Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report – 5/21/2008
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for May 21, 2008. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please call or e-mail us with information on possible sources for that lake or river.
Fishing Tip: Here’s a tip from fishing legend Rick Clunn on making the most of your day when fishing new water:
“If you’re fishing a new lake, first go to areas that geographically match productive areas on your home lake. The second thing to look for is a point. Points consistently produce fish. Points close to a creek bend or river channel are always better. Another good place to try is riprap by dams, along causeways, near bridges, and along construction areas. Riprap holds food and food attracts fish. Don’t pass up boat docks either. Smaller boat docks are always better because there isn’t as much traffic around them and these little sanctuaries are ideal spots for fish to hang out. Weed beds are another good place because forage is attracted to the cover. Bridges also hold a lot of forage. In fact, wherever you can find forage you should find about any kind of fish.”
For more great tips, visit the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Library.
Arkansas River Levels: According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as of Tuesday the Arkansas River stages are:
Trimble Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 13): Headwater – 389.22 feet, Tailwater – 383.85 feet, Flow – 104,714 cubic feet per second
Ozark Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 12): Headwater – 371.40 feet, Tailwater – 349.74 feet
Dardanelle Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 10): Headwater – 337.73 feet, Tailwater – 299.01 feet
Ormond Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 9): Headwater – 285.22 feet, Tailwater – 280.14 feet, Flow – NO READING AVAILABLE
Toad Suck Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 8): Headwater – 263.24 feet, Tailwater – 266.14 feet
Murray Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 7): Headwater – 247.49 feet, Tailwater – 237.97 feet, Flow – 137,599
Terry Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 6): Headwater – 230.41 feet, Tailwater – 224.71 feet, Flow – 145,983
Sanders Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 4): Headwater – 194.34 feet, Tailwater – 191.98 feet
Hardin Lock and Dam (Lock and Dam 3): Headwater – 181.62 feet, Tailwater – 180.61 feet
Mills Dam (Dam 2): Headwater – 160.79 feet, Tailwater – 149.37 feet, Flow – 150,557 cubic feet per second
White River Levels: According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as of Tuesday the White River stages are:
6.3 feet at Calico Rock (flood stage – 19 feet)
8.8 feet at Batesville (flood stage – 15 feet)
15.3 feet at Newport (flood stage – 26 feet)
28.1 feet at Augusta (flood stage – 26 feet)
18.6 feet at Georgetown (flood stage – 21 feet)
26.9 feet at Clarendon (flood stage – 26 feet)
Lake Conway: Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well in the afternoon on crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows in 6 to 9 feet of water. Bass are being caught on plastic worms. Catfish are biting well on any bait.
Little Red River: Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) water conditions are very good. One to two generators are running in the afternoons. Trout fishing is excellent on wax worms, Power Eggs, nightcrawlers, Buoyant Spoons, crankbaits and Rogues.
Jed Hollan at the Little Red Fly Shop said The Greers Ferry Power House has settled into a routine that is working well for the angler. Water releases are ending an hour or so before midnight and not resuming until around 10 a.m. Wade fishing is possible every morning at JFK Park until the horn sounds. Driving down to Winkley or Libby Shoal will let you fish until after lunch. Heavy rain may change this pattern.
Our insect-rich stream continues to produce calories for the eager trout. Midges, March browns and caddis flies are the primary bugs of interest. If you like to taunt the fish with a dry fly offering, try an Adams (#18-#20), American March brown (#14-#16), elk hair caddis (#14-#16 tan) or midge (#22 cream or black). If you are a “dead drifter,” tie on a sowbug (#14-#16 tan, light gray or UV tan), zebra midge (#16-#22 red, black or olive), San Juan worm (#14-#16 red, fluorescent orange or peach), red butt soft hackle (#14-#18), copper john (#14-#16 copper, red or green) or a hare’s ear (#14-#16). Woolly buggers in sizes #4-#12 in olive or black are working well. Try 6-8 inch strips when retrieving your streamer to make it appear injured. The fish seem to prefer a moving target these days. Twitch your fly once in a while. If you are nymphing (presenting your fly on the stream bed), periodically raise your rod tip to make your fly appear to be emerging toward the surface then let it sink. If you are fishing with a dry fly, skitter your pattern across the surface for a foot or so then let it rest. This extra action seems to evoke an instinctive strike response from the trout.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is closing the boat ramp at Lobo Landing on Monday, May 12. The ramp will be renovated and should reopen within three months.
