Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report – 8/6/2008
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for August 6, 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: Try pitching egg patterns to trout throughout the year when the fishing gets slow. They’re not the most glamorous fly, but produce results on hatchery-raised fish, who must take an “eat now, taste later” attitude in order to thrive in the competition of a concrete run.
Arkansas River Levels are available at
White River Levels are available at
Lake Conway: Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is clear and low. Bream are fair 5 feet deep on crickets. Crappie are biting well near docks on minnows. Bass are biting well on buzzing frogs. Catfish are fair near lily pads on worms.
Little Red River: Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said water conditions are normal with little generation. Trout fishing is still very good, crankbaits seem to be working best.
Jed Hollan at the Little Red Fly Shop said the Greers Ferry Powerhouse has been releasing water for hydroelectric power from noon until 9 p.m. every day. This offers wade fishing opportunities most of the day. The water coming through the dam is averaging 54 degrees with dissolved oxygen content averaging 6.5 mg/l. The water is a bit dingy, but the fish don’t seem to mind these conditions at all. Fishing has been absolutely excellent. Trout are biting strike indicators, flies, lures and bait. Tales of catching 25 trout in 25 casts are fairly common. Our river water is low and the trout want to play. If you want to fish with dry flies, tie on a hopper pattern. Foam grasshoppers float very high in the surface tension and don’t require floatant. Cast under low hanging limbs and close to the bank near streamside vegetation. Floating your hopper over riffles can also work. Other dry flies that are working include an Adams (#16-18), BWO (#18-20) and crackleback (#12). Effective sub-surface offerings include sow bugs (#14-16; UV gray, UV tan or olive), copper johns (#14-16; copper, red or green), pheasant tails (#16), zebra midge (#16-22; red, black or copper), San Juan worm (#12-18; red or fluorescent orange) and wooly buggers (#8-12 olive, brown or black).
Greers Ferry: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.73 feet MSL.
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said bass are finally setting up on brush piles and points and can be caught on Texas-rigged worms in grasshopper and crabapple colors and on Carolina-rigged green pumpkin and watermelon candy lizards. Football head jigs in 25-45 feet of water are working as well. Walleye are slow, but a few can be caught dragging a crawler behind a bottom bouncer or fishing a crawler on a jighead in 25 to 35 feet of water. Catfishing is good all over the lake on live crawlers and minnows as well as prepared catfish baits. Crappie fishing is on and off around creek bends and channel swings. Fish jigs tipped with minnows 15 to 20 feet deep over 60 feet of water around pole timber. White bass and hybrids can be caught anywhere from 35 to 70 feet of water on in-line spinners, swarming hornets and hair jigs. You have to do some looking for the schools of fish in your depth finder, then just stay over them and keep your bait wet.
Shiloh Marina said water conditions are normal. All fishing is slow.
Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing (501-889-2745) said the water is clear and high. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good on live and prepared baits on the south side of the lake.
Lake Beaverfork: The City of Conway Parks and Recreation Department said the water is murky and at normal level. Crappie are fair on jigs. Catfishing is good on any bait.
Lake Overcup: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are good with surface temperature in the mid 90s. Bream are fair around the docks on crickets and worms. Crappie are fair 12 to 15 feet deep on minnows and jigs. Catfish are fair on large minnows.
Brewer Lake: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal with surface temperature in the low 90s. Bream are biting well around the banks on crickets and worms. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are fair on goldfish and shrimp.
Lake Maumelle: Jolly Roger’s Marina said fishing remains fairly good. The lake is 1.7 low, which is normal. Black bass are biting well in 15 to 20 feet of water on drop-shot rigs, jigging spoons and football head jigs. Kentucky bass are mixed with the largemouths. White bass are schooling from the old Jolly Rogers cove to Jim’s Island. When you spot surface activity, cast a CC spoon. Crappie are slow, but a few are 20 feet deep, biting on minnows and 1/32-oz. red/white jigs. Bream are excellent in 15 feet of water on crickets. Catfish are good in 15 to 20 feet of water on prepared bait and small sunfish.
Lake Valencia: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said catfish are the best thing going on chicken hearts, worms and nightcrawlers.
