Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report – 11/5/2008
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 November 5. 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: As shad move into the shallow water, a square-billed crankbait is tough to beat for white bass, black bass and other fish keying on the shad. White bass will chase the shad in the open, but many black bass will hold on cover and wait for the bait to come to them. Find any stumps and cover around the schooling shad with your crankbait and you should find a few bass willing to bite.
Arkansas River Levels are available at :
White River Levels are available at :
Statewide Family and Community Fishing Report: The last catfish stockings for the year are complete and all program ponds are producing eating-size catfish well. The best baits to use are worms, liver, hot dogs and store-bought paste baits. Early and late in the day are the best times to fish. Bream are slowing a bit, but are still biting fairly well on crickets and worms. 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 stockings, call toll free 1-866-540-FISH (3474).
Lake Conway: Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is at normal level and clarity. Bream are biting fairly well in 3 feet of water on worms and crickets near the lily pads. Crappie are biting well on black jigs around brush near any creek channels. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and buzzing frogs. Catfishing is good on live bream.
Little Red River: Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said the water is fairly clear and the water has been shut down. Fishing is excellent right now. The brown trout are spawning and many people are catching fish on chartreuse Power Eggs, wax worms with marshmallows, nightcrawlers and egg or sowbug patterned flies.
Jed Hollan at the Little Red Fly Shop said the Greers Ferry Powerhouse said water releases are being controlled by Southwestern Power Administration in Tulsa, Okla. They have limited the amount of water being released in an effort to increase the dissolved oxygen levels in the lake and river. The temperature of the lake water flowing through the turbines is averaging 57 degrees. Little or no releases have occurred between Oct. 29 and Nov. 3. Releases began again on Nov. 4. The amount of water is scheduled to be about 3,500 CFS (almost one full generator) 24 hours per day with no releases scheduled for Friday through Sunday. Wadable water has been the norm for several days and the fishing has been very good. Stories of one angler catching and releasing 40-50 trout before lunch have been fairly common. Fishing at JFK Park down to Cow Shoal has been spotty because of the low oxygen in that part of the Little Red. Juvenile male browns have moved onto the shoals. They have kiped jaws (hooks on their lower jaw) and when released, are ejecting milt. The next and final phase of the spawn is for the egg-laden females to appear on the shoals and begin making their redds (nests). This could occur at any hour now. There are small redds at Winkley Shoal (Swinging’ Bridge) but I believe they are from spawning rainbows. Yes, rainbows spawn in our river year round but not sufficient to sustain the species without stockers from our trout hatchery.
Greers Ferry: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 460.08 feet MSL.
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is dropping and the water temperature is in the 60s. Some bass are out in front of the bushes and are still biting on many different crankbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits. Football head jigs and Carolina-rigged Senkos and lizards are working well in some creek mouths, as are drop-shot rigs. Some hybrids are coming up, but most are still not breaking the surface. They are schooled up with white bass, black bass and walleye but are scattered anywhere from 25 to 52 feet of water. Catfish are biting across the lake on jugs baited with live bait and liver. Walleye are scattered but are still biting on jigs and crawlers fished on the bottom in 28 feet of water and deeper.
Shiloh Marina (501-825-6237) said white bass and hybrids are surface feeding in the evenings. Some black bass are being caught in the mornings.
Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing (501-889-2745) said the water is clear and falling as the lake is being drawn down. Bream are fair on live bait. Crappie are biting very well on live minnows. Bass are fair. Catfishing is fair on trotlines baited with live bait.
Lake Overcup: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water conditions are normal. All species are fair at best.
Brewer Lake: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said the water is high and clear. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets near the bank. Crappie are fair on jigs fished over brush piles. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and soft-plastics fished in brush. Catfishing is fair on cut bait and nightcrawlers.
Lake Maumelle: Jolly Roger’s Marina said white bass are fair at the west end of the lake on road beds and humps. CC spoons, Sassy Shads and grubs are working the best on the whites. Black bass are off the points about 10 to 12 feet deep. Jigs and soft plastics are working the best on the black bass right now. Crappie are biting well on small minnows and 1/32-oz. jigs fished 20 feet deep. Catfishing is fair to good on prepared bait and chicken liver in 30 feet of water. Bream are slow.
Arkansas River in Little Rock: Vince Miller from Fish ‘N Stuff had no report.
Sunset Lake: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said water conditions are normal. Bass are biting well on 6-inch watermelonseed trick worms. All other species are slow.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said bream are biting fairly well in 4 to 6 feet of water on small green and brown crankbaits. All other species are fair.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said shad are moving into the shallow water during the late afternoon. White bass, largemouth bass and Kentucky bass have followed the shad into the backwaters and are biting well on Shad Raps and other shallow-diving crankbaits. Catfish are still near the main river channel and are biting on skipjack and nightcrawlers below dams 9 and 10. Crappie are in the cutoffs and mouths of creeks and are moving toward the main channel. Minnows fished 4 to 8 feet deep near banks are producing well. Large drum are being caught around rocks on crayfish-colored jigs.
