June 13, 2018
Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for June 13, 2018. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email AGFCfishingreport@outlook.com with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Conway will be in effect through March 1, 2019. The irrigation restriction will allow the AGFC to apply Environmental Protection Agency-approved aquatic herbicides to treat and reduce the spread of alligator weed, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant. Herbicides used will not cause harm to aquatic organisms, such as fish, and are not harmful to people or wildlife that may come into contact with treated vegetation or water. Herbicides that will be used have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. Therefore, the AGFC strongly recommends adjacent landowners DO NOT irrigate water from Lakes Conway for lawn or garden use during this period.
(updated 6-13-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) tells us that the water is at the usual “Lake Conway stain” while the surface water temperature is 88 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are good. They are around brush piles and biting redworms and crickets. The crappie bite has taken a turn, with poor reports. The crappie that will bite are around the cypress trees and prefer minnows or small jigs. Bass are good. Anglers report good bites throughout the lake. Use a crankbait, plastic worms, topwater plugs and frogs. Catfishing is good with crickets, nightcrawlers and Magic Bait.
(updated 6-6-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said bream are excellent. Anglers were fishing the piers and looking for the bite in 4-8 feet depth with redworms and crickets. Bass were fair. They’re active in the grass beds at a depth of 3-4 feet. Use a crankbait.
Little Red River
(updated 6-13-2018) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red River is receiving a few hours of early afternoon and/or evening generation. This schedule pattern provides great wading opportunities on the upper river in mornings and lower river in afternoons. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends soft hackles, midges, hare’s ears, sowbugs and streamers. Pink and cotton-candy-colored bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Remember to practice your best boating, canoeing/kayaking and wading etiquette and be safe while enjoying the Little Red River. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.
(updated 6-13-2018) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said June has been hot but the river remains cool. The daily generation has helped the water temperature and the bite has been good. Timing seems to be the key to a good day. Fishing the section of the river when the water is low and clear with small flies has been the key to my fishermen’s success. Size 16 and 18 mayfly nymphs and size 20 midge pupas seem to be the best choices. Generation has been in the afternoons. Usually starting about 2 p.m. and lasting from 2 to 5 hours. This is a normal summertime pattern when the heat increases power demand. Fishermen can check the next-day generation at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock office (a free app on cell phones), by clicking SWPA Forecast or by calling 866-494-1993.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.25 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).
(updated 6-13-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 462.26 feet msl, 0.28 feet below normal pool for this time of year and falling with generation, and it will continue to do so. The overall catching is good all around the lake and getting better every day, and will until it gets extremely hot. Bass catching is good using topwater baits, swimbaits, Flukes, drop-shot rigs with variety of different baits, windblown spinnerbait fish, crankbaits, jigs ,Texas-rigged worms and C-rigs from right on the shoreline out to 45 feet all over the lake. Stay with the bait. Crappie are eating well, too, in standing pole timber, over, in and around brush piles, all over the lake in 12-18 feet of water on beetle spins, jigs, small crankbaits and live bait. The bream action is good all around the lake on crickets, nightcrawlers, small crankbaits, inline spinners and flies, real shallow out to 20 feet of water. Catfishing is going good right now with the flatheads spawning all over the lake, and all other species eating cut bait and live bait just about any way you want to present it to them. The bite is picking up on soap as well. The hybrid and white bass bite is off the charts for numbers of whites and big hybrids. They will eat spoons, inline spinners, topwater baits, swimbaits – stay around the shad in water from 22-60 feet of water. There are just specific times of the day to catch the big hybrids, and the night bite is picking up as well. There have been several fish in the low 20s and upper teens being caught. The walleye are eating crawlers and crankbaits on flats a variety of ways in 12-18 feet of water.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 6-13-2018) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is clear and the surface water temperature is 88 degrees. Water level is normal. Bream are good on crickets or worms. Crappie action has been poor; little reported. Bass are good and will hit spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfish are good. Try worms, stink bait or chicken liver.
NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Overcup will be in effect through March 1, 2019. The irrigation restriction will allow the AGFC to apply Environmental Protection Agency-approved aquatic herbicides to treat and reduce the spread of alligator weed, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant. Herbicides used will not cause harm to aquatic organisms, such as fish, and are not harmful to people or wildlife that may come into contact with treated vegetation or water. Herbicides that will be used have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. Therefore, the AGFC strongly recommends adjacent landowners DO NOT irrigate water from Lakes Overcup for lawn or garden use during this period.
(updated 6-13-2018) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said the water level is about normal and clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 87 degrees. Crappie are being caught in deeper water fishing with jigs and minnows 3-6 feet deep. Not catching a lot but are catching some good ones 15-16 inches. Bream are doing well with crickets, worms and Rock Hoppers. They are on the beds. Bass are doing well around brush tops and structure around the shoreline. They are chasing the new spawn of shad. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotlines with bream and trotline minnows. “Come see us at Overcup Bait Shop off Highway 9.”
(updated 6-13-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said anglers were enjoying great fishing the past week. The lake has clear clarity and the level has been normal. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Anglers are catching their limit of crappie, with the fish being caught in 12-18 feet depth. Use minnows and fish the brush piles. Bass are good. Throw spinnerbaits, crankbaits or jigs and work a depth of 10-12 feet. Catfish are good on worms and crickets.
(updated 6-13-2018) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said Tuesday night anglers in their weekly tournament pulled in whopping amounts of black bass, with a 21.88 pound stringer winning for Josh Jeffers and Josh Baker. They found a Big Bass of 6.74 pounds, too. Matt Hedrick and Brandon Crain caught five bass weighing 15.98 pounds, and even third place caught 12 pounds. Obviously, the black bass bite is excellent, Roger Nesuda says. The warm (80s) water has moved the largemouth bass out of the spawn areas and some are just outside the grass. Try using Zoom Trick Worms, crankbaits, jerkbaits and jigs fished in 6-8 feet and 10-15 feet of water. A few can also be caught in shallow water on Pop-Rs, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. You’ll get the best bite during dusk and at dawn on largemouths. Meanwhile, the spotted bass bite is good. Kentuckies are off the grass line and also about 8-12 feet deep. Fish the rocky shoreline or points for best results, using a crankbait or jig. White bass are good. A few reports of whites schooling but not staying up for long. Some anglers say the whites are moving in. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons, deep-diving Bandits, and Bombers. Crappie are good. More reports have come in of crappie found near brush piles and structures anywhere from 12-15 feet depth. Try using spider rigs and minnows early in the morning or later in the evening. Bream are good and being caught on top of the bream beds in 6-8 feet depth and around brush piles. Try using crickets, worms or jigs anywhere from 3-12 feet depth. Catfishing has been excellent. More reports this week of the channel cats starting to move out and the blues coming in. Try stink bait and bream around 8-10 feet and 20 feet deep. Had another 40-pound catfish caught last week off the shoreline.