Sunset Lake: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well 10 to 12 feet deep on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are biting well 10 feet deep on dark 8-inch plastic worms. Catfish are biting well on stink bait.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is clear and low. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are biting well on top-water lures and 4-inch pumpkin lizards. Catfish are biting well on any bait.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said the flow is good and the water is clearing up. Crappie fishing is good on minnows fished in 10 to 15 feet of water around brush. Bream are biting well early near grassy areas on black Rooster Tails with gold blades. Stripers are good below dams 9 and 10 on live bait. Whites are schooling early and are being caught on shad. Kentucky bass are biting well early on CC spoons and black Jitterbugs. Catfishing is good in deep water behind the jetties on whole shad.
Arkansas River in Little Rock: Vince Miller from Fish ‘N Stuff said the water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and top-water lures. Catfishing is good on worms and stink bait.
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 85 to 90. The water visibility and clarity is low. Bream are biting fair on crickets and worms. Crappie are biting slow on shiners and black/chartreuse 1/8-oz. crappie jigs. Bass are fair, and are being caught on small top-water baits and frogs (early in the mornings and late in the afternoons), Texas-rigged creature baits are working well around thick grass and vegetation in the heat of the day, and small crankbaits and jigs are producing good fish around ledges and drops. Catfish are biting fair on nightcrawlers and different types of stink bait around ledges and drops.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bream are good in lily pad beds on crickets and wax worms. Bass are fair early and late on Rattlin’ Rogues and spinnerbaits.
Palarm Creek: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bass are biting well on crankbaits and jigs. Catfishing is excellent on cut bait and chicken hearts.
Murray Lock and Dam: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said catfish are excellent on shad and live green sunfish.
Pickthorne Lake: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bream fishing is good around stumps on crickets and wax worms. Channel catfish are biting well on chicken hearts and worms.
Peckerwood Lake: Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water conditions are normal. Crappie are biting well on jigs. Catfish are fair on liver.
White River: Sportsman’s White River Resort said water conditions are normal with four generators running. Trout fishing is excellent on spinnerbaits. Fly fishermen are doing well on egg patters, black or green woolly buggers and 3-inch Power Worms.
John Berry of Berry Brothers Guides said fishing has been excellent. The perpetual hot spot has been the catch-and-release section at Bull Shoals Dam and the adjacent state park. The better fishing is in the morning when the flows are a bit lower. Most fish are caught on midge or worm patterns fished under an indicator with a lot of weight to get it to the bottom. Hot flies have been black zebra midges with silver wire and silver bead, San Juan worms in bright colors (cerise, hot pink and red). Many anglers were reporting success fishing sow bugs. The section from Wildcat Shoals to Cotter is still hot. This section has received a bit more pressure. Trout have been taken on a variety of flies including scuds, sowbugs and trout crack. Traditional high-water flies like San Juan worms and egg patterns are also effective. Streamer fishing has been particularly good. Try woolly buggers, sculpin patterns and kiwi muddlers on a sink tip or full sinking line for the bigger fish.
Mountain River Fly Shop said some anglers reported good action from Wildcat to Ranchette on heavily-weighted olive, black or “Bow River” buggers on a floating line. Streamers are also producing well, even in the middle of the day. You might not catch as many as on the drifted eggs and worms but it’s a lot of fun. Work your flies close to the banks, over grassbeds and drop-offs. The section from Cotter to Wildcat has been fishing very well with eggs and worms. Run a red, orange or flame egg in front of a San Juan worm or dynamite worm. Sowbugs have been working well in the dam area as well.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 686.73 feet MSL.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 571.35 feet MSL.
101 Grocery and Bait said fishing has been fair. The early morning has been the best time of day to be fishing. Top-water fishing is still good until about 8 a.m. After that, you will need to fish deep. Bluegill fishing is very good using worms and crickets fished around 20-30 feet deep. Striper fishing has been fair. A few are being caught on small live bait. Mid-lake and toward the dam have been the better areas to fish for stripers. They are hanging in 40 feet of water and deeper. Walleye fishing has slowed, but a few are being caught on live bait. Try fishing around the thermocline (18-25 feet deep). Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing are fair. The bass are still being caught around the trees and along the bluffs. Crappie fishing is slow. White bass fishing is fair. White in-line spinners are still the choice lure. Catfish are still hitting live bait on limb lines.
