Arkansas weekly fishing report By Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Lure of the Week: To familiarize new anglers with the huge variety of lures available, we will be using the fishing tip section to describe a new lure every week.
Rebel Crawdad – Not many anglers visiting a stream or river head to the water without a few Rebel Crawdads tucked away in their tackle box. This crankbait has been a favorite with anglers and bass ever since their introduction. Smallmouth are especially fond of these realistic little critter baits.
Lake Conway: Bates Field and Stream said the lake is clear and at normal pool. Crappie fishing is fair in 31/2 to 6 feet of water on minnows and white-and-chartreuse jigs. Bass are good in early mornings and late evenings on white or chartreuse buzzbaits and Zoom Horny Toads fished around lily pads. Dark plastic worms are catching a few fish near pads. Catfishing is fair on trotlines, yo-yos and jugs baited with cut shad.
Little Red River: Lindsey’s Resort said the river is clear and at normal levels. There has been one generator running a few hours every afternoon. Trout fishing is good on yellow Power Bait, wax worms and chartreuse Little Cleos and Rooster Tails.
Greers Ferry: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 453.00 feet MSL.
Shiloh Marina said the lake is clear and 81/2 feet below normal pool. Hybrid and white bass are schooling early in the afternoons around Davis Creek, Piney Point, Cove creek and anywhere they can push shad tight to the banks. The best lures to use are CC Spoons and top-water lures. Catfishing is good on throw lines and jugs baited with blood bait. Walleye are biting well on minnows fished on Lindy rigs.
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water temperature is 75 degrees and falling. The bass fishing has been pretty tough as most all the fish are in a transition and are scattered from 6 inches to 60 feet deep and can be caught a number of ways. One more week of this cool weather should establish some good patterns. The hybrids are still day-to-day great or not-so-great. If you can find them, you can slaughter them, but the next day you cannot catch one. The catfish are still good all over the lake. Bream and crappie are mostly 20 feet or shallower around docks or brush piles. Walleye have slowed some and are in a transition also.
Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing said the clarity is good for Harris Brake, and the water level is low. Crappie fishing is good in the mornings on jigs fished in brush piles resting 4 feet deep. Bass fishing is good around the weed beds and in the coves on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits in the morning and on soft-plastics later in the day. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets fished around stumps and brush in 4 to 6 feet of water.
Lake Overcup: Lakeview Landing said the lake is clear and low. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets around shallow stumps. Crappie are biting well in 10 to 11 feet of water in the middle of the lake on jigs and minnows. Bass fishing is good on Smithwick Rattlin’ Rouges and Devil’s Horses on the north side of the lake. Catfish are fair on minnows and live bait.
Little Maumelle River: River Valley Bait said the river has been at normal level and clarity. All species have been poor lately with the drastic changes in temperature.
Lake Cargile: Beeson’s Grocery said the fishing has been slow and not many anglers have been visiting the lake.
Lake Maumelle: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bass fishing has been fair to good on white spinnerbaits and white Zoom Flukes fished in shallow water. Catfishing is fair to good on cut bait, rice field slicks and minnows.
Arkansas River (Little Rock area): Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bass fishing has been fair to good on buzzbaits fished around jetty points. Quite a few catfish have been brought in on trotlines baited with live shad. Striper fishing has been good early in the morning around the Murray Hydroelectric plant. Try chartreuse Sassy Shads, Twistertails or split tails. Catfish have also been good around the plant on shad, slicks and nightcrawlers.
Pickthorne Lake: Outdoor Super Store said the lake is stained and low. Crappie are biting well on red-and-yellow jigs fished in 5 feet of water along the levee edges. Bass are biting well on Carolina-rigged soft-plastic worms in 5 feet of water. They are schooling on the surface in the evening. Catfish are fair on chicken livers out in the middle of the lake.
Sunset Lake: Turbyfill’s said the lake is at normal levels and is clear. Bream are fair in 8 feet of water on worms. Bass fishing is good in 4 to 6 feet of water on soft plastics and top-water lures. Catfishing is fair on blood bait and other prepared baits.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill’s said the river is low and the water clarity is fair. Bream are biting fair in 4 to 6 feet of water on worms fished around brush piles. Crappie are fair on pink minnows fished in 4 to 6 feet of water. Smallmouth bass are good on top-water lures and chartreuse and orange Rogues in the current. Catfishing has been poor.