(updated 6-6-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said crappie are reported biting fair. They’re in 5-10 feet depth and around brush piles. Minnows are working best.
(updated 5-30-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said the crappie bite is fair around brush piles and rocky points. Fish minnows in about 5-10 feet depth for best results. Water level and current are normal.
(updated 6-13-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that while it hasn't been stocked since May 8, some anglers are still catching a few of those catfish. They been using chicken livers and No. 12 bass minnows. Bream have been good on crickets, especially on the back side closer to the interstate and on the bridge going to the other side. Crappie have been fair on No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Bass have been hitting topwater baits, especially scum frogs and spinnerbaits. Don't forget, bass must be released immediately and the limit on catfish is 3 per person. Let the kids have a chance at catching fish. Sunset Lake will be stocked on June 23 for the Hooked on Fishing Derby, put on by the Benton Police Department and the AGFC. Good news this year the derby will be on a Saturday; that way, more people will be able to bring their kids. The tournament is open to boys and girls ages 12 and under. It will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Contact the Benton Police Department at 776-5948 for details.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 6-13-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said that in the front pond, a lot of little bream have been caught off of crickets. Some nice bass have been caught off of plastic worms; red shad seem to be a good color as well as bubble gum color. The back pond and Hurricane Creek that runs behind the two ponds have been producing some nice bream off of crickets and redworms. A few good catfish have been doing well on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and No. 12 bass minnows. Bass been hitting live crawfish and crankbaits. Crappie have been OK on No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows .
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 6-13-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said smallmouth and spotted bass have been good on 4-inch green pumpkin lizards and No. 12 bass minnows. Crappie have been good on No. 6 crappie minnows and 2-inch Kalin’s Tennessee Shad Grubs. Catfish have been good on trotlines with goldfish and black salties. Bream have been plentiful using crickets.
(updated 6-13-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been fair on nightcrawlers and black salties. Bass have been hitting No. 12 bass minnows and live crawfish. Bream are being caught off of crickets tight-lining with them; the deeper you go, the bigger the bream. Crappie have been doing so-so on No. 6 crappie minnows; it’s a very hard lake to crappie fish.
(updated 6-13-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) in Benton said Lake Sylvia has been a hot spot of late. Anglers have been having great success catching catfish using chicken livers.
(updated 5-30-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says catfishing are excellent. Use nightcrawlers, chicken livers and chicken hearts. Water level is normal, no other conditions were reported.
(updated 5-30-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says bream are excellent. Fish around the piers in 4-8 feet depth for the best bite, using worms or crickets. Bass are fair and are cruising in 3-4 feet of water on the north side of the lake in grass beds. Anglers report using buzzbaits, a shallow crankbait and Texas rigs.
(updated 6-13-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been great on live crawfish and also on Sonny's Super Sticky Dip Bait. Crappie have been good on size 6 crappie minnows. Bream are doing well off of crickets. Bass have been going after the size 12 bass minnows and crankbaits, especially in Tennessee Shad color .
(updated 5-30-2018) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said there have been few boaters on the river. Black bass are going for topwater baits like buzzbaits, jitterbugs and Zara Spooks. Midday, go to worms (red with rattles), lizards and pull through the grass, then let fall. Also work around the jetties. White bass are biting late or early at the tips of jetties or where you see shad on top. Used shad-colored and pearl crankbaits. Catfish are biting early in 6-10 feet. Bream are nesting on sandbars and also on the grass lines. Use crickets. Crappie are around wood structure in 8-15 feet deep. Use jigs. No report on stripers.
(updated 6-13-2018) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said that while conditions are hot, anglers were enjoying above average fishing. The water clarity is clear, and the water and current are normal. Bream are good on worms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows or jigs. Bass are good on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are good on worms and chicken liver. White bass reports were fair.
(updated 6-6-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said the water level and current are normal. Crappie are fair in 5-10 feet depth around brush piles and rocky points. Use minnows.
(updated 6-6-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is excellent around Murray Dam using skipjack, slicks and by snagging when the water is flowing. Reports on white bass have been fair. They’re biting large white twister tails and spoons. Some redear have been caught by the hydro wall at the dam.
(updated 6-13-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river is dingy. Surface water temperature was 89 degrees Tuesday. The level and current are normal. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are good for anglers using crappie tubes. Fish them at 10 feet depth. Bass are good with a crankbait. Catfish are good off the Murray Dam area, with shad working best.
(updated 6-13-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and the temperature has been ranging from the high 70s to the low 80s. Bream are excellent on the river in the backwaters. Fish for them in 2-3 feet depth with crickets. Crappie are deeper and the bite is good on red jigs. Bass are good. They’re hitting crankbaits; use a Black Bandit. Catfishing is good below the dam. They’re preferring skipjack. White bass are evident in the main river early in the day and the bite is fair.
(updated 6-13-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said that near the Terry Lock and Dam, water level and current are normal, while the water clarity has cleared. Bream are good on worms or crickets. The crappie bite is good; use minnows or jigs. Bass are fair on crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Catfish reports were poor.
(updated 6-6-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that catfishing reports near the Terry Dam were fair by snagging or using skipjack. Water level is normal. At the other end of the pool, at Murray Dam, catfishing is excellent using skipjack. White bass are excellent. Use white twister tails and spoons.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 6-13-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the clarity is clear and the water level and current are normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are good on worms or crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is still poor.
(updated 6-13-2018) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reported the clarity as clear and the water level is still high. The bream bite turned back around to good this week. Anglers are have good luck with both worms and crickets. Crappie reports were good. Trolling is the way to go with a jig, or use minnows. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish reports are good. Use worms, blood bait or stink bait.