Cranfield Junction Bait and Tackle (870-492-5141) said the water is clear and high. Bream are biting well on crickets. Bass are fair on soft-plastic worms.
Norfork Tailwater: John Berry of Berry Brothers Guides said the Norfork is receiving quite a bit of pressure from boat traffic. If you go, use conventional high-water techniques. The flies of choice will be San Juan worms in bright colors and various midge patterns. The boat ramp at Quarry Park is open. Dry Run Creek is still producing some really big fish for youngsters. The hot fly this week has been a sowbug in size 14. Concentrate on fast deep water and use at least 4X tippets preferably fluorocarbon which has greater abrasion resistance.
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,127.55 feet MSL.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass are biting fairly well on finesse rigs fished off main lake points and humps. Jighead worms in Watermelonseed and green pumpkin are good choices. Some topwater fish have been caught early and late. Crappie are slow, but a few have been caught off shaded docks in 25 to 35 feet of water just off the bottom on minnows. Stripers have been caught near the dam on umbrella rigs trolled 40 feet deep. White bass are few and far between, but can be found schooling early in main lake bays and flats. Catfish have been caught from the banks on worms and liver. Bluegill have moved under the docks and can be caught on crickets fished 2 to 6 feet deep.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and high with a surface temperature in the high 80s. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. A few bass have been caught on crankbaits, topwater lures and small spoons. Catfishing is good on goldfish.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said water conditions are normal with surface temperature at 94 degrees. All species are slow.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said water conditions are normal. All species are slow.
Sugarloaf Lake: Midland Minimart (479-639-9467) said the water is clear and low. All species are slow.
Kings River: Ken Richards at justfishinguides.com said fishing is still very good but water levels are getting low. Be prepared for some walking along with floating. Water temperatures are getting into the 80s during the day. Best fishing times are early morning and late evening. Fly-fishing for smallmouth has been good on top-water patterns fished close to cover. The fish are moving away from cover as daylight fades. Sunfish are still hot. Grasshoppers, poppers and anything else they can get in their mouth will work. Spin fishing for smallmouth has been good. The hot bait is a Texas-rigged 4-inch lizard in watermelon/red. Some monster crayfish have been seen as well.
Lake Charles: Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water level is normal and the temperature ranges from 70 to 72 degrees. The water clarity is about 10 inches. Bream are biting on crickets and worms. Crappie are slow on minnows, jigs, and worms. Bass are slow on spinners and crankbaits. Catfish are fair on carp minnows.
Crown Lake: Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water conditions are normal with a surface temperature in the low 90s. Bream are excellent on worms. Crappie are fair 20 feet deep on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well around shorelines on crankbaits. Catfishing is excellent on worms, liver and goldfish.
Lake Frierson: Lake Frierson State Park said the water is clear and low. Bream are the best thing going on crickets.
Spring River: Mark’s Fly Shop said water clarity has been great. Water levels have been a little below normal which has been providing great wading up and down the river. The most productive areas this week have been below falls and shoals were fish can escape direct sunlight and the oxygen content is high. Rocks turned over this week have been occupied by dark caddis and mayfly nymphs. Daily hatches of black and tan caddis and mayflies in size 18 have been coming off the water early in the mornings and after brief rain showers. Bait fishermen have been doing well on shrimp tails.
Lake Monticello: Greg Gulledge with Basshunters Custom Crankbaits said summer worm fishing in the 10- to 20-foot range continues to produce nice bass. Big worms in watermelon/red, tequila sunrise and junebug have been top catchers. The schooling activity has really slowed. A few nice bass are coming on topwaters like the Basshunters Kill Gill and Zara Spook in shad colors. Frog fishing has been slow.
Lake Chicot: Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said the water is very low and hot. All species are slow.
Grand Lake: Koenig Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said the water is very low and hot. All species are slow.