Terry Lock and Dam: McSwain Sports Center said the water is fairly clear and at normal levels. Stripers are biting well on CC Spoons, Bass minnows and chartreuse jigs. Catfishing has been poor lately.
Clear Lake: McSwain Sports Center said the lake is clearing up and the water is high. Bream are biting fair in 3 to 4 feet of water on crickets. Crappie are biting fair in the shallow water on minnows. Bass are biting well in 2 to 3 feet of water on bloodline worms fished tight to cover. Catfishing has been poor.
White River: Gaston’s White River Resort said the river has seen some low water in the mornings, but the generators are turning on around 2-4 p.m. in the evenings. Trout fishing has been good. A 27-pound brown trout was caught last week. Waxworks and yellow Power Bait are working well, as are Little Cleos, Rooster Tails and small Husky Jerks. When the water is up, red worms are working well.
Wilderness Trail said fishing for trout on the White River has been good on Berkley Power Eggs in yellow and white or Power Nuggets in orange and chartreuse. With generation the Buoyant Spoons, Rooster Tails and Little Cleos are the bait of choice. Fly fishermen did well on olive Woolly Buggers, olive scuds and sow bugs. Brown trout are being caught on jointed Countdowns, nightcrawlers and Rogues.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 647.49 feet MSL.
Wilderness Trail said the lake temperature starts at 74.5 in the morning, warming to 77.8 by mid-day. The thermocline moved up to 32 feet. Crappie are moving from the brush piles toward the points and back again, so you have to locate them. Crappie minnows on a slip bobber are working best. Swimming Minnows and tubes on 1/16-ounce jigheads are working well with a slow retrieve. The bass are in transition as the fall weather patterns continue to change the condition of the lake. Largemouth can be found on the banks in the back of the creeks and main lake coves in the morning. The best technique is to throw Zara Spook Jrs., Chug Bugs or buzzbaits until the sun is up shining on the water. During the day the largemouth are moving out to structure in the 30- to 32-foot range. Carolina rigs and football jigs are the best baits to fish at that depth. Smallmouth bass have moved up on the points and banks in the last week. Small crankbaits and top-water Pop R’s or Chug Bugs will trigger the aggressive smallies in the mornings. After the sun is up, fish spider jigs, tubes or finesse worms on a Mojo rig. Kentucky bass are very hard to find now that the shad are on the move. Look for frenzy feeding throughout the day and throw Pop R’s, Spit’N Images, Lucky Craft Pointers and spoons into the feeding area. Throughout the day fish secondary points in the main lake pockets with tubes, grubs and Mojo-rigged finesse baits. Walleye are still in the thermocline but they will move toward the banks as the lake cools. Vertically fishing spoons is still working well in 30 to 38 feet of water around points and the outside of feeding flats. Long liners are trolling small baits on lead core line and having great success with Glass Shad, Purple Hot’N Tots, Purple Shad Raps and Bill Norman Deep Little N’s.
Sugar Loaf Harbor said crappie have been biting well on live minnows in 25 to 30 feet of water along the bluffs. Bass fishing has been good on CC Spoons in 29 to 45 feet of water. Catfish are biting well on jugs baited with goldfish. Nice-size walleye have been coming from spoons vertically jigged in 29 to 40 feet of water.
Lake Norfork: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 542.71 feet MSL.
Cranfield Junction Quik Stop said the lake is clear and around 10 feet low. Bream are biting well on red worms and crickets fished around the brush next to the shoreline. Black bass are biting well early in the morning on top-water lures and buzzbaits. Jigs and plastic worms are also working during the day over the points in 25-35 feet of water. Hybrids are biting well on spoons, swim baits and umbrella rigs fished in 35-45 feet of water. Catfishing is good on cut bait and nightcrawlers fished on trotlines or jugs over major points and creek turns. Crappie fishing has been best at night on minnows and jigs fished over brush piles 35 feet deep.
Beaver Lake: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,108.28 feet MSL.
Southtown Sporting Goods said the lake is clear and about 15 feet low. Bream are fair along shallow banks on crickets. Crappie fishing is good around 6 to 12 feet deep on minnows and brush piles. Bass are fair during the day on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and top-water lures fished over 15 to 30 feet of water and good at night on spinnerbaits, jigs and soft-plastics in 2 to 10 feet of water.
