Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report – 10/15/2008
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 Oct. 15, 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. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this report, visit http://www.agfc.com/enews/default.aspx
Fishing Tip: Fall is a time when shad begin to migrate shallow, and the bass will follow. Check out shallow coves and creeks with your depth finder for balls of shad, and be ready with a lipless crankbait or shad-colored grub when you find them.
Arkansas River Levels are available at
White River Levels are available at
Statewide Family and Community Fishing Program Report: Channel catfish are being stocked in all program ponds and will be biting well on worms, liver, hot dogs, bait shrimp and paste baits. Channel catfish are being caught with more success in early mornings and late evenings. Bream are still biting well on crickets and redworms. Largemouth Bass (catch-and-release only) can be caught using minnows or medium-sized artificial lures in the early morning. For more information on catfish stockings, call toll free 1-866-540-FISH (3474).
Lake Conway: Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said water conditions are normal. A few crappie have been caught on minnows. Bass are biting well on buzzing toads. Catfishing is good on shiners.
Dan at Gold Creek Landing said bream are biting well in 3 feet of water. Crappie are biting fairly well in the pads and 5 feet deep on minnows and white/chartreuse jigs. Bass are biting fairly well on buzzbaits in the pads. Catfish are good on yo-yos and limb lines on shiners.
Little Red River: Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said water conditions are normal with a little generation throughout the day. Trout fishing still remains very good on pink Power Worms, Carolina rigs, Buoyant Spoons and orange or black Rogues.
Jed Hollan at the Little Red Fly Shop said the Greers Ferry Powerhouse continues to lower the lake level with water releases around the clock. One generator has been on-line since October 6, releasing an average of 3,000 cubic feet of water per second into the river. The other generator is off-line for two weeks for maintenance. Operating only one unit is reducing the rate at which the lake level is being lowered. The average temperature of the water passing through the turbines is 55 degrees with dissolved oxygen averaging a very low 3.6 parts per million. In spite of high water, our drift fishing guide trips are producing good results. San Juan worms and jigs have attracted the most trout. Your offering should be presented on the streambed by using enough split shot or sink putty to get it down all the way. Larger than average strike indicators will be required to float this heavy set-up. Aquatic insect hatches are occurring daily with most bugs “coming off” around dusk and even later. The best flies for the present river conditions are the sowbug (#14-#16 olive, UV tan, UV gray or peacock), San Juan worm (#12-#14 red, worm brown or fl. cerise), copper john (#14-#16 red, green or copper), red butt emerger (#14-#18), hare’s ear (#14-#16), egg patterns (#8-#14 bubble gum, salmon or watermelon), zebra midge (#16-#22 red or black) or 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 463.00 feet MSL.
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is falling and the surface temperature is 70-75 degrees. Hybrids and white bass moved deeper with cloud cover, with most being caught over 52 feet of water. Some reports of big fish busting the top have come in as well. Bass are moving out a little more as the lake drops, so try in front of the bushes with crankbaits, topwaters, Carolina rigs and jigs. Crappie are still biting in the pole timber in 60 feet of water. The fish are suspended around 15-20 feet deep. Walleye are still scattered and are slow, but a few have come from 25-48 feet of water. The catfishing is great all over the lake on jugs.
Shiloh Marina said water conditions are normal. A few bass have been caught schooling in the open water.
Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing (501-889-2745) said the water is murky and high. Bream fishing is fair on crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows. Bass are good on plastic worms.
Lake Beaverfork: The City of Conway Parks and Recreation Department said the water is at normal level and choppy. Bass seem to be biting well on top-water lures.
Lake Overcup: Lakeview Landing (501-354-1470) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Catfish are biting well on worms.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal. Crappie are fair on minnows at night. Bass are fair on plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on trotlines with live bait or stink bait.
Brewer Lake: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are fair near brush on minnows and white or chartreuse jigs. Catfishing is good on nightcrawlers and cut bait.