Millwood Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.50 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water clarity is 10 to 15 inches in the main lake away from current. The surface temperature is 89 to 93 degrees. Current in Little River is 171 cubic feet per second. The typical summer patterns are in full swing at Millwood. Largemouth bass are biting well early in the day, but the bite gets tough from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The mayfly hatch is tapering off, but bream are still active under the willow and cypress trees and are still attracting some good bass. The most consistent reaction bite is on Toads, Bass Assassin Shads, white jigs with white chunk trailers, and 10- to 12-inch worms. Top water action is the best right at daylight using Jitterbugs (Frog and Perch colors), Spit’n Image, buzzin toads and buzzbaits. Swimming bleeding white pearl or blue glimmer jigs with pearl white chunks or craw trailers through grass and pads continue to take some nice bass. Bass Assassin Shads in Gizzard shad and alewife-white are getting good reaction bites in heavy lily pad stands. Early and late, find shallow flats with cypress, stumps and grass or pads, next to deep water drops and creek channel swings, and you are in the correct zone. Swim baits like the magic shad are working near deep drop zones in the river and creek channels, close to grass. Siefert’s Buzz Baits continue to draw good bites around pads and grass 1-6 feet deep. White bass are roaming and the bite is sporadic. Most have been caught between White Cliffs and Cemetery Slough, along Little River using Little Cleos, Little Georges, Rooster Tails and Rocket Shads in white, red, and chrome. The crappie bite improved with the better water clarity, than last week. The most consistent bite remains on live shiners, smoke grubs on light wire jig heads, and Mizmo tubes. Blue and channel cats continue to hit well on trotlines in current in Little River. Cut shad, Catfish Charlie, cottonseed meal cake, chicken hearts and livers are working well on yo-yos hung from cypress trees in 8-10 feet of water. Bream are still biting well on crickets and redworms around docks and cypress trees.
Lake Columbia: Steve’s Marine (870-234-2222) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. Bass are fair on soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is good on worms and shiners.
Lake Erling: Steve’s Marine (870-234-2222) said the water is clear and low. Bream are fair crickets and worms. Bass are fair on crankbaits. Catfishing is good on worms.
White Oak Lake: White Oak Lake State Park said the water level continues to drop. The water temperature is warm and clear. Bream continue to hit crickets early and late in the evening. Crappie, bass and catfish are slow to hit anything.
Lake Greeson: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 543.46 feet MSL.
Lakeside Grocery said the water is murky and low with a surface temperature at 95 degrees. All species are slow.
Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips Guide Service said the water temperature is constant in the lower 90s. A few bass can be found breaking in the early morning. Crappie are painfully slow. Big bream are biting excellently on crickets 14 to 16 feet deep. Stripers are fair to good in the lower end of the lake.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 403.53 feet MSL.
DeGray One Stop (501-865-3511) had no report.
Charles at Iron Mountain Lodge and Marina said largemouth bass are biting fairly well on redbug and cherryseed colored worms fished on the deep side of moss points. Some fish are schooling very early and late and can be caught on Zara Spooks, Rooster Tails and Tiny Torpedoes. Kentucky bass are slow on live crawfish fished 20 to 26 feet deep on points and dropoffs. Hybrids are biting well on live shad, topwaters and jigging spoons in 35 to 45 feet of water. The best areas have been around the dam and Caddo Bend. Crappie are slow, but a few are being caught on Tennessee Shad grubs and live minnows fished slowly around moss points with brush piles set 18 to 22 feet deep. Catfish are biting well on trotlines and jugs baited with minnows or cut shad. Bream are biting well on crickets and nightcrawlers fished 10 to 20 feet deep near points.
Lake Dardanelle: Eric Pratt at Lake Dardanelle State Park said river flow is expected to fall to around 35,000 CFS by mid-week. With air temperatures pushing 100 degrees and water temperature at 86 degrees, fishing for most species has become challenging. Bass can be caught in about 12-15 feet of water on humps and points on crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastic worms. Early morning fishing is good with top-water baits such as frogs and buzz baits. Bream are doing well in the first few hours of the morning on crickets and worms. Catfishing seems to be doing well at night on cut shad, nightcrawlers and artificial baits.
Murphy’s Sporting Goods (479-229-3200) said the water is clearing up and has a surface temperature in the low 90s. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Bass are fair on crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is good on stink bait.
Blue Mountain Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 385.87 feet MSL.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart (479-667-5155) said water conditions are normal. Bream are good on crickets. Bass are fair on jigs and crankbaits. Catfishing is good at night on worms and stinkbait.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 573.35 feet MSL.
Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said the bite has actually been pretty good with good breaking action in the mornings and bass and stripers running together chasing shad. Topwaters have produced, but the best bite has been on shallow-running crankbaits and jigging spoons. After the morning bite is over, fish a 10-inch worm on a 3/8-oz. weight and target the outside edge of the grass in 25 feet of water.
Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is clear and 86 to 90 degrees. Largemouth bass are fair on Texas-rigged worms and jighead worms. Walleye are biting well on spoons fished over brush on main lake points. A crawler harness and bottom bouncer combo is also working on the walleye. Stripers are biting well on live shad and trotline minnows. Bream are biting well in 18 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are slow, but a few have been caught on the edge of grass in 20 feet of water on minnows and crappie grubs.
Trader Bill’s said the hot weather has moved everything to the deep edge of the moss. Some good bass are being caught on Texas-rigged 10-inch worms, large brush hogs and jigs pitched to the deep weed edge but it’s slow. Frogs will work once the grass tops out. If you find some matted grass, try fishing a swimbait along its edge or pitching a heavy jig such as an Oldham’s grass jig to punch through the surface to reach fish below.
Dave Lindhag of Striped Bass Adventures (501-760-6474) said the fishing is best in the early morning and late evening. Most are being caught in 25-30 feet deep around points with trees on live gizzard shad. No large fish are being caught, but some 12-pounders are pretty common this time of year.
Lake Hamilton: Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said bass fishing is very good at night using 10-inch Berkley worms with small weights 12 to 18 feet deep.
Trader Bill’s said white bass, Kentuckies and largemouths can be caught early in the morning on live bass minnows tailhooked and freelined in front of Stokes, Williams and Hot Springs creeks and Scully Basin. Night fishing with Zara Puppies and dark-colored soft-plastics is good during the first 2 hours of the evening and again after midnight.
Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Entergy is running the turbines in 12-hour shifts, which has kept the tailwaters between 59 and 63 degrees. Rainbow trout are few and far between; however, the fish that are caught measure 15-17 inches. No consistent trout bite can be found at Carpenter Dam. Restocking begins again in late November. Striper and hybrid activity is hit and miss as these fish follow the threadfin shad schools that are constantly moving in and out of the tailrace area. Large stripers over 30 pounds have been spotted feeding on shad close to the dam. Fish in the 20-pound class are visible from the bank as they feed heavily on the shad and bream populations. Fishermen using live-bait rigs with brood and gizzard shad are having the most hook-ups, but hard-sided topwater baits are also doing well. C-10 Redfins and Super Spooks in trout and shad patterns are the baits of choice. Largemouth bass can be caught in the creek channels as they run into the main lake. Normally the creek waters are considerably cooler because of constant shade provided by tree cover. Minnows stay at the mouths of these areas and move into the shallows as the water warms. Buzzbaits and soft plastics have produced quality largemouths and spotted bass every week.
Diamond Head Marina said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well 5 to 7 feet deep on crickets. Crappie are biting well in shallow water on minnows. Bass are fair at night.
Lake Hinkle: Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-4719) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good on worms and liver.
Lake Nimrod: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 343.69 feet MSL.
Tri-County Lake – Bass are biting well early in the morning on shallow-running crankbaits. During the middle of the day, they start hitting worms around the rock points and inlets and under docks.
Ouachita River Oxbows – Bream are biting well on crickets and worms at 3 feet deep. Bass are hitting topwaters early but are moving deeper around midmorning. The best bet is to catch them on worms fished near cypress trees or on lighter colored crankbaits. Spinnerbaits fished through grass are also working fairly well in the mornings.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff): River City Sporting Goods (870-534-8303) said the water is murky and at normal level. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Crappie fishing is good on shiners. Bass are biting well on crankbaits, plastic worms and frogs. Catfishing is good on worms.
White River: Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and high. All fishing has been slow.
Maddox Bay: Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said water conditions are normal. All species are slow.
Bear Creek Lake: Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said the water is clear and low. All fishing has been slow.
Horseshoe Lake: Local angler Clyde Gregory said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair near trees on crickets. Crappie are excellent in deep water on minnows. Bass are fair on plastic worms. Catfishing is good on worms and stink bait.
Island 40 Chute: Daily’s Boat Dock (870-739-3478) said the water is murky and high. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are fair on crankbaits. Catfishing is good on stink bait.