Hickory Creek Marina said the water level is low, but the clarity is ideal. With the cooling trend, spinnerbaits and crankbaits on the flats and long points are the places to head to for black bass. If you’re looking for stripers, they’re holding in the open waters on the lower end of the lake. Once the water temperature reaches 65 degrees, they should make their push to the rivers. Crappie fishermen are doing well under lights at night along drop-offs in 12 to 15 feet of water. Spider riggers are also having some good luck in Big Hickory, Eden Bluff and the Mouth of War Eagle Creek. White bass have been moving with the shad. Look for surface activity in the early morning and late evening. Jigging spoons have been producing good catches around balls of shad near the surface activity. The best action is coming from across the water intake and across from Eden Bluff. Incidental catfish catches continue with crappie fishermen and white bass anglers. The bluff line at Hickory Creek is still producing some large cats. Try fishing a large minnow underneath a slip-bobber rig at about 30 feet deep for the best luck.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock said the lake is low. Very few anglers were out last week. About three boats saw the water all week. A few bass have been caught on spinnerbaits and crankbaits.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock said the lake is about 6 feet low and the water is clear. Bream are biting fair in 4 to 10 feet of water on worms and crickets fished near brush piles and stumps. Crappie fishing is fair in 4 to 10 feet of water on jigs and minnows. Bass fishing is fair in 4 to 8 feet of water on spinnerbaits, soft-plastic worms and buzzbaits fished near the weed beds and lily pads. Catfish are fair under the bridge in 10 feet of water. Channel cats are biting well on worms, chicken livers and goldfish. A 60-pound flathead was caught on Saturday with shiners.
Beaver Tailwaters: No report this week.
Kings River: Kings River Outfitters said the river is still very low. Big largemouth and smallmouth bass are being caught on buzzbaits and top-water lures. Crawling grubs and tubes are taking bass on the bottom. Wade fishing has been easy at most accesses.
Lake Hogue: The tilapia bite is still going strong on Hogue, but there are only a few more weeks until the water temperature gets too cool and the fish begin to die. Get out and stock up the freezer for the winter.
White River: Local fisherman Jeff Moore said the White River at Batesville is 7.7 feet. Fishing on the river has picked up with the cooler days and reduced number of people on the river. Trout fishing in the Guion area is fair and trout can be caught with a variety of baits from corn to countdowns. The best method is to anchor fish using corn, Power Bait or worms. Artificial baits such as inline spinners and countdowns are working too. Smallmouth fishing on the river continues to be good. The average size is 8 to 10 inches, but if a person stays at it they can catch a limit of 12 inch or better fish. Most of the smallmouth seem to be in or near the main river rocks. Tube baits and small crankbaits are working the best. Largemouth bass are in and around the river grass. Frogs and buzzbaits pulled over and through the grass are working the best. Small jig-and-pig combos and flukes pitched to the lay downs are working well too. Catfish are biting well beneath the dams. Uncle Doc’s prepared bait has produced some nice stringers of fish.
Bream are ganged up under just about every bush in or near the mouth of the creeks with crickets and worms working well.
Lake Charles: Powhatan Landing said the lake has come up a little the last week. Bass fishing is fair on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits during low-light hours. Catfish are fair on trotlines baited with nightcrawlers.
Black River: Powhatan Landing said the river flow has increased a little lately. Catfishing is fair on nightcrawlers.
Spring River: Many Islands Camp said the river is running clear and low. Trout fishing has been good on Rooster Tails fished across the current and salmon eggs drifted with the current. This will be the last report for the season on Spring River.
Lake Chicot: Lake Chicot State Park said not many anglers are visiting the lake lately with the increase in gas price and the opening of the hunting seasons.
