Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report – 8/13/2008
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Randy Zellers (501) 223-6406, e-mail: rdzellers [at] agfc [dot] state [dot] ar [dot] us
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for August 13, 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: Catching spawning bluegills is easy because you can see them in the shallows. But once the fish move to deeper water, they can be hard to locate. Here’s a way to bring the fish to you. Drop a rope of colorful pennants in an area likely to hold bluegills. A weight on one end of the pennants will keep them from drifting and a float on the other end will mark the spot. Leave the area for an hour. Fish around the flags with small jigs or live bait, either anchoring over the flags or casting from a short distance away. The bright flags will attract the panfish and keep them in the area.
Arkansas River Levels are available at
White River Levels are available at
Lake Conway: Dan at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) reports the bream are still biting well on crickets and worms against the bank. Crappie are slow with some improvement in deep water. Bass are fair on frogs and buzzbaits fished near the creek channels. Catfish are good on trotlines.
Little Red River: Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said the water is clear and low with one generator running. Trout fishing is good on Power Bait and wax worms with marshmallow combinations. Fly fishing has been very good on San Juan worms.
Jed Hollan at the Little Red Fly Shop said the Greers Ferry Powerhouse is releasing water in the middle of the afternoon for 1 to 4 hours. The volume of water being released is varies from 1,500 to 3500 cubic feet of water per second. Guides call this protocol “fish water,” since it serves primarily to enrich the river with a shot of oxygen and cold water. Boating is safer and wading is wonderful. You can contact the power house and listen to a recording about water releases by calling (501) 362-5150. The average temperature of the water passing through the turbines is 53 degrees. Continued reports of incredible trout fishing keep filtering into the shop daily. Aquatic insect hatches continue to be sparse with midges being the most prolific. Hopper season is upon us and I recommend that you give it a whirl. Foam grasshopper flies float well and require no floatant. If you cast your hopper pattern near streamside vegetation or under low-hanging limbs, you will probably discover that there is a trout already there waiting for it. Productive sub-surface offerings include the lowly yet abundant sowbug (#14-#18; UV tan, olive or UV gray), zebra midge (#16-#22; red, black or copper), San Juan worm (#12-#16; red, cerise or orange), pheasant tail (#16), hare’s ear (#14), copper john (#14-#16) and woolly bugger (#8-#12; olive, brown or black).
Greers Ferry: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.43 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 cloudy and at normal level. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Crappie are excellent on jigs and crappie minnows. Bass are fair on crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are fair on trotlines.
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 normal. Bream are fair around docks on crickets and redworms. Crappie are fair 8 to 10 feet deep on minnows and jigs. A few bass have been caught deep on medium plugs. Catfishing is good on trotlines and noodles with nightcrawlers and live bait.
Brewer Lake: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair around banks on crickets and worms. Crappie are fair in deep water on minnows. Catfishing is good on goldfish and cut bait.
Lake Maumelle: Jolly Roger’s Marina said schooling activity has picked up in the last few days. Black bass are biting well. Fish off points near deep water. In the early morning and late evening you can pick up bass a little shallower with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. During the day, go deep with Carolina rigs, drop-shot rigs and CC Spoons. White bass are biting well. There is a lot of activity from Jim’s Island to the Chimney area. Shad baits and grubs will work, but a CC Spoon is the ticket. Bream are biting very well on crickets in 15 to 20 feet of water. Crappie are slow around 20 feet deep along the bends of the creek. Catfishing is good along the edges of creeks on prepared bait in 20 feet of water.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bream are biting well deep on crickets. Catfishing is good on chicken liver, worms and shad.
Lake Valencia: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said catfish are biting well on chicken liver and nightcrawlers.
