Resort below Bull Shoals said water conditions are trending toward the higher side, with 3 to 4 generators running all day, including weekends. Popular baits have been sculpins, pink artificial worms and Rapalas. Several nice browns were caught last week in the 18-22 inch range, including a 7.5-pound brown. Be sure to visit the Projected Water flow page and live web cam at Newland’s web site.

(Updated 4-16-2014) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water has been running high lately. During high water, Rattling Rogues and Rapala minnnow-style crankbaits were working well. On lower flows, shrimp and Power Bait have been working well.


(Updated 4-16-2014) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the hot spot last week 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 ruby midge pattern suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers has been running much more water and that has been an advantage to streamer fishermen. Bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. We have had numerous reports of caddis hatches. Though sparse, the trout did not key in on them mostly due to the high volume of water. It is a harbinger of spring and a promise of what is to come. Before the hatch, fish green caddis pupa (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).

(Updated 4-2-2014) Ken Minsky of Ken Minksy’s Loch Leven Guide Service said the White is producing nice rainbow trout and brown trout on just about anything you want to throw at them lately. Green, brown and black woolly buggers are producing well, and the caddis hatch is not too far off. Be sure to bring some soft hackles with a little green in them and let them swing in the current; expect the hit to happen at the end of the swing, as the fly rises. Bring some small dry flies with you too.

Lake Norfork


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 554.43 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 4-16-2014) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork has not fished well of late. This is possibly due to cold water temperatures on the lake. 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 and very small caddis (try a size 24 Adams parachute).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 4-16-2014) Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River is navigable and clear. With the cool temperatures, smallmouth are inactive. 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.

Crooked Creek
(Updated 4-16-2014) Berry Brothers Guide Service said Crooked Creek is navigable and clear. With the cool temperatures, the smallmouth are inactive. 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

Beaver Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.80 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).


(Updated 4-16-2014) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said walleye are done spawning and the white bass are right behind them. Stripers are on the prowl for warmer water and food; they are biting throughout the day with peaks at dusk and dawn. Fishing is fair with stripers taken 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.

(Updated 4-9-2014) Jason Piper of JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said fishing for bass has been very good up either river arm.  Fish a spinnerbait or a jerkbait along sloping banks with timber or a Carolina-rigged lizard or craw over points and in small pockets off the river channel. Main lake fishing has been a little slower but still productive using a craw pattern Wiggle Wart along sloping banks and over points. A shaky head lizard or craw has also produced fish around docks.  Most fish have been suspended in 5 to 20 feet of water. Crappie fishing has been best up either river arm, primarily upstream from the 412 bridge. Fish a baby shad type bait on a 1/32 oz jighead or a shineee hineee jig under a small cork 2-4 feet down around log/tree jams, pole timber or lay down trees close to the main channel.  A minnow under a cork will work as well. On the main lake look for fish to be suspending 2 to 6 feet down over water deeper than 20 feet under docks and along bluff lines. Same technique as above will catch these fish as well. Best action has been on warmer sunny days. Spawn is still about  10-14 days away. Best color combos have been solid chartreuse, black/chartreuse and pearl/pink. Upstream from 412 bridge has produced good numbers of crappie, Eden Bluff and Monte-Ne have also been producing a few fish. White bass have begun to make their way up the river arms and main coves. Look for them to stay close to the channel along bends, points or flats. Anything that resembles a shad will do the trick. The spawn is still at least two weeks out. Not many reports on catfish.  Best bank action should be at Hickory Creek or the 412 Bridge access using liver or worms.

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 4-16-2014) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said the water is at normal level and is clear. The surface temperature is in the mid-50s. Crappie are on the move and several limits are being caught. Minnows fished over any limbs or timber in up to 8 feet of water have worked well. Shallower areas up to 4 feet, are also producing catches on tube jigs in blue/white and red/chartreuse tipped with a crappie nibbles. Try a white 1/16-oz. jig tipped with a small piece of live worm if other options aren’t available. Many smaller bass have been reported being caught on suspending crankbaits and on spinnerbaits. Bluegill and redear are picking up. Use redworms, crickets or night crawlers on a small hook fished 4 feet deep.