Millwood Lake: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.38 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water temperature ranges from 74 to 80 degrees. Discharge at the dam is 603 cubic feet per second. Largemouth bass are good, and 2-3 pound bass are still schooling upriver. The best times are mid-day in and around Hurricane Creek, Mud Lake, White Cliffs and Cemetery Slough areas. The rise in lake level from the recent rains, and cooler temperatures have the bass in a feeding frenzy. White Heddon Dying Flutters, clear Baby or Tiny Torpedoes, buzzbaits and Johnson spoons all are catching the schoolers on top the last few days. Zoom Horny Toads in watermelon/red, or Bass Assassin Shads in gizzard shad or baby bass colors, and the Johnson spoons are taking good size bass in the vegetation. Gold spoons seem to be working better on hazy or cloudy days. Berkley 10″ Power Worms in blue fleck colors and Zoom Brush Hogs in watermelon/red are taking keeper bass along the river where stumps are present. Southern Pro Fatbutt Gitzits are taking fish along cypress tree root wads and knees. The crankbait bite continues to improve on stumps in Little River. The best crankbait bite continues to be by positioning the boat downstream from the stumps and standing timber, and throwing upcurrent, swimming the crank down stream to the stump, slowing or stopping at the tree or stump, then deflecting off the stump, and stop again. Crappie remain best early in the mornings, although the Crappie bite is shifting. The best bite this week was on white grubs or jigs, 10 to 14 feet deep, in contact with planted brush piles and tops. The best bite has shifted to later in the morning. The catfish bite is good on live shiners or cut bait on yo-yos under cypress trees in the oxbow lakes 6-8 feet deep, and on trot lines in Little River set at 12-15 feet depth in the current. White bass are still randomly schooling in Little River near the black bass, and are hitting 1/4 to 1/2 oz Rat-L-Traps in chrome, white, or chrome/chartreuse colors. Good areas to try are Little River around White Cliffs, McGuire Lake and AR Highway 71 landing.
White Oak Lake: Charlie’s One Stop said the lake is low. Crappie are biting well all over the lower lake on minnows. All other species have been slow.
Lake Greeson: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 536.49 feet MSL.
Lakeside Grocery, Motel/Bait Shop said the lake is clear. Crappie are biting well in 10 to 15 feet of water on minnows fished near the brush piles and stumps. Bass are biting well on top-water lures next to the bank. Catfish are biting well on worms, minnows and chicken livers. The best action has come from rod-and-reel fishermen, but a few trotliners are bringing in fish as well.
DeGray Lake: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 396.77 feet MSL.
Point Cedar Bait Shop said the lake is extremely low. Crappie fishing is good on minnows fished over rocky points near the main channel of the creeks.
DeGray One Stop said the water level is still low on DeGray. The recent storms kept many people off the water, but some anglers did brave the waves. Bream fishing is good in 25 to 35 feet of water on crickets fished along roadbeds and on the islands. Crappie are fair at night along the creek channels and rocky points in 18 to 28 feet of water. Hybrids and black bass are good in the early and late hours of the day on top-water lures and Roostertails. The most action has been around Edgewood, the mouth of Brushy Creek and the Caddo Bend area. Catfishing is fair on live bait fished under jugs and noodles in 18 to 25 feet of water.
Little Missouri River: There is little action going on in the Little Missouri because trout stockings have not been reinstated to the river yet.
Lake Dardanelle: Early Bird Outfitters said the lake is at normal pool. Bream fishing is fair around 3 feet deep on crickets and worms worked close to grass points. Stripers are fair in the morning and evening near Nuclear One intake canal on spoons and live bait. Bass are fair on crankbaits fished shallow, around the rocks. Catfish are good on chicken livers and live bait all over the lake.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart said the lake is at normal pool. Bass fishing has been good on spinnerbaits fished near the rocky points and outcroppings in 5 to 6 feet of water. Catfish are biting well on shad and livers in the river channel below the dam.
Lake Ouachita: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 568.15 feet MSL.
Lake Ouachita State Park Marina said the lake is clear and about 10 feet low. Bream fishing is good on the outside edge of the moss beds on crickets in 15 to 18 feet of water. Striped bass are breaking early in the morning until one hour past daylight. Most of the stripers are between 6 and 12 pounds and are hitting small topwaters. Spotted bass are holding on deep rocky points and secondary points in 20 to 30 feet of water and are biting well on 4-inch worms and crawfish. Catfish are biting excellently on chicken livers anywhere you can find flowing water. No report on crappie.
Lake Catherine: Trader Bill’s Sport Shop said the lake is clear and at normal pool. Bream are biting well around 5 feet deep on nightcrawlers and crickets fished near brush piles and stumps. White bass are breaking in the main channel. Black bass are biting well on top-water lures and buzzbaits fished over the creek channels in shallow water. Catfishing is good on live bait in the mouths of the creeks.