Lake Maumelle: Jolly Roger’s Marina said Lake Maumelle has turned over and has settled down, resulting in better fishing. Largemouth bass are fair on jig-and-pig combos fished on points in 6 to 9 feet of water. Small Kentucky bass are loaded on the points and will nail the jig as well. White bass are fair at the west end of the lake and are biting smoke grubs on a ¼-ounce jighead in 10 to 15 feet of water. Crappie are biting well in 10 to 14 feet of water on live minnows. Bream are biting well in 8 to 10 feet of water on crickets around the old Jolly Roger cove. Catfish are fair on prepared bait fished 10 feet deep.
Arkansas River in Little Rock: Vince Miller from Fish ‘N Stuff said the water is still very high. Fishing has been slow, but a few bass have been caught in the backwaters on crankbaits and jigs.
Sunset Lake: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said water conditions are normal. Crappie are fair on 2-inch Tennessee shad grubs. Bass are biting well on top-water lures.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on black or yellow Rooster Tails. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are biting well in 4 to 6 feet of water on crawdad-colored crankbaits.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said crappie are fair in 10 to 15 feet of water on minnows. Black bass are good near drops on chartreuse or black spinnerbaits. Kentucky bass are good on top of jetties and can be caught on dark-colored crankbaits. White bass are good in 10 to 20 feet of water on deep-diving crankbaits. Stripers are good below dams 9 and 10 on live bait. Catfishing is still good in the main channel on whole shad.
Big Maumelle River: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said water conditions are normal. Crappie are fair on minnows with a slip-cork rig and red or chartreuse jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits.
Little Maumelle River: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said water conditions are normal. Crappie are good near pad beds on red/chartreuse jigs. Bass are biting well on Rogues, spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on limblines and trotlines on cut bait and chicken hearts.
Murray Lock and Dam: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said water conditions are normal. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are fair on CC spoons and twister tails. Catfishing is good on live green sunfish and shad.
Lake Valencia: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said water conditions are normal. Catfish are the best thing going on night crawlers and chicken hearts.
Terry Lock and Dam: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water conditions are normal. All fishing is slow.
Clear Lake: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are picking up on minnows. Catfishing is good on worms and minnows.
Peckerwood Lake: Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are biting well on top-water lures. Catfishing is good on worms and stink bait.
White River: Sportsman’s White River Resort said water conditions are normal with seven generators running around the clock. Trout fishing has been good on pink worms, Rogues, Rapalas and stick baits.
Mountain River Fly Shop said the White continues to fish very well for boat anglers tossing streamers or deep nymphing. If you are a streamer junkie, get a fast sinking full sink line or a sink tip. We have been noticing the browns in particular are coloring up, so their need to feed should be getting stronger. Try flies with a hint of yellow and brown like the Conehead Autumn Splendor, woolly buggers and Tungsten Slump Busters. Deep nymphing with San Juans, with or without an egg pattern in front of the worm, has been consistent. Red, brown, pink and orange have all been good depending on the day or the section of river. Sowbugs have been more popular in the upper part of the river, try gray or tan. For an oddball suggestion, try deep nymphing a sculpin or crawdad pattern. These are big hunks of protein that could attract a bigger trout.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 679.20 feet MSL.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 565.20 feet MSL.
101 Grocery and Bait said the water temperature ranges from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. Kentucky bass fishing has been good. Bluegill fishing is good. Crappie fishing is fair. Catfishing is good using trotlines. Striper fishing is slow. White bass fishing is fair. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing is fair.
Cranfield Junction Bait and Tackle (870-492-5141) said the water is murky and about 10 feet high. Crappie are the best thing going on minnows.