Little Maumelle River: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said bream fishing is slow. Crappie are biting well on pink minnows under a slip-cork rig. Bass are biting well on Gilmore Jumpers and tandem-bladed spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on yo-yos and limb lines baited with chicken hearts.
Murray Lock and Dam: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop said crappie are biting fairly well on pink minnows fished under a slip-cork. Pink/white mini jigs are also catching some crappie. White bass are biting well on white and chartreuse twister tails and yellow/white mini jigs. Catfishing is good on live green sunfish and shad fillets. Stripers are fair on large chartreuse twister tails on ½-ounce jigheads.
Terry Lock and Dam: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the current and clarity are about average. Crappie are biting well on bass minnows.
Clear Lake: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said some large crappie are biting well on minnows. Catfishing is good on shad and nightcrawlers.
White River: Sportsman’s White River Resort said six generators are running regularly. Trout fishing is excellent, but it’s all from a boat. Power Bait, trout worms and Rooster Tails are all popular choices in the high water. Streamers are working well for fly-anglers.
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 is 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.
Mountain River Fly Shop said fishing the White this week has been very good, considering the low dissolved oxygen. The fishing will be up and down during the course of the day, but very good at times. There are some very fat fish in the river that are beautifully colored and hungry. Davy pointed out dynamite worms are working very well, and you can fish standard San Juan’s in hot pink, red, brown.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 669.76 feet MSL.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 561.10 feet MSL.
101 Grocery and Bait said the water temperature is in the upper 60s. Bluegill fishing is good using worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is fair. White bass fishing has been good with the best time around sunset. Striper fishing is slow. Walleye fishing is fair using nightcrawlers. Catfishing has been slow. Bass fishing (Kentucky, smallmouth and largemouth bass) has been good.
Cranfield Junction Bait and Tackle (870-492-5141) said the water temperature is around 69 degrees and the water is still 12 feet over normal pool. The lake is beginning to turn over. Bream, crappie, catfish, stripers and walleye are all slow. Bass are biting well. Most of the largemouths and Kentuckies are in the shallow areas in the backs of coves. Spinnerbaits, topwaters and soft-plastics are all working well on smaller bass. Very few keepers are being caught, however.
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.
Mountain River Fly Shop said the tailwater has been fishing well, with a surprising number of good catches around the mouth of Dry Run Creek, even during high water. Midges, worms and eggs seem to be the preference. Try bigger midge patterns, such as 14, in black and red, like Clint’s Black Tungsten Midge, and Davy’s Whitetail Midges in 12 and 14, fished deep.
Spring River: Mark Crawford at Spring River Fly Shop had no report.
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,126.93 feet MSL.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass and crappie have both been plentiful, just a bit on the small side. Bass are biting buzzbaits in the morning around laydown trees and flooded timber and spinner baits as the sun comes up in the same locations. Crappie have been around laydowns and standing timber near creek channels suspended 10-15 feet deep. Small black/chartreuse or black/yellow tube baits have worked well. Whites have been scarce but can be found on main-lake flats chasing suspended shad. Find a school of bait and white bass will be near. Jigging spoons have worked well. Catfish have been hitting cut bait and worms from the bank at night.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water temperature is in the mid-60s. The fishing is good, but not many anglers are taking advantage of it. The water is still high and clear. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished over brush piles. Anglers who are spider rigging are catching the most crappie right now. Bass are biting decently on spinnerbaits and jigs. Not many have been caught on soft-plastics. Some striper guides are reporting catching some striped bass, but no details on how.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the fishing is practically non-existent.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is very clear. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. Crappie are biting well around brush in 8 feet of water on jigs. Bass are slow, but a few have been taken from 8 feet of water on spinnerbaits and soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers.
Sugarloaf Lake: Midland Minimart (479-639-9467) said the water is low. Fishing is at a crawl for all species. It has been two weeks since the last reported fish was caught.
Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA: Judy Potts of Judy’s Bait Shoppe at the North entrance to Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA reports all fishing is very sluggish in the Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA because of water levels changing so much.
Lake Charles: Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said the water level is down 40 inches since the flood gates were opened the middle of October. The surface temperature is 58 to 60 degrees and the water clarity is 6 inches. Bream are biting on crickets and worms, but they’re still small and very slow. Crappie are biting on minnows, worms, crickets, and are very slow. Bass are slow on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfish are slow on jugs and trotlines baited with minnows.
Crown Lake:Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is at normal level and is very clear. The lake has seen a lot of wind lately. Crappie fishing is excellent on minnows and jigs. Almost all the anglers on the lake are chasing the good crappie bite right now.