(updated 6-13-2018) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says the water is high and the fish are growing. Bull Shoals Lake still sits above its normal pool, so the White River has been running fast this week. Drift-fishing has been producing excellent rainbows and a few browns. The brown bite has been a little slow this past week, probably due to higher water flows. Larger stocked fish and this year's new regulations on rainbows, as well as the high water, are working to grow our rainbows; 13-inch fish are not uncommon. Drifting minnows over the deeper holes has been an excellent tactic this week. Stock up on red wrigglers; shrimp and worms have been doing well to catch the fattened-up rainbows. Drifting the White before the summer heat sets in is a great way to spend the day.
(updated 6-13-2018) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the air temperature is hot, but the water is cold and just right. Clarity is about 50-50, they say. And the river level is normal with two generators running. The trout bite has been good this week. Rainbows are favoring River Riggies. There has been a small group of browns in the 19-22-inch range and they were biting stick baits.
(updated 6-13-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said last weekend that during the past week, they had a rain event bringing more than an inch in Cotter, along with warmer temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 1.3 feet to rest at 8.6 feet above seasonal power pool of 662 feet msl. This is 24.4 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at 0.2 feet above seasonal power pool and 13.8 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.9 feet to rest at 4.1 feet above seasonal power pool and 4.5 feet below the top of flood pool. The White had more generation and little wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are now above the top of power pool. With warmer weather and increased power demand for air conditioning, we can expect more generation in the near future particularly in the afternoons. The White has fished much better of late. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. There are caddis coming off. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite is a size 14 red fox squirrel nymph with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. Use lead to get your flies down.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 668.83 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).
(updated 5-31-2018) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said last Thursday the lake level was at 672 feet msl, and it is still about 13 feet above pool. The fish are still on the bushes for the most part. Water temps are about 82 degrees up to 90 depending on where you're at or by the end of the day. The topwater bite has been prevalent bite and it's been a lot of fun. It's been one of the better topwater bites that they've had in a while, and he hopes that stays that way. If you got a little bit of wind, you can catch them on a Whopper Popper. The Zara Spook is catching a few fish. As for color, Del will go to Lucky Craft Sammy, or Gunfish if the water’s a little clearer. The first part of the day is the best for the topwater bite. Del has been fishing primarily on the flats, any of those fields that are now under water or holding fish closer to the channel or where they can get to deep water. In isolated cover you can catch some on a popper now. A couple of things are going on: there has been full moon so there's a shad spawn and they’ve got the perch that are spawning, so that's kind of what you want to look for. I you find a baitfish you're going to find a fish. Now if it gets hot and sunny, you'll still get a wave of fish moving up topwater throughout the day, so after the first couple hours don't put it away necessarily. But if you do get some wind, which they haven't had much of, you can throw a spinnerbait around, a square bill on secondary points. Most of the largemouth seem to be in the bushes. Del says he’s catching them all the way in the backs and 2 foot of water all the way out to the main lake points. If you want to fish a little deeper, he’s still pulling some smallmouth on the Keitech fishing the isolated cover on the islands or the humps or the main lake points going out. Also he’s starting to pick up a few fish using the drop-shot. Before you know it, a lot of these fish are going to start moving out, he said. Some of the baitfish already are starting to move out of the creeks after that spawn. If you're going to target around docks you can also catch some fish; docks are going to be good off the secondary points, that's kind of where the docks are that Del is fishing, or on the flats. You can also use a jig around the dock; buzzbait or jig, you'll pick up a few more fish. It's getting hot so get out for the morning bite. If it's a hundred degrees out you’re probably not going to fish all day.
(updated 5-25-2018) K Dock Marina said the fish are biting. They have 82-degree water with great lake conditions. All species are hitting right now. The lake level last Friday was 672.2 feet msl (13 feet above normal). Water is clear. Black bass are good on topwater plugs and buzzbaits. Also good on medium crankbaits and jigs. Small plastics in flooded brush in the backs of coves are working. The plastic worm bite is coming soon. Walleye are good to great on small to medium crankbaits. They are really shallow right now, less than 10 feet. They are also hitting spoons and nightcrawlers. Crappie are good to fair on live minnows and swimming minnows. The crappie are scattered post-spawn down the shoreline and in coves around brush.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 561.23 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April 552.00 feet msl; April-September, 554.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-13-2018) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing is continuing to be outstanding. There is still a little topwater action right before sunrise and then again at sunset. Hybrids, whites, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are the fish coming up sporadically. Most species are located from about 18 feet of water out to 70 feet of water. The striped bass and hybrid bass bite is one of the best bites Lou says he’s seen in a while. This species has started to school, which makes it a lot of fun. When you find the school of fish, you have continuous action until you lose the school, then you are back to looking. Live bait is working very well, but artificial baits are working as well. Vertical-jig with a spoon, cast out a big swimbait and cast or troll an Alabama rig. Lou says what he has noticed over the last week is that the fish he marks from the surface down to approximately 30 feet are predominately hybrid and white bass. The large arcs marked 40-70 feet are typically striped bass. Striped bass need the cooler water, whereas the hybrids can tolerate the warmer water. He has been vertical-jigging with a spoon for the deeper fish, as these are the big boys. Tuesday morning Lou had his spoon down 65 feet in 70 feet of water and hooked into something big. It would not budge, but then he felt a headshake and it started to move slowly along the bottom. “This fish could not care less that it was hooked. I fought this fish for about 5 minutes, then the treble hook just pulled out. I will get this monster the next time.” The best locations now are partway back in creeks, whether it be a major or a secondary creek. The striped and hybrid bass are feeding on crawdads during the evening and are switching out to shad when the sun starts to come up. The best depths where Lou has found the fish is 50-100 feet of water.
Lou says the walleye bite is also very good. Most of the fish that his guests have caught are in 20-30 feet of water on the bottom. During the night if you are using a light to attract bait you will find this species suspended down about 20 feet. A crawler harness with a bottom-bouncing weight is working very well, but Lou has caught walleye jigging with a spoon on the bottom. Live shad or shiners are also picking up some nice fish especially after dark. The largemouth bass bite has been good, especially early and late in the day. Some topwater action up close to the shoreline, as well as out in deep water while they are chasing shad. Lou says he’s caught some nice fish on Zara Spooks, swimbaits and a blade-type bait. As the sun gets high in the sky, switch out to baits you work along the bottom in 15-25 feet of water. You will also still find some nice fish up in the sunken buckbrush, but most are deeper. The crappie bite is good if you can locate the fish. This is the time of year when they scatter into deeper, cooler water along bluff drop-offs or inside of deep brush piles. The best bite for crappie has still been in the shade of covered docks.