Lake Hamilton: Trader Bill’s Sport Shop said the lake is clear and at normal pool. Bream are biting well around stumps and brush piles in 5 feet of water. Bass are biting well in the early morning on small buzzbaits and Horny Toads fished over creek channels. Catfishing is good on live bait at the mouths of the creeks. White bass are breaking in the main channel on top-water lures.
Lake Hinkle: Bill’s Bait Shop said the lake is clear and in good shape. Fishing has been poor for crappie and bream, with both species holding deep. Bass have been good. They are schooling around the lake and biting top-water lures and some soft plastics. Their surface activity has been randomly scattered around the lake. Catfish are good on trotlines baited with sunfish, worms or chicken livers.
Lake Atkins: Lucky Landing said the lake is clear and at normal pool. Crappie fishing is nothing short of amazing right now. The papermouths are holding in 8 feet of water in the coves. Drifting minnows and jigs across the open water underneath a slip cork is bringing a lot of fish to the boat.
Lake Nimrod: As of Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 342.27 feet MSL.
Lake Nimrod Bait ‘n’ More II said the lake is a little low but that’s normal for this time of year. Catfish are biting well on large minnows, worms, turkey livers, or stinkbait. They’re also biting yo-yos baited with goldfish. Bass are biting well on plastic worms. Bream were slow on crickets and worms last week. Crappie have been good on minnows and jigs around 13 feet deep.
Arkansas River: Tackle Box said the river was muddy from the recent rains last week. No good reports have come in from the river lately.
Felsenthal: Crossroads said the water is a little dingy, but has a greenish tint. Bream are fair on worms. Crappie are biting black-and-chartreuse jigs on flat waters around the refuge. Bass are biting well on white flukes and other soft plastics around the lily pads in the flat waters. Catfish are biting well on worms and chicken livers in the upper and lower river.
Cox Creek Lake: Sanders Pawn and Bait said crappie fishing is fair at night on minnows and jigs around 3 feet deep. Some fish have been caught off the dock from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Old Town Lake: Old Town Fish Camp said the lake is clear and 1 foot below normal pool. Bluegill are biting well in 2 feet of water on crickets fished in the brush piles. Crappie are biting fair and are picking up. Anglers are doing the best on minnows, and black jigs fished right against the stumps. Bass are biting well on buzzbaits and other top-water lures fished around the brush. Catfish are good on just about every kind of live or prepared bait.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff): The tackle box said the water is slightly stained and at normal level. Bream are biting well in 1 foot of water on crickets and worms fished near the brush. Crappie are moving shallow and are biting minnows fished in brush 5-6 feet deep. Bass are holding in the shallow water and are biting spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on worms and chicken livers.
River City Sporting Goods said the river is stained with little to no flow. Bream are biting well in 3 to 6 feet of water on worms and crickets fished in the brush. Crappie are slow, but some fair catches are coming in from anglers fishing brush piles and other wood structure in 12 to 15 feet of water with black and chartreuse jigs. Bass are fair on top-water chuggers fished close to the bank. Catfishing is fair on worms and chicken livers in 30 feet of water.
Maddox Bay: Maddox Bay Landing said the lake is low and clear. Bream are biting excellently on crickets and popping bugs teamed up with a Bream Killer dropper in 2 feet of water near boat docks, trees and other structure. Crappie fishing is fair in 4 to 6 feet of water on minnows and jigs fished near brush piles and stumps. Bass fishing is good on soft-plastic worms and spinnerbaits along steep banks from 2 to 5 feet of water. Catfish are good on stinkbait in the rivers and the bay.
Midway Lake: Ed’s Boat Camp said the lake is too low for fishing.
Bear Creek Lake: Six Rivers Sport Center said the lake is a foot low. Shellcrackers have been biting well on red wigglers fished 3-feet deep in the coves. Crappie and bass have been slow. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers.
Horseshoe Lake: Local fisherman Clyde Gregory said the lake is low and falling, but it last weekend was a good time to be on the water. Crappie are biting well in 11 feet of water and deeper on minnows fished on a slip-bobber rig. Bass from 3 to 5 pounds were biting well on spinnerbaits fished in and around lily pads and trees. Catfishing was good on worms, rice field slicks and stinkbait. Bream were fair around cypress trees in 3 feet of water.
White River Refuge Lakes: Ed’s Bait Shop said a few fishermen were out, but the only folks stopping by the store were out after deer and squirrels