Greers Ferry: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 484.68 feet MSL.
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said bass are biting well on flukes, whacky worms, Texas-rigged worms and Carolina-rigged lizards. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and topwaters are working on overcast days and in the mornings around bushes. Crappie fishing has been hit or miss. Walleye are scattered, but the bite should pick up with some stable weather. Catfishing is good on jugs, trotlines and limb lines baited with live or prepared bait. Hybrids and white bass are starting to school around the lake. They’re near places where they typically hang out, but it still takes some work to find them with your electronics.
Shiloh Marina said the water is still high, but is clearing. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and spooks around grassy areas. Walleye are being caught around secondary points on minnows.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo said the river is finally starting to drop. Bass are still in the backwaters behind main points in the river and are being caught mostly on buzzbaits and black Jitterbugs. They also can be caught on soft-plastic worms at midday. Catfish are spawning and are fair in shallow water on nightcrawlers or shad. Bream fishing is very good on crickets. Stripers are being caught below dams 9 and 10 on shad floated 6 to 8 feet deep. Crappie are good in 4 to 8 feet of water on minnows.
Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing (501-889-2745) said water conditions are normal. Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are picking up on liver and live bait.
Lake Beaverfork: The City of Conway Parks and Recreation Department said all species are slow.
Lake Overcup: Lakeview Landing (501-354-1470) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are being caught on nightcrawlers and shad.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well around the banks on wax worms and crickets. Crappie are fair in 8 to 10 feet of water on minnows and tube jigs. Bass fishing is good on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on trotlines and yo-yos with large minnows and nightcrawlers.
Brewer Lake: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair in 15 to 20 feet of water on minnows. Bass are fair on top-water lures. Catfishing is good on stink bait and large minnows.
Sunset Lake: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said water conditions are normal. Bream are being caught on crickets. Bass are fair on watermelon seed lizards. Catfishing is excellent on Magic Bait.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said Bream are biting well on crickets. Bass are good on 4-inch lizards. Catfishing is good on Magic Bait.
Arkansas River in Little Rock: Vince Miller from Fish ‘N Stuff said the river is finally slowing down. Bass are fair in the backwaters on spinnerbaits and jigs. The next Tuesday-night bass tournament will be May 27.
Lake Maumelle: Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water is 0.2 feet above the spillway, which is normal. Largemouth bass are biting well along the weed line in 4 to 8 feet of water. They are biting spinnerbaits and Carolina-rigged soft plastics. Kentucky bass are mixed in with the largemouth and are being caught on the same lures. The Kentuckies should make a move to deeper water soon. Bream are excellent in shallow water. They are bedding up and crickets and worms are catching quite a few, especially redear sunfish. Crappie are fair in 10 to 15 feet of water on jigs and minnows fished near any cover left in the lake. White bass are fair in the main lake with some brief schooling activity. Catfishing is good with the catfish moving up to shallow water. Prepared baits and minnows are working well.
Little Maumelle River: Josh Jeffers at Pinnacle Mountain State Park (501-868-5806) said the water level is receding and the surface temperature ranges from 65 to 70. The water clarity is low. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Crappie are biting fairly well on shiners and black/chartreuse 1/8-oz. crappie jigs. Bass are biting fairly well on small chartreuse and white spinnerbaits, shaky head finesse worms, and small top-water baits. Catfish are biting well on nightcrawlers and different types of stink bait. Pinnacle Mountain State Park will be hosting a kid’s fishing derby on Saturday, May 31, at the Environmental Education Pond. There will be how-to-fish clinics, casting contests, free snacks and lots of prizes. The contest is for kids 15 and under, and admission is free. For more information, please call Pinnacle Mountain State Park at (501) 868-5806.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bream are biting well around lily pads on wax worms. Crappie are good on minnows and white or chartreuse jigs. Catfish are fair on cut bait.