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 4-16-2014) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake is at normal level and the water is clear. The surface water temperature is 64 degrees. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. Black bass can be caught on spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and shad.

Prairie Grove Lake
(Updated 4-16-2014) Lake Manager Dennis Kruse said bass were the go-to species this week, as lots of good catches were brought in. Anglers had good luck on Rapalas and Rattling Rogues. The spinnerbait bite also is improving for bass. Bream and crappie were slow last week, but should pick up soon.

Northeast Arkansas

Lake Poinsett
(Updated 4-16-2014) Lake Poinsett State Park said the crappie are moving into shallow water as it is getting closer to their time to spawn. Some nice crappie were weighed in at the tournament last Saturday.  Some bream and catfish are being caught as well.

Crown Lake
(Updated 4-16-2014) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is dingy and at normal level, but the water temperature is still cold due to the weather. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good on spinnerbaits and soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is good on worms and chicken livers.

Lake Frierson
(Updated 4-9-2014) Lake Frierson State Park said wind and weather have kept many anglers off the water, but warmer days are forecast. Some surface activity is happening at dawn and dusk off main lake points. Reports continue of crappie in the flooded bushes of the northern end of the lake. This area is very shallow and may not be accessible to larger boats.  A few bass have been caught on a variety of lures and minnows. Some channel catfish have been caught with liver, dip baits and nightcrawlers. We still need some warmer nights and warm rains to get the water temperature up some more to really get the fish biting.

Spring River


The renovation of Dam No. 3 on the Spring River is underway.  The contractor is accepting delivery of a large crane Thursday-Saturday (April 17-19) with assembly scheduled on Saturday morning. Delays are expected to occur during the time of assembly and transport. Accesses at Lassiters, Cold Spring and Bayou are also available for the Spring River, and anglers may have better success launching at these places during heavy traffic periods.

(Updated 4-16-2014) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 400 cfs at the spring and water clarity is clear. We had some rain over the weekend that murked up the water for a few days, but it has cleared up nicely. Brownies and Mark’s emergers have been the hot flies with Y2Ks working great when the the fishing gets tough. Black and white rooster tails and hot pink and red Trout Magnets are working well with spinning gear. Reconstruction of Dam 3 has been going well. Watch for signs in the construction zones and be careful.

Southeast Arkansas

Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(Updated 4-16-2014) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the mid to upper 60s in backwater areas and around 60 degrees in the main channel of the river. Water visibility is around 1 foot within Lake Langhofer, and backwater areas. The main channel is muddy from the recent rains with visibility less than half a foot. There is flow in the river, but it is still at a mild rate. Bass are moving into post-spawn locations in backwaters and transitioning from sandy flats back to their typical rocky shorelines. Good stringers of fish have been weighed in recent tournaments, being caught with small, medium-diving crankbaits and jigs.

Cane Creek Lake
(Updated 3-26-2014) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park in Star City said the crappie are biting shiners at a depth of 6 feet. This is particularly true around submerged stumps and standing timber. The bass have continued to go shallow to prepare for spawning, Watermelon/chartreuse worms are recommended. Catfish are biting as well, one local angler caught a 50-pound blue catfish on chicken liver using a pole. With the weather warming up, things should only get better.

Lake Chicot
(Updated 4-9-2014) Geoff Wright at Lake Chicot State Park said folks have been catching lots of catfish on yo-yos at Lake Chicot, using everything from minnows to nightcrawlers to dough bait. Some crappie have been caught using minnows on yo-yos.

Southwest Arkansas

Millwood Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.90 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.60 msl).