The Norfork Lake level is falling approximately 3-2 inches per day and sits at 561.5, which is only about 5 feet above normal seasonal pool. The surface water temperature is holding fairly stable and is currently in the mid-80s. The main lake is clear with a slight stain back in some of the coves. The lake is in absolutely great shape. “If you have not made your plans yet for your summer fishing and/or lake recreation vacation give us call. We have cabins available, 870-492-5113.”
(updated 6-13-2018) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the striper fishing on Norfork Lake continues to be very good for the first two hours each morning. Now that we are entering the dark moon phase, you can expect to find feeding stripers later in the morning on the flats in water depths 40-60 feet. Tom says they are still catching some stripers on long lines and planer boards, but each day their downline bite is increasing. This means the fish are staying under the thermocline and feeding on crawdads. “Later this month we will be fishing downlines and weighted floats as the stripers feed on the bottom.” Stripers are still being caught in the middle of the lake. Crystal Cove continues to have good action along with Float Creek, Panther Creek and Robinson Point. This will continue for most of June with Robinson Point being the hot spot for late June and early July. Tom says he has been watching some anglers trolling using big umbrella rigs catching stripers in deep water. The best bait is live shad, either threadfin or gizzard. Some stripers are being caught using small bluegills and shiners. The evening bite will pick up as we move into summer. Use the same techniques, but the best bite is usually the last 45 minutes of daylight. “Remember we are now in the summer period of striper fishing so you should stop releasing legal stripers caught on live bait. The slogan for the summer is ‘Catch Your Limit and Go Home.’ If you catch six fish and release four, two will die if not all of them. Catch your limit and quit for the day, save some fish,” he says.
(updated 6-13-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 2.2 feet to rest at 5.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 556.7 feet msl and 17.7 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had more generation and no wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes in the White River System are now above the top of power pool. With warmer weather and increased power demand for air conditioning, we can expect more generation in the near future. The water on the Norfork has cleared substantially and has fished much better. There have been some nice caddis hatches that have fished well. Navigate this stream with caution as things have changed a bit during flooding over the past year. There has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, Copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). The fishing is better in the morning. John’s favorite rig has been a red fox squirrel nymph with a ruby midge dropper.
Dry Run Creek has cleared and is fishing better. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10). John added, “Yesterday I guided a young man, Jessie, on Dry Run Creek. He has Down syndrome and I had very little experience interacting with kids with that condition. I decided that the best course of action was to treat him like any other kid fishing on Dry Run Creek. I met Jessie and his parents at McDonald’s for breakfast and I noted that he was excited about a day on the water and was ready to go.
“His dad is a minister and his mom is a teacher. The family is on a two-and-a-half-month sabbatical to travel and fish across the United States that will culminate in Alaska where Jessie’s siblings will link up with the family. Along the way he will indulge in his love of dinosaurs by visiting museums and participating in a dig for dinosaur bones in Wyoming.
“We drove over to Dry Run Creek to get an early start. We were the first ones there and wasted no time in getting on the water. Jessie quickly donned his waders as did his parents and I. The rod was already rigged. We walked down to one of my favorite spots and we were fortunate enough to land a nice fat rainbow on his first cast. I was impressed with his landing skill as he brought the twenty three inch bow to the net. It took a few more minutes for the next rainbow was caught.
“As we fished I took a quick inventory of his angling skills. He was a decent caster but didn’t know how to properly mend. I coached him and before the day was out he was mending like a pro. The only area he really needed to work on was his hook set. He was a bit slow and I carefully watched each drift to make sure that he reacted to each take. We missed several strikes despite my efforts.
“After a couple of hours, we moved up stream to another favorite area. It was a nice shady spot where mom and dad could sit on large rocks nearby to watch Jessie fish. They gave him plenty of encouragement and took plenty of photos to record his success. While were there we landed a brown, another rainbow and a cutthroat. We only needed a brook trout to get the grand slam. That is where the angler catches all four species in one day. It is not that easy.
“Around noon it was time to go. Jessie had landed five nice trout. I was a bit disappointed and thought that we should have caught more. On the way out, I talked with several other anglers including two other guides and noted that we had caught more than any other angler that morning. It was a slow day for everyone. Jessie’s patience and persistence had paid off. He had a great day and absolutely loved Dry Run Creek. His parents were moved by his success and appreciative of the results.
(updated 6-13-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. The smallmouths are active. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. 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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,124.98 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 msl).
(updated 6-13-2018) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water remained clear, while the surface temperature ranged from the mid-80s to the 90s. Water level remains high. Anglers found conditions real hot, they say. Bream were biting good to excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie are good if you’re trolling. Use Bandit 300 in bright colors for the crappie. Bass are fair early in the morning and late in the day. Anglers were having best success with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms and early with topwater plugs. Catfish are good on trotlines with a variety of bait: worms, blood bait, stink bait, chicken liver, perch and goldfish.
(updated 6-13-2018) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) says it continues to be topwater time. Get those topwater baits out and get those binoculars ready because stripers are on the move, and covering lots of water will be the key to success. Beaver Lake stripers are making their way north and are scattered throughout the lake. They are still using mouths of coves and the channel adjacent to shallow gravel bars. For you diehard live baiters, fishing free lines, balloons and downlines between the surface and about 20 feet deep should get you some stripers. For the artificial baits you can try trolling umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse jigs/grubs or plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors, or Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on planer boards to stagger your presentation. Soft plastic swimbaits and jerkbaits like Flukes have been very effective for surfacing fish, and they are taking topwater plugs like C-10 Redfins as well. Water surface temps in the low 80s. On the mid-sections of Beaver Lake, check out these hot spots: Lost Bridge South, Point 4, Big Clifty, points 5 and 6 (check main lake points and humps), Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks (topwater hot spot; pay attention to where tree line intersects channel), Larue and Coppermine.