Palarm Creek: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said crappie are biting well on silver or chartreuse jigs and minnows with a slip-cork rig. Catfish are good on cut bait and chicken hearts.
Lake Valencia: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said catfish are being caught on chicken hearts and nightcrawlers.
Murray Lock and Dam: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said crappie are good on minnows and red or chartreuse jigs. White bass are fair on silk chartreuse twister tails. Stripers are biting well on CC spoons. Catfish are being caught in the backwaters on sunfish and cut shad.
Pickthorne Lake: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bream are good on crickets and wax worms. Crappie are good on minnows. Bass are biting well on Zoom brush hogs. Catfishing is good on chicken hearts and nightcrawlers.
Terry Lock and Dam: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said all species are slow.
Clear Lake: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy and high. Bream are biting well in 3 feet of water on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Black bass are biting early in the morning on buzzbaits and spinnerbaits.
Peckerwood Lake: Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is dingy and at normal level. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits. Catfish are being caught on large minnows.
White River: John Berry of Berry Brothers Guides said the generation pattern on the White has been to run around the clock with higher flows during the day and lower flows at night. The pattern has been to run two generators with substantial periods of no generation. There have been a few wading opportunities on the Norfork River during the night and morning but none on the White. On the higher water, boating conditions have been excellent. The fishing on the White has been red hot during the past week. The flows during the past week have been quite a bit lower than previous weeks and the trout have been on the feed. The upper river from the Catch-and-Release section at the base of Bull Shoals dam to Cane Island Shoals has been fishing very well. The hot flies here have been brightly colored San Juan worms and egg patterns. The big hot spot this week has been Rim Shoals. The rising water hits here mid-day and that has been the best time to fish here. On the lower water, midge nymphs in a bit larger size than you would use for wade fishing (size 14 and 16) have been the ticket. Caddis pupa, copper johns, olive scuds and zebra midges have also been quite productive. On the rising water, the hot flies have been brightly colored San Juan worms. Cerise and hot fluorescent pink have been the most productive. Egg patterns have also been very productive. Just upstream, in the Redbud area, anglers were doing well fishing the banks with white marabou jigs.
Mountain River Fly Shop said water flows have been lower during the last few days according to the Graph, but 5 to 6 units are still cranking in the mid- to late afternoon. There have been some very good reports from the upper part of the river, and some decent reports from Rim Shoals. Spawning suckers have shown up at Rim Shoals, so it’s worth keeping a few egg patterns handy in this area. Generally the eggs are small but even size 12 eggs are working on the trout. Egg patterns have been popular in other areas of the river, too. Run an egg as an attractor in front of a San Juan, Scud or Sowbug pattern. Every angler has their favorite color, but our straw poll through the cash register is showing up yellows, orange and flame as the most popular. Feed them something to get their attention and sneaking along behind a more subtle, natural pattern. San Juans have been flying out of the bins, in all hues from red, brown orange and pink. Davy’s Dynamite Worm has been lethal particularly on bright days, standard San Juans and Rainy’s Tungsten Bead SJ and Bug Skin Wigglers have also been popular.
Sportsman’s White River Resort said water conditions are normal with an average of 4 to 6 generators running daily. Trout fishing has been very good on Buoyant Spoons, Little Cleos, Rogues, Rapalas and PowerBait. Fly fisherman are having the best luck on San Juan worms and sow bugs.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 694.04 feet MSL.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 578.82 feet MSL.
Cranfield Junction Bait and Tackle (870-492-5141) had no report.
