Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report – 9/10/2008
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 Sept. 10, 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: Although frogs are typically used during the dog days of summer, they can be deadly when the water begins to cool. As the majority of fish move back to shallow water, they will be looking to feed heavily before the stress of winter. At the same time, fluctuating water levels will cause submerged vegetation to mat up at the surface and debris to form floating mats near the shore. Fish the edges of the new mats with a frog and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Arkansas River Levels are available at
White River Levels are available at
Lake Conway: Dan at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said the water has receded and is holding at full pool. Bream have picked back up and are biting 2 feet deep on crickets and wax worms. Bass are biting fairly well on chatterbaits and spinnerbaits. Crappie are picking up on shiners, but are on the small side. Catfish are biting fairly well.
Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is murky and high. A few crappie have been caught on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair near running water on worms.
Little Red River: Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said trout fishing is still good on wax worms with marshmallows, chartreuse Power Eggs, olive or brown marabou jigs and Buoyant Spoons.
Jed Hollan at the Little Red Fly Shop said the Greers Ferry Powerhouse released water from midnight on September 4 until the following midnight. This 24 hour release was required after tropical storm Gustav dropped 6 inches of rain in the watershed the previous day. The temperature of the water passing through the turbines averages 53.4 degrees with a dissolved oxygen content averaging 6.3 mg/l. Midges have been seen flying around the river, but precious few other aquatic insects are “coming off.” This time last year, we had PMDs (pale morning dun mayflies), BWOs (blue-winged olive mayflies) and sulphurs (another mayfly) hatching every day. We also had fewer heavy rain events along with small and dependable water releases. We could still see BWOs and caddis flies before the end of the month. The dry flies that are catching trout include the Adams (#18-#16), royal coachman (#16), hopper patterns (#8-#12), cracklebacks (#12-#14) and midges (#22; cream or black). The most productive flies, however, have proven to be the sowbug (#14; UV tan, UV gray, peacock or olive), zebra midge (#16-#22; red or black), copper john (#14-#16; red, copper or green), pheasant tail (#16), gold-ribbed hare’s ear (#14), San Juan worm (#14-#18; red or worm brown) and wooly bugger (#10-#12; olive, brown or black).
Greers Ferry: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 467.37 feet MSL.
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level rose quickly from the rain, but is dropping steadily as the U.S. Corps of Engineers tries to lower the level to power pool. Bass fishing is good around brush, as most fish have moved up and should be good until turnover starts. Top-water lures, including frogs, and spinnerbaits and jigs are working well. The catfishing continues to be good all over the lake on assorted catfish baits. Bream fishing is good on nightcrawlers and crickets. Crappie are slow after the rain. The whites and hybrids are biting very well, but are small as the young of the year are schooling everywhere. The big fish should show up soon with some cooler nights.
Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing (501-889-2745) said the water is murky and high. Bream are fair on crickets. Bass are good on lures and minnows. Catfishing is good on stink bait and live bait.
Lake Beaverfork: The City of Conway Parks and Recreation Department had no report.
Lake Overcup: Lakeview Landing (501-354-1470) had no report.
Lake Maumelle: Jolly Roger’s Marina said the lake is full and most fish have moved shallow. Largemouth bass are biting well in the weeds. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are working well. Kentucky bass are holding around shallow points and are biting fairly well on spinnerbaits.
Lake Valencia: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said catfish are the best thing going on chicken hearts and nightcrawlers.
Sunset Lake: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is muddy and high. All species are slow.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is starting to clear up. Bass are fair on white and chartreuse spinnerbaits.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said bream have moved into the backwater and are biting well on crickets. Stripers are near rocky points below dams 9 and 10 and are being caught on whole shad in 8 to 10 feet of water. Black bass are fair in the backwater on Shad Raps and white spinnerbaits. A few white bass are schooling early and others are being caught on spinnerbaits. Kentucky bass are near jetties and can be caught on crawfish-colored jigs-and-pigs. Catfishing is excellent in the main channel drifting with shad.
Arkansas River in Little Rock: Vince Miller from Fish ‘N Stuff said the water is murky and dropping. All fishing is slow.
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 70 to 75. The water visibility and clarity is low. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets and worms. Crappie are 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 fairly well on nightcrawlers, and different types of stink bait around ledges and drops.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said crappie are fair on yo-yos with minnows. Bass are good early on stick baits and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on limb lines, yo-yos and trotlines on cut bait, shad and green sunfish.