(updated 6-13-2018) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the trout bite has very good this week. Most trout are being caught between Spider Creek, Parker Bottoms and U.S. Highway 62 bridge. Trout are biting on various quarter-ounce spoons and various PowerBaits fished with light terminal tackle. The water temperature in the area mentioned above has been between 45- =50 degrees. A few walleye are being caught between Beaver town and Holiday Island pulling various Rapalas and Berkley hard baits in 6-10 feet of water. Smallmouths are hitting on soft plastics in 6-8 feet of water. Try locating the bait balls and you should locate the bass. The weather has been hot this past week and the much-needed rain has seemed to perk the fish up a bit more. So get out there and catch some fish.
(updated 6-13-2018) Beaver Dam Store said bait fishermen are catching numbers of trout using PowerBait, nightcrawlers and waxworms. Stocking occurred June 8. The Bertrand Ramp area has been fishing well. Fish upstream from Parker Bottoms in the Trophy Management Area as well as Campground C, Riverview walk-in areas as well as the turnaround. Always be attentive to rising water conditions. Nymphs and midges are working well along with white or olive PJ Jigs. Typical good lures in this area are gold and silver Colorado spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons and Flicker Shad in Pro Series Nos. 4 and 5. Good PowerBait colors are white, red, orange, yellow chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive, hare’s ear, tungsten Copper Johns, WD 40s, Trout Magnets and San Juan worms.
(updated 6-13-2018) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water has some stain but is clearing. The surface water temperature was 88 degrees and the water level is normal. The bream bite is excellent on both worms and crickets. Crappie are fair, with best results coming by trolling jigs or minnows. Bass are good, but the catches have been small. Use a crankbait or plastic worm. Catfishing is good with worms, blood bait, stink bait and chicken liver.
(updated 6-13-2018) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports that the water temperature on Monday hit 89 degrees again. The level and current are normal, and the clarity remains dingy. Bream are good on worms or crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs; fish for them at 10 feet depth. Bass are good on crankbaits and topwater plugs. Catfish are good using chicken liver or shad.
(updated 6-13-2018) Ome Coleman at Lake Poinsett State Park said the AGFC is working on getting Lake Poinsett fixed so there will be great fishing; but that may still be a couple years. Any questions, for a more accurate report, should be directed to the AGFC. “We still enjoy having the fishermen come here for their bait. The minnows, goldfish, crickets, nightcrawlers and redworms are all in demand right now. We do sell frozen and artificial bait as well as other fishing supplies. We look forward to seeing you and hearing about your latest fishing experience.”
(updated 6-13-2018) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the clarity is clear and the surface water temperature is 88 degrees. Level and current are normal. Bream are good on redworms and are being caught around brush piles. Crappie appear to have fallen off this week; reports were poor. Get out early enough, though, and you’ll find a good bass bite. Throw your topwaters. Catfish are good in the evenings. Liver and nightcrawlers are what is being used for the cats.
(updated 6-6-2018) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said water levels are running at 375 cfs (350 average) and water clarity has been mostly clear. The river is looking great. Lots of bugs hatching. Bead-head nymphs like a pheasant tail or hare’s ear in sizes 10-12 are working well for numbers. Catching some bigger trout on Woollies in olive and brown. Hot pink Trout Magnets are always productive for catching trout and smallies on the Spring River.
Mark added that the month of June has a lot going on at the Jim Hinkle Fish Hatchery. On June 9 from 9-2 p.m. there will be a free fishing derby for kids age 15 and under. Fishing Fridays at the Hatchery will be June 22, June 29, July 6, July 13 from 9-11 a.m., which means free fishing for anglers 6-15 years old along with fishing skill instructions. Limit of three rainbow trout. Children must be accompanied by an adult and bring their own fishing equipment. No live bait. Anglers are encouraged to register for the Fishing Fridays by calling the hatchery at 870-625-7521.
(updated 6-13-2018) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is navigable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is here and there are many boats on the river. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).
(updated 6-13-2018) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said things have been slow. The water level was 9 feet high at last report. No temperature or clarity was recorded. Bream, crappie and catfish were all poor, they report. Bass were fair if you used a crankbait.
Arkansas River (Pool 2)
(updated 6-6-2018) Webb’s Sporting Goods (870-946-0186) in DeWitt said that in the Arkansas River below Dam No. 2, catfish are biting very well on cut bait when water is generating. In the Arkansas River between Dam No. 2 and Dam No. 3, catfish are biting very good off sandbars on minnows. Largemouth bass are biting well along rocks and cover where water is running though. Crappie are slow but are biting around pilings, very deep.
In the White River WMA, fish are biting in some lakes. Crappie are biting on jigs, in brushtops. Bream are biting very well on crickets. “Reservoir fishing in our area right now is excellent for all species of fish. We have seen a big increase in minnows and crickets sales the last two weeks. Come see us if you’re around DeWitt.”
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
(updated 6-13-2018) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temps are in mid- to upper 80s, while shallow backwaters are reaching low 90s by the end of the day. Visibility in the main channel is a little over half a foot at worst to around 1 foot at best. Some backwaters are up to 1½ feet of visibility. The river has been flowing lightly. Black bass are biting well in the mornings on buzzbaits and square-billed and medium-diving crankbaits worked along rocks and vegetation, especially on the main channel. Fish the current side of jetties and rock banks for more bites. Most of the fish are small but occasionally there is a large one mixed in. Some fish can be caught from offshore brush piles in Lake Langhofer. If you prefer to fish the bank, target the shaded banks after the sun is fully risen for higher success rates.
(updated 6-13-2018) Park Superintendent Jeff Shell at Cane Creek State Park said the water is staying warm as the overnight lows have been in the 70s and 80s. Bream can still be found on beds, and for your best chances of catching pan-sized bream, use crickets. Jeff recommends casting out at least 15 yards and use a float to suspend your cricket. The water clarity has increased to the point that those large bream are skittish. Bass are taking advantage of the cooler morning and evening. Use a hollow frog dragged across the tops of lily pads before “hopping” off into open water. A soft plastic bait fished near structure on shaded banks may also lead to successful catches. Catfish are starting to come off bed and are biting various attractants from an hour before dark to an hour after dark. Crappie are hard to find right now, but if you’re determined to find some, try suspended timber in deeper water.