101 Grocery and Bait said bass fishing has been good using any top water bait and slow sinking soft-plastic baits. Fish in the grassy areas and around any structure. Striper fishing has been best using live bait fished in less than 40 feet of water with very little weight, if any at all. Top-water lures are also working well. Crappie fishing is slow. Walleye fishing has been fair using live bait and small leadhead jigs fished around main points and in some of the shallow grassy areas. Catfishing is good using live bait on rod and reel and limb lines. Please take down limb lines when you are finished fishing so someone else can fish the area once you’re gone.
Norfork Tailwater: John Berry of Berry Brothers Guides said there have been some nice periods of low water during daylight hours that have allowed for some excellent wading conditions. The fishing is excellent. There are many scuds in the water and scud patterns have been deadly. The catch-and-release section has fished well. The section downstream from the Ackerman access has also fished particularly well. Woolly buggers and partridge and orange soft hackles have accounted for a lot of trout. Up at Quarry Park, several walleye have come through the flood gates during the previous flooding and are stacked near the confluence of Dry Run Creek and the Norfork. As always, Dry Run Creek is fishing very well. The best flies this past week have been sowbugs, olive woolly buggers and San Juan worms. Be sure and rig your youngster with heavy tippet (at least 4X) so that they have a better chance at landing one of these monsters.
Mountain River Fly Shop said if you want to wade fish, the Norfork is your best bet. Just get out of bed early as you can see from the Generation Chart. You have until lunchtime and it’s over. The fishing is spectacular. Scud patterns including Clint’s Sunday Special, McClellan’s Hunchback Scud and Kaufmann’s Scud have been whacking fish. Midge fishing has also been popular. Black and Copper Zebras, and the gamut of other midges have been doing well. Fishing close to the accesses has been a little crowded but the further you walk the more they thin out. But please be careful, there are no guarantees here how long the water will stay off.
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.84 feet MSL.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass have been bighting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished along grassy banks. Crappie are still hit and miss but they also can be caught along grassy banks in 9 to 12 feet of water. Small black/green or red/green curly tail grubs have worked well. Crappie can also be found along pole timber in the Hickory Creek area. Minnows fished tight lined have worked best for these fish.
White bass have also been making a run along grassy points and banks early and late chasing bait. Anything that resembles a minnow will do fine. Striped bass continue to be scattered all over the lake. Good places to look have been Point 12, Indian Creek and Prairie Creek. Live shad have worked best. Catfish have been the most willing fish to bite as of late. All methods are working all over the lake. Bluegill have made it to the bank and can be caught on crickets or worms.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is high and murky Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are scattered, but a few have been caught on minnows. Bass are biting well on brightly colored spinnerbaits, jigs and brush hogs. Catfishing is good on goldfish, liver and nightcrawlers.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is murky and at normal level. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. White bass are biting well on spinnerbaits.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said water conditions are normal. Bream fishing is very good on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well in 1 to 4 feet of water on minnows and jigs. Bass are being caught in shallow water on plastic worms.
Sugarloaf Lake: Midland Minimart (479-639-9467) said the water is muddy and at normal level. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Catfish are fair on blood bait.
Lake Charles: Brenda Mans at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) the water level is normal and the surface temperature ranges from 64 to 65 degrees. The clarity is about 18 inches. Bream are biting well on jigs. Crappie are spawning biting fairly well on minnows, crappie candy and jigs. Catfish are spawning and biting well on minnows. No report on bass.
Spring River: Mark’s Fly Shop said fishing has been great this week. Water clarity is good, and the river has returned to normal levels. Caddis and mayfly hatches have been very consistent. It’s a great time to come and enjoy the river.
Crown Lake: Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is dingy and at normal level. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on Trick worms. Catfish are fair on liver.
Lake Frierson: Lake Frierson State Park said all species are slow.
Lake Chicot: Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Bass are being caught on jigs. Catfish are biting well on soap.