(Updated 4-16-2014) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water level is 11.3 inches above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is increased current of Little River with the gates releasing around 3,175 CFS as of Monday. Water temps jumped back up to 62 to 72 degrees,depending on location and time of day. Water clarity was muddy with all the thunderstorms and high winds.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility ranges 5-8 inches. Bass were back on the beds again. Largemouth Bass up to 6 and 8 pounds have been on the beds for the past couple weeks. Plastic lizards, Rat-L-Traps, jigs, spinnerbaits, and Bass Assassin Shads have been taking staging bass on flats with stumps, ditches, and in creek channels. Find water temps 5 to 8 degrees warmer than surrounding areas for the bedding fish. Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in Texas Craw, Voodoo and Green Pumpkin Candy and Bass Assassin Shads were catching Largemouths in the 5-7 pound class over the past several weeks. Chatterbaits continue catching nice bass in Mud Lake oxbow over the past couple weeks in dead lily pad stems and new pad blooms. Best colors Rat-L-Traps working over the past few weeks that will get bit are Toledo Gold, Pumpkin Craw, or Creole Craw. White bass disappeared with all the recent rain, muddy water, and river current. Prespawn crappie continue biting in 8-10 feet of water along creek channels and around cypress trees on Blakemore Roadrunners, Beetle spins, Little Cleos, and H & H spinners.  Best colors with the stained water clarity seem to be white, chartreuse and black. Blue catfish and channel cats are loving the increase of current in Little River this week on trot lines running 10-15 feet of depth, or on yo-yos in Mud Lake and other oxbows up Little River, using chicken liver, blood bait and cut shad.

Lake Greeson


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 548.94 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 409.22 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).

(Updated 4-16-2014) Local angler George Graves said the surface water temperature is in the low 60s and the lake is clear up to Point 14 and lightly stained upriver. Fishing is getting better as the water slowly warms and the spawn begins. Bass fishing is very good with plenty of double-digit catches reported.  However most of the fish are in the slot, (13 to 16 inches), and have to be released.  The fish are now spawning, so the best action will be in the spawning coves and up shallow. With the water level up, work the flooded brush on secondary points. The best pattern has been crankbaits (both lipped and lipless), spinnerbaits and Alabama rigs loaded with 4-inch swim baits. The upper end of the lake between Arlie Moore and Cox Creek is still the best area. Some other productive areas have been the north bank between Point Cedar and Shouse Ford, Beaton Creek, Woodall Cove and the north side of Goat Island. A few reports of crappie catches are starting to trickle in now that the fish are in full spawn. Best pattern has been along shoreline brush in the big coves. Use a float and live minnow or a 2-inch curly tail grub in Tennessee shad. Morning and evening are the best times for shallow crappies because they move to deeper water during the bright part of the day. Mid-lake is best right now, with Brushy Creek one of the better areas. Hybrid fishing is good between Cox Creek and Amity. The best bet is trolling in the river until the school is located. Crankbaits, such as No. 7 Rapalas, 4-inch swim baits and 3-inch curly tail grubs have been best. Some fish are starting to return to the main lake around Shouse Ford. This area should get red hot in the next few weeks. Catfishing has been fair on trotlines set in the upper lake between Shouse Ford and Point Cedar. Best areas to set the lines have been on shallow points and humps in 15 to 20 feet of water.  Bait with cut shad, Catfish Charlie, nightcrawlers and hot dogs.

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 4-2-2014) 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 350.48 feet msl (flood pool – 373 msl). 

(Updated 4-16-2014) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the surface water temperature is 60 degrees. Crappie fishing is good. The crappie came in shallow, but moved back out when the cold weather came through. Bass are biting well. 

(Updated 4-16-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said bream fishing has been excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing also is very good on minnows and jigs.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean Mountain)
(Updated 4-16-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said bream are biting on worms and crickets, and are on the beds. Catfishing is also good on chicken liver and minnows.

Fourche La Fave River
(Updated 4-16-2014) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the water is stained and at normal level. 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 4-16-2014) Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said upriver bass have been very good on jigs, buzzbaits and lizards fished around jetties and in the backwater. Spotted bass have been caught on the main river with flukes and spinnerbaits. Mid-river bass have been very good in backwaters on crawdads, lizards and jigs with buzzbaits late and early. Around Illinois Bayou, bass have been very good  on lizards, jigs and buzzbaits with some fish moving out to drops and points already. Crappie have been very good upriver on the backsides of jetties around dead grass. Around mid river, crappie are being caught on spawning flats with jigs. On the lower river, brush piles near the strip pits were the best places to find crappie. White bass have been slow upriver, but many are being caught around the mouth of the nuclear plant on white crankbaits, taillspinners and in-line spinners. Striper fishing has been very good below the dams. Catfish have been very good on cut shad and skipjack in the main river with many being taken in the creeks on dead minnows and worms. Bream have been very good in the smaller creeks on crickets and worms around stumps.

Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 389.20 feet msl (flood pool – 419 msl).

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 578.27 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl).

(Updated 4-16-2014) 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 4-16-2014) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is 56 to 60 degrees. The water is very stained from the recent rains. Black bass have slowed a little due to the stained water, but are still very good. Jighead worms and floating worms are hot right now.  Carolina rigged lizards and brush hogs are producing quality sacks as well. Walleye are biting well on small lipless crankbaits and crappie jigs fished near main lake structure. Stripers shut down with the cold front and the top water bite has hit a brief standstill with the colored water. Spoons, jigs and Alabama rigs might be needed the next few days until the water clears, but don’t give up on throwing a Cordell C-10 Redfin near major points on the river channels. Bream are still fair and being caught around brush in the 20-foot range. Crappie are still good and being caught near brush with minnows or crappie jigs in 6 to 14 feet of water. Catfish are still fair and being caught on trotlines fished near main lake and secondary points.

Lake Hamilton
(Updated 4-16-2014) Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs  said the water temperature is in the lower 60s, and the lake level is full. Black bass are bedding on the lower end of the lake. Good fish are being caught on floating worms, jerk baits and Carolina rigs. Most fish are being caught in 5 feet of water and less. Crappie are shallow also and being caught around brush in 6 feet of water and less.  White bass are on the end of their run in major creeks.

Lake Catherine

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

(Updated 4-16-2014) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said water temperature below Carpenter Dam has risen to 52 degrees with stained conditions in the tailrace. Storms early in the week forced Entergy to open flood gates to keep area lakes at normal levels. Flows are now greatly reduced, but generation will continue until Lake Ouachita is out of flood pool. This process will last until early next week. As conditions return to normal, bank fishermen can target very good numbers of rainbow trout below the dam. Slack water periods favor bank fishermen who have caught quality limits of trout on wax and meal worms, redworms, nightcrawlers, and crickets used with a bobber or fished off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Corn and Power Bait also are highly effective presentations. Spin fishermen continue to hook rainbows on Rooster Tails and Little Cleos in white or silver around sand bars and rock structure. Micro-jigs fished under a weighted bobber have produced good catches in areas protected from the current. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current is a prime technique in the non-stop generation. White and hybrid bass are also being caught by trollers which are beginning to spawn in the tailrace. Jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and 1/8-ounce jigs have all proven effective over shallow structure. Live shad tightlined over deep water close to the dam works well when the generators are not running. Crappie are in spawning mode but the radical changes in temperature have played havoc on a consistent bite. Live minnows, jigs, and small spinnerbaits will all catch crappie but patience is key. Freshwater drum are migrating into the area, chasing shad and preparing to spawn. Nightcrawler rigs with heavy lines are a best bet for these fish which are strong fighters. Striper action is scarce, but will improve as May approaches and the threadfin shad migration begins.

Lake Atkins
(Updated 3-19-2014) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the lake is clear and up a little at Lake Atkins. Several bass over 7 lbs. have been caught over the past few days. There also have been reports of crappie being caught below the spillway on minnows. Catfish and some bream are biting in very deep waters on crawlers and redworms.

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 4-2-2014) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the river is clear and the surface temperature is at 48 degrees. Crappie are fair on minnows in the brush piles along the channel. Bass are fair on soft-plastic worms and creature baits. Walleye seem to have disappeared lately.

Maddox Bay
(Updated 3-26-2014) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is still on the rise and dingy. The surface water temperature is 58 degrees. Crappie and catfish are fair on yo-yos baited with minnows. There haven’t been many good reports on crappie or catfish by pole fishermen. Bass are excellent.

Courtesy Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

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