(updated 5-30-2018) Brandy Oliver at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-9705) said anglers are reporting excellent luck, especially with crappie and catfish. The best spots seem to be along the shoreline. A wide range of bait has been successful, from minnows to canned corn. Bass are hitting spinnerbaits. The fish were biting better during the cooler parts of the day and overnight. Trotlines were also successful during the morning hours.
(updated 6-6-2018) Angler Chris Van Duren at Lucky’s of Monticello says bass fishing is fair, but you need to be fishing in the early morning. Bass are being caught in a depth of about 20 feet, with most activity near the creek channel. Use a crankbait or fish with shad or XD-22s. There was also some topwater action, Chris reports. Crappie reports were poor, and no other reports came in.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.66 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 259.20 msl).
(updated 6-13-2018) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said lake level Monday on Millwood rose over the past few days’ rain events, and was about 6 inches above normal conservation pool and falling at 259.7 feet msl; the discharge was near 670 cfs in Little River according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday remained very low, about 227 feet msl. Water temps continued improving over the past week. Surface temps Monday ranged near 85 degrees early to 90 degrees later under full sun, depending on location. Be sure and check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website, or at the Army Corps of Engineers website for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels and conditions. Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood watching for random, broken, or floating timber. Clarity and visibility continue improving over the past week, but remain stained in places, especially up river. The main lake and lower sections of Little River continue to improve, are not quite as stained or muddy as the upper regions of Little River and Saline River As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity and visibility is moderate stain, ranging 10-15 inches. Little River's visibility ranges 10-12 inches with heavy to moderate stain, depending on location and current. The oxbow's clarity currently ranges 20-30 inches depth of visibility depending on location. Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.
Mike says largemouth bass over the past week have been at their best activity levels from dawn to around 10 a.m., then the bite shuts off until almost dusk. Largemouth bass have been fair; cloud cover mornings offering best activity, over the past few weeks early at dawn and dusk, and activity levels have slowed with the increase of surface temperatures in the mid to upper 80s range over the past week during the heat of the day. Best baits drawing reactions over the past week or so have been plastic frogs and Bass Assassin Shads on a light wire hook working in new lily pad growth. Best colors of frogs have been black and June Bug in new lily pads. War Eagle Spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse, Spot Remover, Firecracker or Firetiger colors continue working randomly around flooded brush and new emerging vegetation for 2-3 pound bass. Slow-rolling the spinnerbaits off points, ditches and creek mouths dumping into Little River from 8-12 feet will yield a few random bass. Males can still be caught relatively shallow around new vegetation and lily pads. StutterSteps, Spit'n Images, Ken Pops, Pop-R's and buzzbaits are beginning to draw random reactions from post-spawn largemouths around vegetation and new pads. Topwater activity levels have slowed with the increased heat over the past few days. Shallow-running square-bill 2.0 and 3.0 S-cranks and Echo 1.75s deflecting and banging/deflecting them off stumps, from 7-12 feet deep, will take a few random, bass around 14-15" in length. Spinnerbaits in Firecracker have been drawing a few reactions near cypress trees and vegetation, all from 9-12 feet deep. In the clearer water of the oxbows, better spinnerbait or chatterbait colors are Firecracker, Spot Remover, or Hot Mouse colors for the last couple weeks. In the more stained areas, the White/Chartreuse and FireTiger were drawing best reactions. Best color of cranks in the oxbows, like the 2.0 S-cranks, and Echo 1.75 square-bills, for the past week or so have been the Bold Bluegill, Millwood Magic, and Ghosts. Rat-L-Traps in Millwood Magic and White Smoke will get a slow, random reaction from 15-18" Bass over the past couple weeks in creek channels leading in and out of spawning flats worked slower and deeper in the creeks. Square-bill S-cranks and shallow running crankbaits in shad or bluegill and bream patterns are working near creek mouths and points extending into Little River for the past week or so, since the post-spawn largemouths have pulled out to deeper sections of creek channels and points dumping into the river. Working the cranks in a stop and go, slow retrieve will draw a better reaction than fast retrieves. Hog Craws in black and blue flake, Brush Hogs, Beaver Bugs, and Magnum 4-inch Gitzit tubes continue working for the last couple weeks deeper into the creek channels. Best colors for the past couple weeks have been South African Special, PB&J, Watermelon Candy, black/blue and black neon. Heavy, big, bulky 10-12-inch worms are picking up a few random reactions from bass in creek channels, creek mouths dumping into Little River, and points along Little River.
White bass have not been seen in the last couple weeks. Last known location was the points extending into Little River either side of the Cossatot River inflow ditch, either side of U.S. Highway 71 bridge. Crappie were biting jigs and minnows near standing timber and planted brush piles 12-15 feet deep. Crappie over the past couple weeks seem to be transitioning to deeper drops 15-20 feet of depth, near standing timber or planted brush piles. They have been located by vertical jigging minnows, Arkie Jigs and minnows in standing timber in 10-15 feet of depth. Crappie slowed over the past few days with the increased heat. Not many crappie fishermen out in the past few days. Before the Corps cut the discharge rate back, channel cats and blues were fair up to 6 pounds on trotlines set 10-12 feet deep in Little River using chicken livers, gizzards and hearts and using chum blood baits near set trotlines. Almost/virtually no current exists along Little River this week and has slowed the cat bite down considerably. Last week, a couple guys told us they were doing OK on yo-yos hung from cypress trees. They were using using cut shad and buffalo in Mud Lake near the back in 8-9 feet under the cypress tree limbs.