Grand Lake: Koenig Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said all species are slow.
SOUTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Moro Bay: Moro Bay State Park said the river remains about 5 feet above normal (currently 71.7ft). Reports of bream and crappie being caught in the lake and in the bay are coming in fairly consistently. Most anglers seem to be bream fishing with crickets around flooded trees and are picking up a few crappie in the process. Live bream and nightcrawlers are being used to catch catfish on trotlines. Bass fisherman can only expect to catch a couple small ones if they put in a half a days work.
Millwood Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.73 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said Millwood is on the rise again because of increased lake discharge from the Tri-Lakes and Little River. The water clarity along the river took a turn for the worse this week with fresh incoming muddy water in Little River. Some broken vegetation and floating mats are still present. The surface temperature is 64 to 78 degrees. Current in Little River is 11,022 cubic feet per second. Largemouth bass up to 10.5 pounds have been caught in 8 to 12 feet of water near the river channel. Jigs, bulky worms, tubes, Bass Assassin Shads, buzzing Toads, trick worms, Senkos and buzzbaits have been the go-tos for the week. The best bite over the past week remains on jigs in black/blue, black/red, Bass Assassin Shads in salt and pepper silver phantom, Trick Worms and Senkos in watermelon-red, Topwater Toads, and big bulky Rat-L-Traps. 4-inch Southern Pro Fattbutt Tubes (with rattles) in pumpkinseed/chart tail, are still working in off-colored water, and purple smoke in the clearer water. Siefert’s Buzzbaits, in Bleeding Lime, Hot Firecracker, or Firetiger near newly emerging lily pads, in the clearest water you can find, are drawing good reactions from big fish. Rat-L-Traps in Sexy Shad West, Toledo Gold Craw or bleeding white (bleeding Smokey Joe) colors seem to continue to be the best lipless crank bait bites over the past week. White bass disappeared with the increase in current in Little River and fresh incoming muddy water. The crappie bite tapered off some last week with the drastic change in water clarity and conditions along Little River, although a few fishermen are still having random success on live shiners, red/white or white/chartreuse jigs. Blue catfish and channel cats continue to hit well on trotlines, and remain consistent with the current in Little River. Bream are biting well along the banks on crickets and redworms fished close to docks and cypress trees.
Cossatot River: Davy Ashcraft at Cossatot River State Park (870) 385-2201 said USGA states that the water level is 2.53 feet, with the surface temperatures ranging from 65 degrees to 70 degrees. The water clarity is a little stained. Bream are biting fairly well on worms and crickets in 3 to 4 feet of water. The smallmouth bass are biting well on green pumpkinseed finesse worms and crawdad crankbaits around structure in the deeper pools at 4 to 5 feet of water. Black bass are fair with some being taken on dark-colored finesse worms and dark-colored grubs fished very slowly around deep structure. Catfish are good with some being taken on chunks of hot dogs, live perch on trotlines are working as well. Most of the fish being taken are from the Highway 278 bridge south to Gillham Lake. Due to the high water stain on the river baits with spinners that generally do poor for bass are producing some bites, once the water clears they will again spook the fish. The few anglers that have tried their hand at fly fishing the river for bass have had great success and that will only increase as the water warms and conventional styles of fishing begin to lessen. To experience the fishing on this river at its best call Cossatot River State Park Visitor Center to schedule a fishing kayak tour.
Lake Columbia: Steve’s Marine (870-234-2222) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on any bait.
White Oak Lake: White Oak Lake State Park said the water level is normal and the water is clear. Bream are excellent on crickets. Crappie are excellent on jigs. Catfishing is excellent on live bait and prepared bait hung from trotlines. A free kids’ fishing derby will be held at the park June 7 beginning at 9 a.m.
Lake Greeson: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 547.52 feet MSL.
Lakeside Grocery said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are being caught on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on topwaters and crankbaits. Catfish are fair on worms, stink bait and minnows.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 408.21 feet MSL.