Lake Frierson:Lake Frierson State Park said the water is murky. Bream are fair on nightcrawlers along the banks. Crappie are biting well on crappie jigs near the drawdown tower at the dam. Catfishing is fair on chicken livers.
Lake Monticello: Fishing guide Greg Gulledge (870-723-3928) with Basshunters Custom Crankbaits said fishing has really slowed in the last week. There are a few fish schooling around the lake. Some bass have been caught on Basshunter shallow-running crankbaits. The worm bite has fallen off, but there are still a few to be caught. Fishing has really been tough overall.
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 biting well on small crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
Grand Lake: Koenig Bass Tracker Marine (870-265-5374) said water conditions are normal. Bream are good on crickets. Crappie are biting well on worms. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits.
SOUTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Moro Bay: Moro Bay State Park at the conjunction of the Ouachita River, RaymondLake and MoroBay said the river is at its normal level (65 feet above sea level). Crappie are starting to bite well on chartreuse jigs. Most are being caught near cypress trees and sunken debris near the bottom. Even a few bream have been caught this week on worms and jigs while crappie fishing. Some small bass have also been caught on plastic worms and live worms by bank anglers. No one has mentioned anything of catfish but that’s probably because few people are fishing right now. Most are concentrating on hunting this time of year, so don’t forget to wear some orange if you get back in the bay or in the lake this weekend.
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-CountyLake: 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 259.35 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said some high density broken, vegetation and floating mats remain in Little River. Surface temperatures range from 64 to 71 degrees, depending on location and time of day. Current in Little River is 387 CFS. Main lake clarity is 3-5 inches. The river clarity is 7-10 inches and improving. Cooler daytime highs in the 60s and nighttime lows in the mid-40s continue to improve the feeding activity of most all fish on Millwood. Bass continue to feed well. Chunky bass from 2 pounds and up to 6 pounds each are excellent on Rat-L-Traps at random periods throughout the day in many of the oxbow lakes upriver. The best schooling activity is during midday. Schooling bass seem to take a few hours to get started and best schooling activities are running between 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The most consistent reaction bite during sub-surface schooling activity is on Rat-L-Traps, Cordell spoons and white or smoke colored grubs on light wire jig heads. Johnson silver spoons, War Eagle spinnerbaits, 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 and McGuire oxbow lakes upriver this week, chasing shad deep in the lily pads. Swimming white jigs with white chunk trailers along the edges and pockets of hydrilla or other open holes in remaining vegetation are still working but best bet is a Bass Assassin Shad in white or clear/silver flake or a white or Smokey Joe colored Rat-L-Trap. White bass are still schooling along with the largemouths this week in Mud, Horseshoe and McGuire Oxbow lakes. Hammered spoons, chrome Rat-L-Traps and 3-inch smoke or white grubs on light jig heads are working well. Several schools have been seen along Little River between Highway 71 Bridge and the mouth of the Cossatot River. The crappie bite continues improving along with the improved clarity along Little River. The best bite is on live shiners and jigs fished between 9-10 feet deep over planted brush piles. Blue and channel catfish remain excellent 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 crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on soft-plastic worms and crankbaits. Catfishing is fair on stink bait and worms.
Lake Erling: Steve’s Marine (870-234-2222) said the water is low and the lake is being drawn down. Crappie are biting well. Bass are fair. Catfishing is good on worms and stinkbait.
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 was not available.
Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips Guide Service said surface temperature is in the mid-60s and the water is falling steadily. Crappie, black bass and white bass are scattered and being caught on live bait and jigs 6-16 feet deep on hardwood brush piles and bamboo condos in 10-24 feet of water. Kentucky bass are feeding aggressively on live bait fished on the bottom around rocky points in 15-25 feet of water.
Lakeside Grocery (870-398-5304) said the water is murky and about 68 degrees. The water is still high, but is dropping almost a foot a day. Bream and crappie are slow. Bass are biting well 4 to 9 feet of water on crankbaits. Catfishing is fair on trotlines and jugs baited with minnows and set in 8 to 10 feet of water. White bass are hitting shad-colored crankbaits in 3 to 6 feet of water.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 407.44 feet MSL.
DeGray Lake Resort had no report.
Charles at Iron Mountain Lodge and Marina had no report.
Lake Dardanelle: Eric Pratt at Lake Dardanelle State Park said the water is clearing in the main body of the lake. The water temperature is 63 degrees. A forecasted release on Lake Dardanelle is expected to be around 20,000 CFS. Bass fishing is slowly improving. Anglers are catching some keepers with the trusty black/blue jig, swimming it through emergent grass and along brush. Also, shad-colored crankbaits and red shad plastic worms have been successful around drops and humps in about 8-12 feet of water. Crappie are biting well on crappie jigs and Road Runners. A few fishermen are reporting success using minnows. Bream fishing is fair with crickets and worms fished along the banks and around floating structure. Catfishing around the park is fair with a few fishermen catching a few off the breakwater and the fishing pier using nightcrawlers and prepared dough baits. In the main body of the lake, look for humps and old creek and river channels for a chance to catch a few good catfish.