(updated 6-6-2018) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bream are biting. No report on bass and crappie.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.51 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-6-2018) Jason Lenderman with JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is about a foot and a half below full pool of 548 feet msl and holding pretty steady. Water temps have made it to the mid- to upper 80s. The bass are moving to their summertime patterns. Right now, a lot of these bass are on secondary points leading into and out of spawning pockets in search of bream. They can be caught using Booyah Buzzbaits, Super Spook Jr’s, and the new Booyah Toadrunner. Windy days are good for Booyah Spinnerbaits or Smithwick Rogues in windy pockets and points. Super Spook Jr’s are starting to see some action on main lake points. Shaky head worms are working well on main lake points as well. Night fishing has been decent lately using Booyah Spinnerbaits or Yum Ribbontail worms. Crappie are great and can be caught in 15-25 feet of brush with minnows.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.06 feet msl (flood pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-13-2018) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Overall fishing is fair early in the morning with the heat limiting afternoon action. Quite a few bass are showing all over the lake with most fish being on the small side. Look for schooling fish early in the morning in the coves between points 2 and 4 on the south side. Also some action along the State Park between the Lodge causeway and marina. Most any topwater lure will work as long as you hit where the fish "breaks." Also some fish are showing at mid-lake around Arlie Moore and Caddo Drive. Try a Texas- or Carolina-rigged worm or lizard worked across main lake points. Red shad and green pumpkin are the go-to colors. Crappie fishing has really slowed when the water temperature hit the mid-80s. Reports from the underwater camera viewing are showing none or very few fish on the attractors. Looks like the fish have scattered to deeper cover. Hybrid fishing is hit and miss with mostly miss. The fish are really scarce this year with very few even showing on the sonar. However, the white bass fishing is very good with fish showing all the way from Shouse Ford to Caddo Bend and the mouth of Brushy Creek. The fish are mostly suspended at 25-30 feet, and working a jigging spoon up through the fish will produce. Also try a 3-inch grub on a quarter-ounce jighead. Like hybrids, the best time for white bass is early in the morning. Bream fishing is good with lots of fish showing in the coves with some rock or wood cover. Fish at 5-8 feet and bait with crickets or redworms.
(updated 6-13-2018) John Duncan of yoyoguideservice.com at Iron Mountain Marina said, “Hot, hot, hot. Its summertime in Arkansas.” Water temperatures have risen back up to 87-88 degrees. Lake level 406.6 feet msl with little fall. Fishing is beginning to stabilize. Black bass are in their summer time moods. Use worms on points either Texas- or Carolina-rigged; use topwaters real early in and around buck brush. You can find it from mid-lake to Point Cedar. Move to crankbaits as the sun goes up, then to the worms and deeper-diving crankbaits. Hybrids are showing signs of surfacing from Shouse Ford to Iron Mountain. Some good catches reported on spoons in the mid-lake area. Lots of schools of fish are running higher in the water column. Use your electronics to locate a school and the match your depth with count-downing a spoon to the right level, let down live bait. (bigger the better) to the correct depth, match fish depth to appropriate depth crankbait and then troll. Bream still being picked up on some beds. Electronics or word of mouth will help locate the beds, then stay off and cast to them. Fish right off the bottom with drop-shot of bobber and hook. Crappie are a different story, but a good story. The fish are holding real tight and in cover. Fish as close as you can over brush piles from mid-lake to Point Cedar; 12-25 feet deep is required depending on water depth. Best way to catch the “big” ones is fishing a 1/16-ounce jig (pink or chartreuse) head tipped with a minnow and fishing the freefall; bites are light on the start but finish with some good ’uns. Good fishing, stay hydrated, help others.
(updated 6-13-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said white bass and hybrid striper are migrating toward the lower end of the lake. Darryl is going with spoons used on surface-feeding fish at first light, then trolling crankbaits and umbrella rigs till mid-morning.
(updated 6-13-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) says DeGray Lake is a hot spot for crappie. She said anglers have been doing decent on crappie above the brush tops using Bobby Garland Split Tail in the color pink cotton candy, and also in Bobby Garland Scent Wiggl’R in the color pink sparkle.
De Queen Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.35 feet msl (flood pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.22 feet msl (flood pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake
(updated 5-30-2018) White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) reports that White Oak Lake is just above normal pool this week. White Oak Lake State Park has been selling out of worms, minnows and crickets for the last couple of days. Bream are biting worms and crickets at depths of 3-6 feet deep around stumps and trees. Catfish are staying in deeper parts of the lake near the levee systems and channel markers where water depths go to 15-20 feet. Bass are hitting on topwater baits such as buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, frogs and jerkbaits. Crappie have slowed down a bit, moving to deeper water and heading to brush piles with anglers use minnows and jigs to lure them out.
(updated 6-6-2018) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said the water level is normal now. Bass are a little slow. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are slow. The Ronald McDonald Big Bass Tournament will be going on this weekend.
Hot Springs Village Area Lakes
(updated 6-6-2018) Greeson Marine of Hot Springs, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress aluminum and all-welded fishing boats, reports that Village lake temps are in the low to mid-80s throughout. Water clarity is clear with visibility up to 8 feet. With the huge amounts of emergent grass that have formed in the lakes, it is no surprise that topwater frogs and Whopper Ploppers for largemouth and spotted bass are dominating the fishing report. Some fish are being taken on the normal summer deep patterns like drop-shot rigs with watermelon Trick Worms and deep-diving cranks in shad colors but it’s hard to not have a blast throwing topwater presentations – especially when they are cranked up like they have been. Catfish are hot on live baits, hot dogs, cheese and Grandma’s leftover pot roast. Fish for them on the drop-offs. Have fun and good luck!
(updated 6-6-2018) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is finally clearing up. The lake was fertilized in early May and that usually clouds it up. The water level is normal. Fishing remains slow. Bream are fair but seem to be picking up. Throw worms or crickets their way. Crappie are fair/slow, but there is activity in deep water. Use minnows or jigs. Bass are fair. The best success is coming on spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Catfish reports have been poor. Things should really begin picking up into June here.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
(updated 6-13-2018) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) had no report.