Sunset Lake: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on crickets. Catfish are biting well on Magic Bait. All other species are slow.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is up from the rains. Bream are fair. Bass are biting fairly well on small crankbaits. Catfishing is poor.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said catfishing is excellent in 20 to 30 feet of water on whole shad drifted below the dams. Black bass are biting fair on watermelon/red flake YUM Dingers fished around wood. Kentucky bass are fair around jetties and areas where muddy water and clear water meet on firetiger crankbaits. White bass are good below the dams and areas where shad are moving into the creek mouths. Try Rat-L-Traps in shad colors. Stripers are good below the dams on wobble spoons and live shad. Bream are excellent around the grass near sandbars on crickets. Crappie are moving to the mouths of creeks and are biting fairly well on minnows. Some huge drum are being caught on crankbaits around rocky areas.
Arkansas River in Little Rock: Vince Miller from Fish ‘N Stuff said water conditions are normal. Bass fishing has been fair on crankbaits, jigs, and top-water lures such as Zara Spooks.
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.
Terry Lock and Dam: McSwain Sports Center said the flow is down and bass are slow. Catfishing is good on shad.
Clear lake: McSwain Sports Center said the water is fairly clear. Bream are biting well on crickets early in the morning.
Pickthorne Lake: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bass are fair on electric blue 8-inch soft-plastic worms. Catfish are good on cut shad and bass minnows.
Peckerwood Lake: Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is clear and low. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs around stumps. Catfishing is fair on worms and chicken liver.
White River: Sportsman’s White River Resort said water conditions are normal with eight generators running. Trout have been fair on lures and plastic pink or red trout worms.
John Berry of Berry Brothers Guides said the upper river from Bull Shoals Dam, through the State Park down to Cane Island Shoals has been a real hot spot. The better fishing is in the morning when it is much cooler the water flows are generally a bit lower than in the afternoon. Most are caught on midge or worm patterns fished under an indicator with a lot of weight to get it down 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 sowbugs. There have been several reports of larger fish being caught on streamers. Cast to the bank and vary your retrieve to figure out whether they want it fast or slow. The hot new pattern has been Jim Mengle’s Ozark Sculpin on a sink tip or full sinking line to get it down to the bottom. The section from Wildcat Shoals to Cotter is producing well. There is still quite a bit of pressure here. The hot flies are trout crack, sow bugs, zebra midges and brightly colored San Juan worms. Another hot spot has been the Rim Shoals catch and release section. It has received a bit more pressure lately, but it is not crowded except at lunch when a lot of guides pull in.
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 685.12 feet MSL.
Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said bass are fair on 1/2 –ounce spoons fished in 28 to 32 feet of water around bluff ends and standing timber. Flukes, Spooks and other topwaters are working during low-light hours. Bass are fair on nightcrawlers and ¼-ounce white Road Runners in fished over the top of brush and standing trees in 25 to 35 feet of water. Drop-shot rigs are working in the same areas as well. White bass are fair on trolled Shad Raps and minnow-style stick baits in 25 to 35 feet of water. Some are being caught on spoons as well. Walleye have moved to the thermocline around 25 to 32 feet of water. Spoons are working well, as are nightcrawlers tightlined on a split-shot rig. Trolling shallow and medium-diving Reef Runners and Wally Divers is working around 25 feet deep. Crappie are slow and scattered. Night fishing under lights is the best way to produce some fish this time of year. Catfishing is good in shallower water on stinkbait, liver, shrimp and live sunfish.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 569.65 feet MSL.
101 Grocery and Bait said visibility is good and the water temperature is in the mid to high 80s. Striped bass fishing is good. Walleye fishing has been fair. Bluegill fishing is good. White bass fishing is fair. Largemouth bass are biting well on topwaters in the evenings. Smallmouth are fair. Catfishing is fair. Crappie fishing is fair.
Cranfield Junction Bait and Tackle (870-492-5141) said all species are slow
Norfork Tailwater: John Berry of Berry Brothers Guides said the Norfork is not fishing as well as it has recently. There has been a lot of boat traffic, especially considering the width of the Norfork as compared to the White. Dry Run Creek Youth Area is still producing some really big fish. This has been the most comfortable place to fish in the twin Lakes area. The narrow valley and heavy tree cover help keep the temperatures on the creek several degrees cooler than any where else around. Wet wading in the creek has been the ticket to beating the heat. The hot flies have been sowbugs and San Juan worms.
