Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report – 10/22/2008
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 October 22. 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: The Women’s Bassmaster Tour Championship will be held at Lake Hamilton Oct. 23-25. 20 anglers and co-anglers will launch from the Andrew Hulsey Hatchery Access each day and compete for up to $55,000 in cash and prizes. If you’re looking to learn new techniques on this fishery, now’s your chance to go out and watch. However, please keep a good distance from the competitors’ boats and respect their fishing locations. It’s a great time to learn new techniques and watch the championship unfold, but it shouldn’t be an opportunity to mark new hot spots with a GPS unit.
Arkansas River Levels are available at :
White River Levels are available at :
Statewide Family and Community Fishing 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. This week will mark the last catfish stocking for the year. Trout will be stocked in program ponds when the water is cool enough to support them, which is usually in December. 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. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are biting well on top-water lures. Catfishing is good on large minnows.
Dan at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said bream are fair 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 good on buzzbaits and chatterbaits 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. Intermittent generation started on Oct. 17 with releases beginning at 6 a.m. continuing until midnight. Sporadic releases will be the norm until the lake attains top power pool of 461.4 feet above mean sea level. When top power pool is reached, water releases will be determined by Southwestern Electric Power in Tulsa which reflect power demands from the grid. Normally, under these circumstances, releases are daily but brief. Wade fishing will be possible at times but predicting those times is hard. Drift fishing from a boat, however, is very good right now using prince nymphs, San Juan worms and sowbugs. The brown trout spawn is within a week or so of hitting on the Little Red. Aquatic insects are still hatching all along the Little Red. Midges seem to be the most prolific species, but BWOs, PMDs, march browns and sulphurs are contributing to the buzzing in the sky.
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 the fish are lethargic, possibly because of low dissolved oxygen in the water. Hybrids and whites are day to day, some days anglers are catching 25-30 and some days anglers catch as many as 150 per boat (but those days are much fewer), try the north end of the lake with small in-line spinners and spoons fished vertically between 25-54 feet of water on tips of points. Most of the black bass are deep; try football head jigs and Carolina-rigged Senkos and lizards. The crappie are still biting somewhat in the pole timber. They are suspended in 15-20 feet deep over 60-80 feet of water. Some walleye are biting crawlers in 40 feet. Catfishing is still good all over the lake on jugs.
Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing (501-889-2745) said the water is murky and high. Crappie are biting well on minnows. Bass are good on plastic worms and spinnerbaits.
Lake Overcup: Lakeview Landing (501-354-1470) said the water is murky and at normal level. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. A few catfish have been caught on minnows and worms.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal with water temperatures in the low 70s. All fishing is slow.
Brewer Lake: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal with water temperatures in the low 70s. All fishing is slow.
Lake Maumelle: Jolly Rogers 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 at Little Rock: Vince Miller from Fish N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the water is murky and high. Bass are fair in the backwater 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 and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on crawdad-colored crankbaits.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said bream are fair in 6 to 10 feet of water on crickets. A few crappie have been caught near brush on minnows. Stripers are good below the dams on live bait, bream or shad. Black bass are fair near drops on worms. Kentucky bass are good in the late afternoon on crankbaits. Catfishing is still good in the main channel on shad and worms early in the morning.
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.
Terry Lock and Dam: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is dingy and at normal level. A few bream have been caught on worms. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Catfish are fair on cut bait or chicken liver.
Clear Lake: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie fishing is fair on minnows. Bass are picking up on top-water lures. A few catfish have been caught on chicken liver.
Peckerwood Lake: Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are good on minnows. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and top-water lures. Catfishing is good on minnows and cut bait.
White River: Sportsman’s White River Resort said water conditions are normal with seven generators running constantly. Trout fishing has been very good on pink worms, Rogues, Rapalas and stick baits.
John Berry from Berry Brothers Guide Service said the pattern on the White is for heavy generation around the clock. The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close to all fishing Nov. 1 and will remain closed until Feb. 1. The section from the bottom of this catch-and-release section downstream to the wing wall at the state park is catch-and-release fishing only for the same time period. The upper river below Bull Shoals Dam to Cane Island has not been fishing as well. The Cotter area from the new bridge down to the bottom of Roundhouse Shoals has been fishing a bit better than the upper river. This section has a higher dissolved oxygen level than you may encounter upstream below Bull Shoals Dam. In addition to fishing San Juan worms and midge patterns, be sure and try sow bugs. Rim Shoals has not been fishing as well as it did last week. The hot fly has been the San Juan worm in hot pink and cerise. Remember that there is some limited safe wading in the vicinity of the second island during high water. Stop by Rim Shoals Trout Dock and have them ferry you down for a nominal fee. Crooked Creek has fished well during the last week. Hot flies have been Clouser minnows and crayfish patterns. The creek is low and clear. The section above the Snow access, as well as the lower creek near the confluence with the White River, have been hot spots.