Norfork Tailwater: Mountain River Fly Shop said the tailwater has been a wader’s dream for the past couple of weeks. Midges scuds and sowbugs have all been very good. But the indications have been that Norfork’s generation could be about to climb again, ruling out wade fishing except for those who float down and fish off the islands. Get in while the going is good. On low water, Camel Midges, Davy’s Super Midges, and WD40s are the ticket. And don’t forget your McLellan’s Woven V-Rib Sowbugs, Clint’s Sowbugs and Davy’s Sowbugs.
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.32 feet MSL.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass have been biting well on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits fished around the flooded cover on the main lake early and late. The rest of the day, a Carolina-rigged worm should do the trick fished along gravel points. Crappie have been biting very well, unfortunately they have been small. Try a black/chartreuse tube or a minnow and fish them under shaded docks 10 to 25 feet deep. Some walleye and catfish have been caught lately while crappie fishing. Catfish have been biting well around docks and near bluff walls on cut bait during the day and at night they have been biting worms fished from the bank. Bluegill have been taking crickets 6 feet deep around flooded cover and docks.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is murky and high. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs near brush piles. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Catfish are fair on chicken liver, night crawlers or live bait.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms near rocky points. Crappie are fair in 3 to 6 feet of water on minnows. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and plastic worms. A few catfish have been caught on chicken liver, perch and shad.
Sugarloaf Lake: Midland Minimart (479-639-9467) said the water is murky and high. Crappie are the best thing going on minnows and jigs.
Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA: Judy Potts of Judy’s Bait Shoppe at the North entrance to Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA reports that the fishing last week and weekend was very good. The water levels in all of the lakes except for Mallard Pond are still a little high for this time of year, but the fish are biting well on all types of bait. Campers were reporting nice catches and lots of them. Mallard Pond’s water level is a little below normal due to a beaver dam that was blown a few months ago, but the crappie, bream and catfish are biting very well. Lots of white bass are being caught at the spillway where Glaise Creek runs into Whorl Lake. Bass have been biting well on large minnows and spinnerbaits. Crappie are hitting good on medium-sized minnows near the middle of the lakes instead of around the edges by the trees. Bream are still biting well on redworms and crickets.
Lake Charles: Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water level is normal but flood gates have been opened, so water will be dropping soon. The surface temperature is 65 to 70 degrees and the clarity is 6 inches. Bream are very slow, but a few have come in on crickets and worms. Crappie are very slow minnows, worms and crickets. Bass are fair on spinners and crankbaits. Catfish are slow on minnows and worms. Walleye on the Black River have been deep.
Crown Lake: Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good on top-water lures early.
Lake Frierson: Lake Frierson State Park said the water is muddy and high. All fishing is slow.
Lake Monticello: Fishing guide Greg Gulledge (870-723-3928) with Basshunters Custom Crankbaits said Bass fishing on Lake Monticello is heating up as we head toward fall. Bass can be caught from 1 to 20 feet deep on Texas-rigged worms and River Bottom Get Sticks (soft-plastic stick baits). The topwater bite is improving every day as is the schooling. There are some fish coming in on PJ’s Bass Extractor jigs rigged with a Trick worm. Crappie are spotty, but some bragging-size fish are being caught.
Lake Chicot: Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Catfish are fair on cut bait.
Grand Lake: Koenig Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Catfish are fair on cut bait.