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,127.71 feet MSL.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass are biting well on buzz baits early and late along flooded brush. Another option is to work a drop-shot rig with a finesse worm along rocky main-lake points and humps. Crappie fishing has been good with the cool, cloudy weather. Try fishing main lake brush piles 15 to 25 feet deep. Fish have been suspended just off the bottom and hitting black/chartreuse tubes. Whites are still scattered but can be found chasing shad most mornings on main-lake flats and bays. Small casting spoons have worked best. Striped bass have been hitting crankbaits trolled deep up near Point 4 and near Indian Creek. Catfish are biting well all over the lake at night on nightcrawlers and liver. Bluegill can be taken with crickets around bluffs and docks.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is murky and high. Crappie are good deep on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair early on top-water lures and worms. White bass are fair on top-water lures and small spoons early and late. Catfishing is good on jug lines and limb lines with live bait.
Beaver Tailwater: Ken Richards at justfishinguides.com said the water level is finally getting down to where wading is possible near the dam. Fly fishing has been very good with gray scuds fished under an indicator from 2-5 feet deep. Curved shank hooks are working better than straight shank hook patterns. Midges are working but not as well. Beadhead zebra midges in black/silver, gray/blue and red/gold are best. Many trout within the slot are being caught along with multiple species of warmwater fish.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said all fishing has been slow.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said all species are slow.
Sugarloaf Lake: Midland Minimart (479-639-9467) said the water is murky and low. Bream are the best thing going on crickets and worms.
Kings River: Ken Richards at justfishinguides.com said the recent rain has brought the levels back up to good floating. Muddy water right after the rain calls for dark baits and flies with a larger profile to move some water. Floating and fishing should continue to be good with the forecast. Buzz baits, chuggers and torpedoes are working well, as are crease minnows, streamers, large hair poppers and crawdads for fly-fishermen.
Lake Charles: Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water level is normal and the temperature ranges 70 to 75 degrees. The water clarity is 10 inches. A few anglers were spotted on the lake with the cooler weather, but fishing is fairly slow. Bream are biting fair on crickets and worms. Crappie are slow on minnows and jigs. Bass are slow on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are fair on carp minnows and worms.
Crown Lake: Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and a foot low. Bream are excellent on crickets and redworms. A few crappie have been caught deep on jigs and plastics. Bass are fair early and late on top-water lures and crankbaits. During the day, deep-diving baits work the best. Catfishing is good in the evenings on nightcrawlers and chicken liver.
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 fishing has been enjoyable with the cooler weather. Water levels have been low and clear. Smallmouth fishing is heating up with the end of summer near. Slow popper presentations have been the best on the smallies. Trout are still holding below the shoals with the biggest being in the deepest parts of the river.
Lake Monticello: Greg Gulledge with Basshunters Custom Crankbaits said the fishing on Monticello this week has been a little different. The deep worm bite has really slowed, but a few nice bass are still coming in on big worms in 8 to 20 feet. There has been more schooling this week with a nice average size in the 3- to 4-pound range with some in the 6- to 7-pound class. The best schooling baits have Basshunter Kill Gills and Basshunter Wakes. The frog bite is still spotty at best. Hopefully the cooling temps will help the frogging and topwater fishing in general.
Lake Chicot: Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said the water is murky and at normal level. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows.
Grand Lake: Koenig Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said all species are slow.