Murray Lock and Dam: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said a few crappie have been caught on minnows with a slip-cork rig. Catfish are good on cut bait and green sunfish.
Terry Lock and Dam: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said crappie are fair on minnows.
Clear Lake: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy and high. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. Catfish are fair on minnows.
White River: Sportsman’s White River Resort had no report because of weather.
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 perpetual hot spot for months and the past week has not been different. On high water the hot flies remain brightly colored San Juan worms and egg patterns. The most productive colors have been red, cerise, hot pink and fire orange. On lower water try black zebra midges, scuds and sow bugs. Soft hackles like green butts should also be effective. Remember to down size to 6X tippet for the lower flows. The Narrows has remained hot during the past week. On high water, the key to success has been to fish a brightly colored San Juan worm with a nymph on a dropper. The most popular nymphs have been zebra midges, trout crack, sow bugs, scuds, and bead head hares ears. On lower water try the same nymphs in size 18. Olive woolly buggers have been killer in slightly deeper water. Another hot spot has been the Rim Shoals Catch-and-Release section. I have done well with brightly colored San Juan worms, the hot colors have been cerise, hot pink and red. I have noted several anglers take advantage of Gary Flipin’s water taxi to deliver them to the bottom of the second island for some wade fishing and pick them up later. Check by Rim Shoals Trout Dock to take advantage of the service.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 681.22 feet MSL.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 566.76 feet MSL.
Cranfield Junction Bait and Tackle (870-492-5141) said the water is murky and low. A few crappie have been caught on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and top-water lures.
Norfork Tailwater: John Berry of Berry Brothers Guides said the Norfork is fishing a bit better this week, particularly on the low water. The hot spot has been Quarry Park just below the dam. Hot flies have been sowbugs, San Juan worms and zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead and brown with copper wire and copper beads) all in smaller sizes (18-20). On higher flows, the same midges in size 14 have been effective in this area.
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,127.49 feet MSL.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass fishing has been good early and late using buzzbaits around all the flooded timber. Some schooling activity has been taking place also. During the day a hula grub worked along bluffs and docks has been productive. Crappie fishing is at its best early. Try a black/chartreuse tube jig under deep shaded docks or bluff walls. A curly tailed grub worked over main lake brush piles has also been effective. Most fish have been holding 15 feet deep. White bass have been scattered but schooling. Try a small Kastmaster spoon whenever top-water action is seen. Catfishing is good lakewide at night by using worms and nightcrawlers from the bank. Bluegill have been biting crickets and worms by docks and bluffs 5 feet deep.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is high and cooling. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are good 8 to 12 feet deep trolling minnows and jigs. Bass are good during the day on crankbaits and top-water lures. At night, they can be caught on spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and plastic worms.
Beaver Tailwater: Ken Richards at justfishinguides.com said with last week’s rain, Beaver Tailwater is backed up to the dam. Wading opportunities are very limited. The hot flies are still patterns in gray and black. Large darker zebra midges, scuds, pheasant tails and hare’s ears are working in all areas. The best areas have been near the dam and the Parker area. Several fish in the 18-20 inch range have been caught. Some fish also have been caught on micro jigs in pink and in gray.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is dingy and at normal level. Bream are fair on crickets. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are fair on cut bait.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is muddy and high. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. A few catfish have been caught on worms.
Sugarloaf Lake: Midland Minimart (479-639-9467) said the water is murky and high. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on chicken liver and cut bait.
Kings River: Ken Richards at justfishinguides.com said the river is in great shape and fish are biting on large streamer patterns fished on a sinking line. Top-water flies that make a big disturbance have pulled up some big fish. The smallmouth should begin their fall feeding pattern getting ready for colder weather.
Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA: Judy Potts of Judy’s Bait Shop at the Bald Knob north entrance to Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA had no fishing report for the area because of flooding last week along the White River. The main gate to the WMA will be closed until the water returns to safe levels.
Lake Charles: Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said fishing is pretty slow. The water level is normal and surface temperature ranges from 70-72 degrees. Bream are biting on crickets, but are very slow. What crappie that are being caught are biting minnows and jigs. Bass are slow, but a few have been caught on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Catfish are fair on trotlines baited with goldfish and soap.
Crown Lake: Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water conditions are normal with a surface temperature of 78 degrees.
Lake Frierson: Lake Frierson State Park had no report.