Mountain River Fly Shop said dissolved oxygen levels are declining and the water temperatures are rising. A number of guides have been fishing the Bull Shoals area for some good results, and no apparent harm to the fish, which still pull strongly. But it looks as if the better fishing will occur further downstream in the next few weeks, if this high generation pattern of over 16,000 cfs continues. Sow bugs and worms continue to work well in the upper river. Oxygen levels increase as the surface is broken, through riffles and shoals. These sorts of structures will hold fish. Downstream, eggs and worms continue to prevail, whether they are Dynamite worms, regular San Juan’s, or our new Garden Hackle. Streamers continue to do well. Tan Near Nuff Sculpins or Rainy’s Carp Sculpins and Conehead Autumn Splendors are doing well. Bigger flies like the Circus Peanut, Zoo Cougars and Jim’s Ozark Sculpin have all been fish catchers.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 676.35 feet MSL.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 563.92 feet MSL.
101 Grocery and Bait said the water temperature is in the low 70s. Bass fishing has been good using top-water baits and spinnerbaits. Striper fishing has been fair. Crappie fishing has been fair. Catfishing has been good. Bluegill fishing is good. White bass fishing is good. Walleye fishing has been on the slow side. The fish are all over the lake there are many baitfish everywhere.
Cranfield Junction Bait and Tackle (870-492-5141) said the water is murky and high. Crappie are biting well on minnows near brush. Bass are fair on top-water lures.
Norfork Tailwater: John Berry from Berry Brothers Guide Service said the pattern has been to run one generator around the clock. There have been some limited wading opportunities on the Norfork. Fishing has been spotty. The flows during the day have been light. The hot flies have been San Juan worms in hot pink and brightly colored eggs. There has been a bit of wading at Quarry Park below the dam along the parking lot for the ramp but with the lower dissolved oxygen the upper river has not fished as well as the lower river. Dry Run Creek is fishing well as always. With the brown trout spawn approaching, some of the browns are beginning to move up in the creek. There are plenty of large trout in the creek already. The hot flies are sow bugs, San Juan worms and egg patterns (peach would be the best color). With school back in session there is hardly anyone there. It is a great time to take your children or grandchildren
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,127.83 feet MSL.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass are still biting well early and late in and around the flooded cover on shad-colored ¼-oz spinnerbaits or buzzbaits. Later in the day, try a hula grub fished along chunk rock and docks. Crappie have been getting bigger but there are still a lot of sub-legal fish being caught. They have been under docks and along bluff lines suspended 10 to 20 feet deep. Small yellow/white and black/chartreuse tubes have been effective. White bass fishing has been tough. A few are being caught on main lake flats with spoons early and late. Catfishing has been good at night from the bank using worms and cut bait. Bluegill have been hitting crickets in and around the flooded cover 2 to 5 feet deep.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said water conditions are normal. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are fair in shallow water on spinnerbaits.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said water conditions are normal. All species have been slow.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said water conditions are normal. All fishing is slow.
Sugarloaf Lake: Midland Minimart (479-639-9467) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows. Bass and catfish are slow.
Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA: Judy Potts of Judy’s Bait Shoppe at the north entrance to Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA reports
Lake Charles: Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water level is down about 12 inches. The surface temperature is 60-65 degrees, and the water clarity is 6 inches. Some small bream are biting on crickets and worms. Crappie are slow, but a few have been caught on minnows. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is slow on minnows and worms fished under jugs or from trotlines.
Crown Lake: Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Crappie are good in deep water on minnows. Bass are fair on plastic worms.
Lake Frierson: Lake Frierson State Park said the water is cloudy and at normal level. All fishing has been slow.
Lake Monticello: Fishing guide Greg Gulledge (870-723-3928) with Basshunters Custom Crankbaits said the water is cooling and the fish are in their fall pattern. Bass are being caught in the shallows on River Bottom Get Sticks and Fishboy Trophy Lures’ tubes. Many bass are being caught on Baby Basshunter Crankbaits in Basshunter Shad and Sexy Shad. Baby Kill Gill topwaters are taking their share of fish when the bass are schooling. Crappie fishing is picking up every week.
Lake Chicot: Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said water conditions are normal. Bream are good on crickets. Crappie are biting well on worms. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits.
Grand Lake: Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said water conditions are normal. Bream are good on crickets. Crappie are biting well on worms. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits.
SOUTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Lower Ouachita River: Water is starting to subside in the Ouachita River lakes. Some people are catching a few crappie along moss lines using shiners. No report on other species.
Tri-County Lake: Small worms on 1/16-oz. weights are working well on bass around channels. People are starting gearing up for catfishing, so the catfish bite should be good in the next few weeks.
Millwood Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.43 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said water clarity in the main lake and Little River is improving. Some high-density, broken vegetation and floating mats remain in Little River. Water surface temperatures range from 67 to 72 degrees. The lake level is slowly falling. Current in Little River is 4,349 cubic feet per second. Water clarity is 7 to 10 inches in the main lake away from the current. All USACE boat ramps and campgrounds are open. Millwood State Park has one operational boat ramp and one still under repair.