Millwood Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.17 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said the water clarity is 2 to 5 inches in the main lake away from current. The surface temperature is 84 to 87 degrees. Current in Little River is 780 cubic feet per second. Some high-density vegetation and floating mats remain in Little River from recent pool fluctuations and discharge. USACE crews have replaced many damaged and/or missing river buoys in Little River from the clear cut main lake area, and upriver. All USACE boat ramps and campgrounds are open, as of Monday. State Park has one boat ramp still under repair with the other ramp closer to campgrounds, open. The rain brought some much needed relief to boaters. Largemouth bass activity improved, with most fish being caught early and between 2 p.m. and sunset. Top water toads and plugs, Bass Assassin shads, 10-12″ worms, and swim baits all continue working well for bass. The crankbait bite has improved. Fat Free Shads are working in various shad colors. Bass Assassin Shads in white, blue glimmer or baby bass are best for a reaction bite in heavy lily pad stands. Wacky Worms and Salty Rat Tails in watermelon/red, kiwi or peanut butter and jelly colors, continue working. Siefert’s Buzz Baits continue to draw good bites around pads and primrose grass from 1-6 feet of water. Best reaction bite on buzz baits for last week has been in Tangerine Firecracker, Black Shadow, or Blue Christmas Tree, in the clearest water you can find. War Eagle spinnerbaits, in Firecracker, Hot Mouse, Aurora or smoke colors, are still working around flooded vegetation and cypress trees close to deep water. Rat-L-Traps in Sexy Shad, Shad Daddy, and Spring Bream colors remain hot. White bass remain nomadic and sporadic. The best bite has been near Cemetery Slough and the Highway 71 Bridge on Little Cleos, Little Georges, Rooster Tails and Rocket Shads. The crappie are fair to good in Little River with the improved water color and clarity. The most consistent bite remains on live shiners, grubs on light-wire jigheads and white/chartreuse hair jigs. Blue and channel cats continue to hit well on trotlines in current in Little River. 3-7 pounders are very common and are biting well to very good, using cut shad or Charlie, chicken hearts and livers. Yo-yo’s hung from cypress trees in approx 8-10 feet water depth, near any current are picking up some decent 2-4 pound cats. Bream continue to bite well along the banks on crickets and redworms around docks and cypress trees. With the mayfly hatch dwindling down, bream and redears can still be caught under a single cypress or willow tree on ultra-light or spin cast tackle on smoke colored tubes, jigs, crickets, red worms, and also on white/chartreuse popping bugs.
Cossatot River: Davy Ashcraft at Cossatot River State Park (870-385-2201) said USGA states that the water level is 4.65 feet, with the surface temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees. With the recent rainfall, the river has risen to levels that are not conducive to bass fishing on the river. And with more rain predicted this week and weekend it doesn’t look to be letting up anytime soon. There have however been a few fishermen that are catching a few catfish during these conditions on worms and cut bait in clam pools close to swift water. Also bream are biting well on a worm weighted down as close to the bottom as you can get. Take extra caution on the river it when it is up this high.
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 is rising and very muddy. The water is slightly cooler than last week. Catfish have really been hitting minnows on trotlines. In the last few days, an angler pulled in a 35-lb. blue cat, along with 9-lb. and 5-lb. blue cat off his trotline. Bream are hitting crickets and worms well. There have been some bass caught over the weekend in the deeper water of both lakes.
Lake Greeson: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 544.45 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 Lake Greeson is typically warm for this time of year. Crappie are scattered and slow. Expect the crappie bite to be back on when the water temperature starts to cool. Bream fishing remains excellent using crickets. Bass are showing more surface activity and should continue to increase as fall approaches. Stripers are excellent in deep water if you can keep live shad handy, but still good to fair with other live bait like extra large shiners, small bream and goldfish.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 402.60 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 cooler temperatures have brought some well deserved relief for fishing on Lake Dardanelle. Largemouth bass have become more active in shallower water with the inflow of fresh water from the past couple of days of rain. Anglers are reporting catching bass on chartreuse and white spinnerbaits, shad-colored crankbaits and Texas- or Carolina-rigged worms on points, humps and areas where rain water is flowing into the lake. White and chartreuse frogs and buzzbaits are still productive baits to use in heavy grass beds and around floating vegetation. Catfish are doing very well at this time with many anglers catching their limit. Most are reporting catching them in the upper portion of the lake along the upper river channel on cut shad, gizzard shad and prepared baits. Fishing at the park on the breakwater is still an excellent place to catch a limit of catfish. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms and can be caught just about anywhere along the banks that have some type of structure such as overhanging trees or docks.