(updated 6-13-2018) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress aluminum all-welded fishing boat, reports that Lake Catherine temps are in the high 80s throughout with water clarity of 4 feet or more. The fishing report recently has been on a downward trend. Bass and walleye are fair on main lake points with shad-colored cranks and soft plastics like craws and ribbon-tail worms in watermelon or watermelon seed colors. If you are fishing for bass you will likely boat a walleye. No report on bream or crappie.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 6-13-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that the rainbow trout fishing has dropped off sharply since last week. June is traditionally the last month for quality fishing below Carpenter Dam as the summer season kicks in. Anglers will experience short feeding times and a finicky bite as wary trout feed on insect hatches and injured baitfish. Patience is key as the remaining trout numbers are actively feeding in the late evening as the sun sets over the top of the dam. Trout from 12-17 inches have been caught and released in the last week, but numbers have been few. Bank fishermen have had some success using waxworms and mealworms fished just of the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Nightcrawlers and redworms will also work presented in the same manner. As late June approaches, few rainbow trout will be seen feeding and smaller numbers caught. By July, trout fishing will be over and good numbers of fish won't be caught again until the stocking program beings again in November. This scenario is repeated every year below Carpenter Dam. The walleye spawn is over but numbers of fish remain in the tailrace feeding on shad. The majority of fish are being caught by trolling shallow-running stick baits that imitate small minnows or crawfish. Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers have taken the largest fish at night. White bass are making a run toward the dam, with numbers being taken from the bank by anglers casting Flukes and Rapala jerkbaits in a black/silver combination. Crappie have finished their spawning run and are still being caught on small jigs and live minnows around rock structure and sandbars close to the main river channel. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should be aware of the generation schedules and must always follow all boating and park regulations.
(updated 6-13-2018) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is 84. Water clarity in the river is dirty with some clear creeks and some stained. Largemouth bass have been good. Resident fish have been good on frogs and chiselers; river fish have been good in the grass with scam shad, jigs and Bamboozie. Fish on drops have been good with crankbaits and spinnerbaits; brush pile fish have been good with jigs and crankbaits. Crappie have been good in the creeks around stumps with chartreise jigs and chartreuse/black. White bass have been good on main river points around the current break; use white jigs, small swimbaits, crankbaits and spoons. Stripers are still in the creeks working the way out to the river. They are holding in the deeper holes and hitting Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits, and scam shad used as a trailer on a chatterbait. Bream have been good in the creeks and the river around brush and stumps on the mudflats; use worms, crickets and small jigs. Catfish have been good in the creeks on worms and grasshoppers and small perch; the river fish are still hanging around mudflats, and cut bait, shad, skipjack and perch have been good bait.
(updated 6-6-2018) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton said the big bream have been doing well on crickets.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 345.22 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-13-2018) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said crappie continue to be excellent. Anglers are fishing minnows or black jigs in 8 feet of water. Bass are good, especially early in the day in a depth of 3-6 feet. Use spinnerbaits, crankbaits or topwater plugs. Catfishing is good on limblines and noodling, and with goldfish as bait. Bream are bedded at about 3 feet and the bite is good. Throw them some crickets.
(updated 6-13-2018) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is clear and at a normal level. No temperature was recorded. The crappie bite remains between fair and good, with minnows or jigs working. Bream reports turned to good this week. Use worms or crickets. Bass reports have been poor. Catfishing is fair.
(updated 6-6-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton says she has been told that anglers were pulling some slab crappie out of Nimrod on No. 6 crappie minnows.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.44 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-13-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are good. Creature baits and Texas-rigged worms are all still working well at this time. Walleye are very good. Try using a CC spoon near brush for these fish. Stripers are good on live bait. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the central and eastern parts of the lake are the best for these fish. Bream are very good and being caught on crickets and worms in 8-15 feet water near brush. Crappie are fair and being caught on minnows or jigs in 15-18 feet of water near structure. Catfish are good. Cut bait, live bait and stink bait are all producing good bags. Water temperature has ranged 80-84 degrees. The clarity is clear. Contact the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and Jerry Bean, 501-282-6104 – for more information.
(updated 6-15-2018) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said on US97 online report that he’s had several good reports here. The moss on Ouachita is holding a lot of good fish, They’re cruising the outside edge in the morning, but they’re not getting in that grass until the sun come up. Anglers are fishing a Texas-rigged worm or a big jig on top of the moss after the sun comes up, after 10 a.m. Kevin Brown, who won a bass tournament there over the weekend, was a Rat-L-Trap or a frog on top of that moss. After 10 is when the fish move up in that grass and you get better, quality bites, Kastner said. Fish are really keying on the moss. The 10-12-foot-deep edge of that moss line is really thick and lush right now, he said. Another way you can fish it is with a wobblehead, which is basically nothing more than an egg sinker attached sideways to a great big hook (4-0 or 5-0 hook) and you can use whatever soft plastic you want, Kastner said – creature bait, big worm, etc. Throw it out there with a half-ounce weight or even a three-quarter-ounce if you’re fishing deeper and let it slide down the edge of the moss line. Whenever you feel it start to ball up on moss, rip it out of there and a lot of times that’s when you get the fish to bite.
(updated 6-6-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said that reports are that anglers are catching huge bream on crickets.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.14 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-13-2018) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said anglers are reporting black bass to be hitting Texas-rigged baby brush hogs and Jig-Sooie jigs at the bases of the deeper cypress trees. Bluegill are spawning and can be caught on crickets or nightcrawlers in the shallow flats or at the base of cypress trees. Crappie have been slow.
Cook’s Lake is a 2.5-mile-long oxbow off of the White River, nestled in the heart of the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge near Casscoe in Arkansas County. This fertile oxbow receives very little fishing pressure due to being used only for education purposes and youth and mobility-impaired fishing. The scenic lake is full of slab crappie, giant bluegills, largemouth bass and catfish of all species. Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing Saturday, June 16, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be open the first and third Saturdays of every month through October, water level pending. Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youth under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat, but we ask for trolling motors only. Before launching, please check in at the Conservation Education Center, and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please contact the center at 870-241-3373.
(Updated 6-15-2018) The Nancy and Pat Bonds Access at Horseshoe Lake in Crittenden County is back open for use. The ramp had been closed for some time for repairs. It is the only public access ramp for Horseshoe Lake.
(updated 6-13-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said it feels like activity at Bear Creek Lake has begun to slow. With temperatures reaching the high 90s during the day, it seems most of the activity occurs in the early morning or evening hours. Bass are still biting on treetops and against banks, mostly on artificial jigs. Not much being reported on bream and crappie activity – it has definitely slowed in the past few weeks with water temperatures rising. The boat launch is open to the public now, so feel free to come out and see what you can catch.
(updated 6-13-2018) Natalie Faughn, ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), said Storm Creek Lake has seen a slight uptick in fishermen activity, but still nothing substantial in the way of fish caught. Early morning crappie activity has been reported, tapering off around mid-morning when the sun begins to peak. Biting on worms.