USACE has been diligently working on bank stabilization downstream of the spillway for the last several weeks. The west bank and rock and rip rap is currently being repaired from potential erosion issues during the week. Largemouth bass are excellent and still schooling around Millwood. Bass Assassin Shads, Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits and 10-inch worms are the go-to baits during the last few weeks. Chunky bass from 2-6 pounds are schooling randomly during the day in many of the oxbow lakes upriver. Schooling bass seem to take a few hours to get started and best schooling activities are 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 jigheads. Johnson silver spoons, War Eagle Spinnerbaits, and Bass Assassin Shad jerk baits are the go to baits when the schooling of these bass move into the vegetation and remaining lily pads. Bass were schooling in Horseshoe Lake upriver, deep in the lily pads. Swimming white jigs w/ white chunk trailers along the edges and pockets of hydrilla or other open holes in remaining vegetation are still working. Early in the morning slowly worked Jitterbugs in white colors, around edges of pads, Spit’n Images, buzzing toads, and buzzbaits are still working. White bass are schooling along with the largemouth bass this week in Mud, Horseshoe and McGuire Oxbow lakes. Crappie continue to improve along with the clarity along Little River. The best depth during the last week is 11-12 feet. Blues and Channel Cats remain consistent again this week on trotlines or yo-yos along the current in Little River, using 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 worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows.
Lake Erling: Steve’s Marine (870-234-2222) said the water is murky and dropping. Bream are biting well on crickets. Catfishing is good on cut bait.
White Oak Lake: White Oak Lake State Park had no report.
Lake Greeson: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 544.02 feet MSL.
Lakeside Grocery said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets and wax worms. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are fair on cut bait. Bass are fair on top-water lures and plastic worms.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 408.17 feet MSL.
DeGray Lake Resort said the water is 69 degrees and warming in the shallows. The water is clearing up. Black bass fishing is tough. Some are being caught, but many anglers are striking out. Bream have moved off their beds. The catfish are starting bite well. Hybrids are breaking more now than they have in the last 3 years on the south end of the lake; they are coming up and staying longer. There are no moss or grass beds to speak of, so it’s been little tougher than usual out there.
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 the water is muddy and high. Bass are the best thing going on crankbaits near rocky points.
Spadra Marina on Lake Dardanelle in Clarksville, has seen crappie pick up in the backwater. Crappie are biting 10 to 12 feet deep in the mornings and evenings and 4 feet deep in the afternoons. Minnows work better in the deeper water, while white jigs work best in the afternoons. Good outings are netting 10-15 keepers, with sporadic limits. Catfish are staying steady. Your chances fare better on live bait or cut shad. Bass have slowed and seem to only do well in certain hot spots. Even then you have to work for a keeper.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart (479-667-5155) said the water is muddy and at normal level. Bream are fair on crickets and nightcrawlers. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfishing is fair on worms and chicken liver.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 578.14 feet MSL.
Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is clear and the surface temperature is 70-74 degrees. Largemouth bass are still good and can be caught with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Spotted bass and largemouths are breaking early and late as well as on cloudy days. 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 as well. Stripers are very good on live bait with shad or trotline minnows. White ½-oz. jigs and ¾-oz. spoons are still working as well. Bream are still fair on crickets or worms in 18 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are still good and being caught over brush. Try brush in water 20 to 30 feet deep. Minnows or crappie grubs are working best. Tennessee shad and white are still the best colors for artificial baits. Catfish are fair on cut bait and live bait on jug lines and trotlines.
Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said bass fishing is excellent with some very good bass being caught in the grass on Revenge flipping jigs in a variety of colors. Crappie fishing is fair with some being caught over the grass on Tennessee shad grubs with 1/16-oz. jigheads. Stripers are really spotty right now but a few are being caught on live shad and ¾-oz. jigging spoons.
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-pound class. Trout stocking will resume next month.
Diamond Head Marina said water conditions are normal. Bass are fair around the banks on spinnerbaits, top-water lures and plastic worms.
Lake Hinkle: Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-4719) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on top-water lures. Catfishing is fair on cut bait.
Lake Atkins: Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said crappie fishing is good in deep water on minnows. Bass are biting well on top-water lures and plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on chicken liver.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff): River City Sporting Goods (870-534-8303) said water conditions are normal. Bream are biting well on redworms, wax worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is excellent on minnows and black or chartreuse jigs. Bass are fair on jig-and-pigs. Catfishing is good on cut bait.
White River: Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report.
Maddox Bay: Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said water conditions are normal. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie fishing is fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is fair on trotlines with live bait.
Bear Creek Lake: Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said the water is clear and low. Bream are fair on crickets. Bass are fair on top-water lures.
Island 40 Chute: Daily’s Boat Dock (870-739-3478) said water conditions are normal. Crappie are the best thing going on minnows and jigs.