Murphy’s Sporting Goods (479-229-3200) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Bass are fair on plastic worms and crankbaits. 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 391.37 feet MSL.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart (479-667-5155) said water conditions are normal. A few bream have been caught on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on jigs and plastic worms. Catfishing is good on chicken liver, shad and cut bait.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 574.39 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. Stripers are hitting extremely well on large Berkley swimbaits. 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 clearing up and surface temperatures are 86 to 90 degrees. Largemouth bass are fair on Texas-rigged worms and jighead worms. Walleye are biting well on spoons and spinner rigs with a crawler harness fished over main-lake points. Stripers are still very good on live bait with shad or trotline minnows. White ½-oz. jigs and ¾-oz. spoons are working as well. Try around Brady Mountain and Bird Island. Bream are still very good with crickets or worms in 18 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are still slow and being caught over grass and brush. Try large moss flats and brush in water 20 to 30 feet deep. Catfish are very good and being caught on cut bait and live bait on jug lines and trotlines.
Trader Bill’s said the rain has helped the bite a little. Some schooling action has been seen for stripers and black bass in open water. Small spoons, tailspinners and Zara Puppies are working on the schooling fish. Larger Sammies will work as well.
Dave Lindhag of Striped Bass Adventures (501-760-6474) said the cooldown was nice for boating, but may impact the fishing. Stripers are biting sporadically, but the bite is still good. Most are being caught in 25 to 40 feet of water on live shad around main-lake points with trees. If you can get them stirred up, you can catch a limit quickly. When going through a probable area, try to use your electric trolling motor instead of an outboard to troll over the school. Some anglers are reporting some decent striper fishing at the dam intake in the evenings.
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 stripers are decent on spoon and live bait. Bass are scattered, but some are being caught on buzzbaits and spinnerbaits in creeks and coves.
Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that before the heavy rains set in Entergy ran the turbines for 12-hour periods. This is a normal summertime pattern and provides Hot Springs with electricity as the need arises. August through November are very slow months for trout fishing at Carpenter Dam. Many of the fish have been caught or eaten by this time. Some trout are still being caught, but as reported, the numbers are low and inconsistent. Restocking begins again in late November. Striper and hybrid activity has been fair with most of the good fishing happening in the early morning hours just after the turbines are started. This sudden movement of water causes the threadfin shad to move away from the banks and out into open water where they are easy prey. Topwater action can be fierce at times but does not continue for long periods. Fishermen need to be in position when feeding is taking place and capitalize on the small window of opportunity. Many of these stripers are in the 20-pound range and can be caught on white ¼-ounce jigs and 6 to 8-inch soft plastics fished weightless. Live bait rigs have caught the most fish. Brood and gizzard shad work better than goldfish or bream at Carpenter Dam. Some quality hybrids have been taken on 1/8-ounce jigs in shad or white colors. These fish tend to stay on the outside of the feeding striper schools where competition for food is lower.
Diamond Head Marina (501-262-2272) said the water is murky and a little high. Bream are fair near drop-offs on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are fair early near shorelines on top-water lures and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good in deep water on chicken liver.
Lake Hinkle: Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-4719) said all species are slow.
Lake Nimrod: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 348.0 feet MSL.
Moro Bay: Moro Bay State Park said the water has been fluctuating slightly the last few weeks from 65 feet to 66 feet, which is a foot above normal. There has been very little rain, so the fluctuation must be from water being allowed through the locks. Bream are still biting some, but you have to find the right spots near structure in the bay or in the lake. A cricket or a worm will suffice. Catfish are being caught on noodles toward Thatcher but only at night. Baiting a trotline this time of year is tough because the Gar will take your bait quickly during the day. Very little is being said about bass or crappie. They may be biting, but few people are willing to suffer the heat.
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 clearing up and at normal level. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Crappie are biting well below lock and dam 3 on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on plastic worms. Catfishing is good on worms and cut shad.
White River: Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said all fishing has been slow.
Maddox Bay: Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on crickets and redworms. Crappie are biting well on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines with live bait.
Bear Creek Lake: Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said all fishing is slow.
Island 40 Chute: Daily’s Boat Dock (870-739-3478) said water conditions are normal. A few catfish have been caught on stink bait.