Spring River: Mark’s Fly shop said recent rains have muddied up the water a little bit, but it’s clearing up quickly. The dominant fly for the last week has been a plain black wooly bugger and egg patterns. Some really nice fish have been caught lately. Bait fishermen have been reporting great success with cut bait and fluorescent pink and orange Rooster Tails.
Lake Monticello: Greg Gulledge with Basshunters Custom Crankbaits said bass are coming in on big plastic worms in 8 to 18 feet of water in the timber. Junebug, watermelon/red and redbug seem to be the best colors. The top-water bite continues as the schooling improves. Sammies and Super Spook Jrs are producing decent results. There is a drop-shot bite on Fishboy finesse worms in watermelon and kudzu colors. Night fishing is still producing a few large fish with a few in the 10-lb. class taken recently.
Lake Chicot: Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said all species are slow.
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 259.87 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said as of Monday, the water clarity extremely low from the added current (10,864 cubic feet per second). The surface temperature was 74 to 80 degrees. Navigation conditions in Little River are extremely poor with the increased current. Largemouth Bass are biting very well and are randomly schooling in various locations on Millwood. Wobbleheads, Bass Assassin Shads, buzzbaits and Rat-L-Traps are all working well. Chunky Bass from 2-4 pounds are schooling randomly in Mud, Horseshoe and McGuire oxbow lakes up river. The best big bite is still early and late, but improving during noon hours. The most consistent reaction bite is on gold and silver Wobbleheads (gold on cloudy days), buzz baits (white), Bass Assassin Shads (salt and pepper silver phantom and baby bass colors), white jigs w/ white chunk trailers, and Smokey Joe Rat-L-Traps. Fat Free Shads and Cordell Big O’s in shad and crawfish patterns are working in and around flooded timber and laydowns. Once the sun is overhead, switching to 10- and 12-inch worms will produce in fair numbers of 15- to 17-inch bass, although it slows considerably until the schooling starts, which over the past week is running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. White bass were schooling in Mud Lake and in Little River around Hurricane Creek this week. The crappie bite is still slow with the stained and muddy water. The most consistent bite remains on live shiners, grubs on light wire jig heads, and white/chartreuse colored grubs. Blue and channel cats are biting well on trotlines set near the current in Little River and baited with cut shad, Catfish Charlie and chicken livers.
Cossatot River: Davy Ashcraft at Cossatot River State Park (870-385-2201) had no report.
Lake Columbia: Steve’s Marine (870-234-2222) said the water is high. Bream are biting well on crickets. A few crappie have been caught on minnows. Catfishing is good on shiners and nightcrawlers.
Lake Erling: Steve’s Marine (870-234-2222) said bream are fair on crickets. Catfish are fair on shiners.
White Oak Lake: White Oak Lake State Park said the water level is rising, temperature is lower and clarity is murky. Bream are hitting worms and crickets very well. Catfishing is good on minnows. Bass and crappie are slow.
Lake Greeson: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 551.36 feet MSL.
Lakeside Grocery said water conditions are normal with a surface temperature at 80 degrees. Bream are fair on crickets. Bass are fair in shallow water on crankbaits, plastic worms and top-water lures. Catfish are biting well on trotlines with bream or goldfish.
Daryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips Guide Service said recent rains filled Lake Greeson beyond full pool. All species were difficult to catch. The lake is now falling slowly, and water clarity is fair. The stripers have all but disappeared. However, bass are fair to good on the rocky points. Crappie are biting well around brush piles in secondary channels.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 409.16 feet MSL.
Charles at Iron Mountain Lodge and Marina said the water temperature is 83 degrees. Largemouth bass are schooling early and late in the day. Tiny Torpedoes, Zara Spooks and Rooster Tails are working well on the schoolers. During mid-day, bass are biting well on watermelon-colored jigs, 11-inch Red Bug, Cherry Seed, Tequila Green or Bloodline worms. Night fishing is still very good for bass. Kentucky bass are biting well on live crayfish 20-26 feet deep on points and drop offs. Hybrids are excellent on live shad fished 35-45 feet deep around the Dam and Caddo Bend areas. Some are schooling early and late and can be caught on topwaters and jigging spoons. Crappie are good on Tennessee shad grubs and live minnows fished around brush piles and moss points in 18-22 feet of water. Catfishing is good on trotlines and jugs baited with cut shad or live minnows. Bream are great on worms and crickets in 8-16 feet of water.