Millwood Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.63 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said water clarity along the main-lake channel and Little River is improving. Some high density broken, vegetation and floating mats remain in Little River. Corps of Engineers crews have replaced many damaged and/or missing river buoys in Little River. The water surface temperature ranges from 67 to 74 degrees. Current in Little River was 3,392 CFS as of Friday. Cooler daytime highs in the 70s and nighttime lows in the upper 50s continue to improve the feeding activity of most fish on Millwood. Bass continue to feed well and very good schooling activities are being seen in many locations around the lake. Chunky bass from 2-4 pounds remain schooling randomly during the day in many of the oxbow lakes upriver, and fishermen are catching good numbers of schooling fish periodically during the day. The best schooling activity is during midday. Schooling bass seem to take a few hours to get started and the best schooling activities are running between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The most consistent reaction bite during schooling activity is on Rat-L-Traps, hammered Cordell spoons (hint* use a buck tail feather hook!), and white or smoke colored grubs on light wire jig heads. Johnson silver spoons and Bass Assassin Shad jerk baits are the go to baits when the bass move into the vegetation and remaining lily pads. Bass were schooling in Horseshoe Lake upriver, deep in the lily pads. Once the sun gets directly overhead, switch to 10- or 12-inch worm on a light wire hook. Nice bass were caught and released this week around Jack’s Isle in the 7-8 pound class using black/purple jigs on stumps and cypress knees away from the base of the tree, between the boat dock and the creek to Clear Lake. White bass remain schooling along with the largemouth bass this week. Several schools have been biting well on spoons and grubs along Little River between Mud Lake and Hurricane Creek, but are constantly on the move. The crappie bite improved on live shiners and jigs. Best depth over the past week with the improved water clarity is running between 9-11 feet deep over planted brush piles. Blues and channel cats remain consistent on trotlines or yo-yos along the current in Little River baited with cut shad, blood bait 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 water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is good on chicken liver.
Lake Erling: Steve’s Marine (870-234-2222) said the water is murky and low. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is good on cut bait.
White Oak Lake: White Oak Lake State Park reports that the fishing is slow and few anglers are on the water. Catfish are fair on trotlines, but that’s about all the action on the lake lately.
Lake Greeson: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 545.13 feet MSL.
Lakeside Grocery said the water is dingy and high. Bream are good on crickets and small jigs. Bass are fair on crankbaits and topwater lures.
Daryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips Guide Service said the surface water temperature is steady in the mid-70s. Bass can still be caught on bottom using live bait around rocky points. Crappie are doing well on minnows on brush piles and bamboo condos 10 to 15 feet deep in 15 to 25 feet of water.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 408.19 feet MSL.
Charles at Iron Mountain Lodge and Marina said the water temperature is 70 degrees and falling. Largemouth bass are biting well on 11-inch redbug, cherryseed, tequila green and bloodline worms. Some bass are schooling early and late and are being caught on Zara Spooks, Tiny Torpedoes, Rooster Tails and watermelonseed jigs. Kentucky bass are biting well on live crayfish fished around drop offs and points around DeRoche and Caddo Bend in 20 to 26 feet of water. Hybrids are biting well on live shad. They are schooling early and late and are biting well on top-water lures and large CC spoons. The Dam and Caddo Bend are good places to try, as are the drop offs directly across from Iron Mountain. The Hybrids seem to be holding to 24-28 feet deep. Crappie are biting well on Tennessee shad grubs and live minnows fished around moss flats and points in 18 to 20 feet of water. Brush piles from 20 to 25 feet deep are also holding some crappie. Catfishing is good on jugs and trotlines baited with minnows or cut shad. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets fished 6 to 12 feet deep.
Lake Dardanelle: Eric Pratt at Lake Dardanelle State Park said the water is muddy. The surface temperature is 71 degrees. A forecasted release on Lake Dardanelle is expected to be around 30,000 CFS. Bass fishing is slow. Anglers that were catching fish report swimming a black jig with a trailer in mats of grass and in stump rows. A few fish were caught using Texas-rigged 10-inch worms, chatterbaits and buzzbaits. Bass seem to be hanging in about 7-15 feet of water. Crappie fishing is slow but should be improving shortly. Crappie jigs and minnows are the bait of choice. Bream are doing well on crickets and worms around docks and overhanging brush. Tributaries that feed Lake Dardanelle are a great area to find some fish. Catfish are biting slow but can be caught using nightcrawlers, artificial bait or liver.