Murphy’s Sporting Goods (479-229-3200) said the water is clear and cool. All species are slow.
Spadra Marina on Lake Dardanelle in Clarksville reports that crappie staying 8-12 feet deep and are active early and late. Limits are being caught on minnows and Panfish Assassins. Catfish are biting excellently near running water and seem to be biting anything and everything. Bass have been biting well on the banks, but keepers are staying hidden. Darker colors have been the best bets, especially black and yellow.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart (479-667-5155) said the water is muddy and at normal level. Bream are slow, but a few have been caught deep on worms and crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass are fair. White bass are slow. Catfishing is fair on live and prepared baits.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 577.45 feet MSL.
Mountain Harbor Resort said the water temperature is 66 to 70 degrees and the water is clear. Largemouth bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. Spoons are effective, fished vertically, near humps and main-lake points 20 to 25 feet deep. Walleye are still fair and being caught on spoons over brush piles on main-lake points. Stripers are still good on live bait with shad or trotline minnows. White ½-oz. jigs and ¾-oz. spoons are still working as well. These fish are breaking early and late and can be caught on C-10 Redfins and Zara Spooks. Bream are fair on crickets or worms in 18 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are very good and being caught over brush and moss beds. Try 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 still fair and being caught on cut bait and live bait on jug lines and trotlines.
Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said bass fishing continues to be good on many baits worked around the grass. Spinnerbaits fished over the top of the grass and along the edge are working well. Punching the grass with a heavy jig is also a hot technique right now. Breaking action is spotty at best.
Dave Lindhag at Striped Bass Adventures said the water temperature is looking great for some breaking fish, but the cold fronts have really kept things from starting. You can pick up a fish here and there but limits are tough to come by. When you find a school of stripers, they are moving quite a bit. The breaking action should be any day now, but things are slow at the moment.
Lake Hamilton: Red Tuggle at Gene Lockwood’s said the drawdown should begin on November 1 in Hamilton. During the drawdown, fishing will really slack off, but as soon as it stabilizes the fishing will really pick up quickly. Crayfish will be looking for new homes and the bass will be feeding. Look for gently sloping banks near the shallows and fish crayfish-colored Bandit and Deep Wee R crankbaits. Buzzbaits worked around any stickups will also produce fish. The nastier the weather, the better the bite will get. Crappie will move a bit deeper during the drawdown. Some walleye have moved up a little, but it’s still a little early for the good fishing.
Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, said the fall weather pattern continues to hold steady, which has enabled fishermen to take advantage of some quality angling below Carpenter Dam. Hybrid and white bass continue to chase shad during periods of generation. Boaters and bank anglers have caught limits of whites and hybrids by casting 1/8- and ¼-ounce jigs in white or gray around visible structure. Live minnows fished under a bobber have produced the best results with most of the fish in the 1- to 2-pound class. These fish will remain in the tailrace as long as the shad are there. The first week of below freezing temperatures will cause the shad to migrate to deeper water downstream. Striper action has been poor, but some fish have been caught below the bridge in the main channel. Trolling the channel with small crankbaits has taken walleye in addition to hybrids and whites. Rainbow trout stocking begins this month and this will begin another great trout fishing season at Carpenter Dam.
Diamondhead Marina said the water is clear. Bass are biting well on spoons fished near the shoreline in 6 feet of water and deeper. Walleye are biting well on Rat-L-Traps fished 10 to 14 feet deep. All other species are slow.
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. Bass are fair on large bass minnows. Catfishing is fair on trotlines baited with live bait.
Lake Atkins: Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are moving to coves and are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are slowing down, but are biting well on soft-plastic worms and buzzbaits. Catfishing is good on cut bait and live shad.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff): The Tackle Box (870) 534-1948 said the water is murky and the current is normal for this time of year. Bream are excellent on crickets and worms. Crappie are excellent in the slack water on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits around backwaters and current breaks. Catfishing is fair on large worms and cut bait.
White River: Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said some of the oxbow lakes have some good crappie fishing in 18 to 20 feet of water.
Maddox Bay: Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is clear. Bream are fair on minnows and jigs fished in laydowns and planted treetops. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on crankbaits. Catfish are fair on stink bait fished around the docks.
Bear Creek Lake: Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said the water is clear and low. There have been no anglers on the lake lately.
Horseshoe Lake: Local angler Clyde Gregory said the water is in very good condition right now. Bream are slow. Crappie anglers are doing well trolling minnows and jigs in the middle of the lake. Bass are slow. Catfishing is very good on cut bait and stink bait.