Lake Dardanelle: Eric Pratt at Lake Dardanelle State Park said heavy rains muddied up the water, but are quickly clearing up. The water temperature is 78 degrees. River flow is predicted to be around 20,000 cubic feet per second. Bass are biting well and with cooler weather they are moving into shallower water. Anglers are catching good keepers on black/blue jigs with a dark-colored creature trailer. Most anglers are having luck in coves and pockets right off the river channel where water is 3-8 feet deep. Also, try throwing a frog in heavy grass and reed areas. Bluegill, red-eared sunfish and yellow bass are biting well on crickets, worms and small tube jigs. Catfish are being caught on nightcrawlers, homemade prepared baits, liver and cut shad. If any one has any information on striper or white bass fishing, please call 479-890-7495 or e-mail eric [dot] pratt [at] arkansas [dot] gov.
Murphy’s Sporting Goods (479-229-3200) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Catfishing is good on shad. Bass are still scattered and hard to find.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart (479-667-5155) said the water is muddy and low. A few bream have been caught on crickets. Crappie are fair in deep water on minnows. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are pretty good below the dam on shad, nightcrawlers and minnows.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 580.34 feet MSL.
Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is clearing up and surface temperatures are 81 to 86 degrees. Largemouth bass are still fair and these fish can still be caught with Texas-rigged worms and jighead finesse worms. Spotted bass are breaking on cloudy days and during low-light hours. Walleye are still good and being caught on spoons over brush piles on main-lake points. Bottom bouncers with spinners and nightcrawlers are good and producing some quality fish as well. Stripers are biting well on live bait with shad or trotline minnows. White ½-oz. jigs and ¾-oz spoons are working as well. Try around Brady Mountain, Bird Island and the spillway. Bream are very good with crickets or worms in 18 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are fair and being caught over grass and brush. Try large moss flats and brush in water 20 to 30 feet deep. Minnows or crappie grubs are still working best. Tennessee shad and white are still the best colors for artificial baits. Catfish are good and being caught on cut bait and live bait on jug lines and trotlines.
Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said the rising water from last week’s downpours has the fish shallow, exploring new territory. Try fishing albino-shad-colored flukes and shad-colored spinnerbaits and crankbaits that run 6 to 10 foot deep on the inside edge of the grass for bass. Stripers are biting well at the dam on live shad and spoons.
Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Entergy has been running full load generation at Carpenter Dam and has kept the flood gates open to rid our area lakes of the 12 inches of rain that Garland County received last week. The tailwaters of Carpenter Dam have been very dangerous and impossible to fish effectively the last few days. Very little fishing has taken place and most anglers are advised to wait until flood conditions subside.
Diamond Head Marina (501-262-2272) said all species are slow.
Lake Hinkle: Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-4719) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. A few crappie have been caught deep on minnows. Bass are schooling. Catfishing is good on sunfish, shad and chicken liver.
Lake Atkins: Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is murky and high. Bass are schooling. Catfish are good on cut bait.
Moro Bay: Moro Bay State Park said the river is very high and rising (currently 84ft above sea level which is 19ft above normal). The National Weather Service predicts it will peak at 87-88 ft by late Saturday. The park campground is already closed because of flooding over the entrance road and the park visitor center will most likely be closed by Wednesday. It’s a good time to fish for buffalo in the flooded backwaters. They can be caught in commercial nets or on trotlines baited with cotton seed meal. Small bass and bream are hard to find with this much water. Getting to the fish on foot will soon be difficult as it will require crossing water in most places. Inexperienced boaters should steer clear because launching a boat is difficult with the ramp underwater, currents are swift, and floating debris can damage boats.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff): River City Sporting Goods (870-534-8303) said the water is murky and dropping. Bream are biting well on redworms, wax worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are good on top-water lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is good on shad, shrimp and nightcrawlers.
White River: Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is muddy and high. All fishing is slow.
Maddox Bay: Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is muddy and high. All fishing has been slow.
Bear Creek Lake: Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said all fishing is slow.
Horseshoe Lake: Local angler Clyde Gregory said water conditions are normal. Crappie can be caught trolling on minnows and chartreuse jigs. Catfishing is good on cut bait, stink bait and chicken liver.
Island 40 Chute: Daily’s Boat Dock (870-739-3478) said water conditions are normal. A few catfish have been caught on chicken liver.