DeGray Lake State Park said bass are in 5 to 20 feet of water and biting fairly well on tequila sunrise worms and watermelon or green pumpkin lizards fished on either the inside grass line or the outside grass line. The water has warmed in the shallows and the clarity is improving. Bream are moving in and out of their bedding areas and biting fairly well on crickets. Catfishing is excellent in 15 feet of water and shallower. Hybrids are breaking better than they have in the last three years, with most of the action in the mid-lake area around points.
DeGray One Stop (501-865-3511) said the water is high and murky. Bream are biting well in 6 to12 feet of water on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on topwaters, Rooster Tails and spoons. Catfish are biting well on trotlines and noodles baited with live bait.
Lake Dardanelle: Murphy’s Sporting Goods (479-229-3200) said the water is muddy and the level is falling a little at a time. Bass are biting well on topwaters and buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on any bait.
Blue Mountain Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 403.51 feet MSL.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart (479-667-5155) said the water is going down and almost back to normal. Bream are biting well in the backwater on crickets and nightcrawlers. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is good below the dam on liver and nightcrawlers.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 578.20 feet MSL.
Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said walleye fishing continues to be very good. The walleye are on top of the grass and feeding on many different lures, from jerk baits to jigs, this should run for the next four weeks with better numbers in the next two weeks. Bass are still in post-spawn mode and are a little fickle. Concentrate on grassy points near the creeks and work slowly and you should be able to catch a few. The stripers are trying to break in the mouths of the creeks heading back to the main lake.
Dave Lindhag of Striped Bass Adventures (501-760-6474) said the stripers are moving into post-spawn patterns and are moving to deeper water. Small to medium shad fished 15 to 30 feet deep over deep points along the channels is working well, but no point is producing more than a few fish. The occasional small group of fish is breaking and top-water lures are working excellently on them. The fishing is good all the way from Mountain Harbor Resort to the state park.
Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that rainbow trout fishing remains good with the water temperature holding steady in the mid-50s. In May the feeding patterns are varied as the fish move around in schools chasing shad and crawfish. Days can pass before any consistent numbers can be caught, so fishermen must be diligent in their efforts. Catching a limit of trout now can be tough, but possible with the right techniques. Boaters trolling the channels are catching the largest fish, but the numbers are much less than earlier in the year. Bank fishermen continue to catch limits of fish as they make the most of live bait presentations. Nightcrawlers and redworms floated under a bobber offer a nice change from the usual diet of threadfin shad that inhabit the tailrace. Trout often aggressively feed on worms when the opportunity arises. Overall, the trout population is healthy and thriving. White bass are still present in good numbers and are being caught on live minnows fished under a bobber. Most of the fish are males weighing in from 1 to 2 pounds each. Since Entergy is still under a minimum generation schedule, the striper activity has been almost non-existent. These fish feed more consistently while the turbines are turning. June and July will be prime times for striper fishing as fish in the 20-pound range will be common.
Diamond Head Marina said the water conditions are normal. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on liver, nightcrawlers and large minnows. Trout are biting on silver or yellow baits.
Lake Hamilton: Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said bass fishing slowed considerably last week, with mostly small fish being caught. Carolina rigs and crankbaits fished over flats near spawning areas are still producing, but the size just isn’t there like it was two weeks ago.
Lake Hinkle: Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-4719) said the water is clear and a little high. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on liver, goldfish and worms.
Lake Atkins: Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said water conditions are normal. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is good on shad and large minnows.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff): River City Sporting Goods (870-534-8303) said the water is muddy and still high. Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are biting well on lizards and spinnerbaits with gold blades. Catfish can be caught on any bait.
White River: Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are being caught on spinnerbaits.
Bear Creek Lake: Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on worms, crickets and tiny plastic baits.
Horseshoe Lake: Local angler Clyde Gregory said the water is clear and high. Bream are fair on wax worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well in shallow water on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is very good in deep water on cut bait and stink bait.