Murphy’s Sporting Goods (479-229-3200) said water conditions are normal. Bass are scattered and can be caught on top-water lures. A few catfish have been caught on minnows.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart (479-667-5155) said the water is at normal level and clearing up. Bream are biting well on crickets and nightcrawlers. Crappie are fair deep on minnows. Catfishing is fair on shad.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 578.07 feet MSL.
Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is clearing and the temperature ranges from 70 to 74 degrees. Largemouth bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Spotted bass and largemouth are breaking on cloudy days and low-light hours. Walleye are biting well on spoons fished over brush piles on main-lake points. Bottom bouncers with spinners and night crawlers are fair and producing some quality fish. Stripers are biting very well on live shad and trotline minnows. White ½-ounce jigs and ¾-ounce spoons are working as well. Bream are fair on crickets and worms in 18 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are biting well over brush in 20 to 30 feet of water on minnows and crappie grubs. Catfish are fair on cut bait fished below jugs.
Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said the striper action slowed this week, but a few can still be caught if you’re willing to do a lot of looking for active schools. Berkley swim baits and ½-ounce jigging spoons are working well for the stripers when you can find some active schools. Bass are biting fairly well with most buried in the grass and not wanting to chase fast-moving lures. Green-colored grass jigs in ¾-ounce or heavier are working well when punched through the grass. Texas-rigged Berkley Chigger Craws with a 3/8-ounce pegged weight are working well on the outside edge of the grass.
Lake Hamilton: Red Tuggle at Gene Lockwood’s said the water is stained but not muddy. The water temperature is cooling and typical fall patterns are right around the corner. Fishing has been slow overall. The schooling activity of bass has tapered down to a very sporadic hit-and-miss situation. Some fish are moving a little shallower and are biting on shallow- and medium-running crankbaits on points near creek channels and the mouths of coves. Crappie are hit-and-miss as well, but some are starting to move to 10-12-foot deep brush piles.
Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Entergy is running water in the afternoon through the late evening which has prompted the striper and hybrid population to chase shad in the tailrace. Most of the action is in the river channel where the most shad are present. The warmer afternoon temperatures raise the dam waters as much as 5 degrees which prompts the predator fish to feed. Stripers as large as 20 pounds have been hooked on gizzard shad floated under a balloon. Large jigs in white or grey work best for fishermen preferring to use artificial baits. Topwater action remains rare. The most stripers are in the 8- to 12-pound range and are caught from the bridge to the dam. Some quality largemouth bass are being caught in the feeder creeks that flow in the main lake. These areas continue to hold warmer water which attracts thousands of minnows and crawfish. Bass only need a few feet of water to migrate in and out of these areas, and are now actively feeding . Soft-plastic baits such as lizards and U-tail worms are perfect for fishing these spots. Some walleye are being caught in the main river channel by boaters trolling crawfish crankbaits. Most of these fish are females in the 3-pouind class. Trout stocking will begin next month.
Diamondhead Marina said water conditions are normal. Bass are fair in 6 to 8 feet of water on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on stink bait.
Lake Hinkle: Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-4719) said water conditions are normal. A few bream have been caught on crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on top-water lures. Catfishing is good on chicken liver and cut bait.
Lake Atkins: Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said water conditions are normal. Crappie are fair in deep water on minnows. Bass are biting well on top-water lures and plastic worms. A few catfish have been caught on chicken liver.
Lower Ouachita River: The water level rose to unsafe levels in the Ouachita River and Moro Bayou. The level should be dropping rapidly, but caution should still be used.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff): River City Sporting Goods (870-534-8303) said the water is muddy and at normal level. Bream fishing is good on crickets, wax worms and redworms. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on crankbaits and buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on cut bait, stink bait and nightcrawlers.
White River: Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is still very high. All species are slow.
Bear Creek Lake: Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said the water is clear and low. A few bass have been caught on spinnerbaits.
Island 40 Chute: Daily’s Boat Dock (870-739-3478) said water conditions are normal. Crappie are biting well near stumps on minnows and black/chartreuse jigs.