11 March, 2009 – Arkansas Weekly Fishing Report
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 March 11, 2009. 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: First-time boat owners can find it difficult to back the trailer down the ramp. The best way to learn is to take a day during the week and practice at the ramp when no one is around. When backing, make small adjustments and be careful not to overcorrect if you think you’ve turned too far. When in doubt, stop and try again.
Arkansas River Levels are available at :
White River Levels are available at :
Statewide Family and Community Fishing Report: Because of the AGFC’s snakehead eradication project, catfish stockings have been moved up and catfish will be stocked in Community fishing ponds statewide. With the catfish stockings added to the trout stockings, fishing should be excellent. Even though the temperatures will be cool, the catfish will bite traditional lures. For the best mix of action, try Power Bait or nightcrawlers fished just off the bottom on a slip cork or on bottom with a bell sinker. For more stocking information, call the Hotline at 1-866-540-FISH (3474) toll-free.
Lake Conway: Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is clear and low. Bream are fair on worms and crickets fished around stumps. Crappie are fair. Catfishing is slow. Bass are biting fairly well on soft-plastics.
Dan at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) had no report.
Little Red River: Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said the water is low and clear. Trout are excellent on Power Bait and marshmallows.
Jed Hollan at the Little Red Fly Shop said the Greers Ferry power house is spoiling us with low water on the weekends and small daily releases during the week. Fishing has been glorious with ideal conditions. Clear water and balmy temperatures have been the norm. However, rain will alter this ideal protocol. Aquatic insect hatches are finally showing some diversity. We are seeing caddis flies and blue-winged olive mayflies coming off most days. Dry flies to try include midges (size 22; cream or black), BWO (sizes 16-18), caddis (sizes 18-20; tan), crackleback (size 14) or para Adams (size 18). Below the surface, tie on a sowbug (sizes 14-16; tan, smoky olive, UV tan, peacock), chronic (size 14), zebra midge (sizes 16-22; red, copper or black), pheasant tail (size 16), copper john (sizes 14-16; red or green), egg pattern (sizes 12-14; roe, salmon or watermelon), gold ribbed hare’s ear (sizes 14-16), red butt soft hackle (sizes 14-18), pink soft hackle (size 16) or woolly bugger (sizes 8-12; olive, brown or black).
Greers Ferry: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.57 feet MSL.
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water is rising and the surface temperature ranges from 60 in the river arms to 48 in the main lake. The walleye spawn is off for some reason, and the white bass are spawning ahead of them up the rivers. The walleye are there but are just not active. The best bite will be after they get out of the river and back in the lake and are on the points and flats. No report on bream or catfish. Crappie are still biting well in the pole timber around river bends and main-lake points and secondary points leading into creeks. Hybrids and white bass are running up the rivers. Some are still scattered around the mouths of rivers. The whites can be caught on grubs, inline spinners and Rooster Tails fished slowly. Bass fishing continues to be good, you just have to cover water and find them.
Shiloh Marina (501-825-6237) said the water is fairly clear and at normal levels. Bass are biting fairly well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits around brushy cover. Walleye are fair on minnows fished in the river arms. All other species are slow.
Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing (501-889-2745) said the water is high and clear. Bream are slow, but a few have been caught on crickets around stumps and brush. Crappie are biting well on jigs fished near brush piles. Bass are fair on minnows near rocky areas and woody cover. Catfishing is fair on stinkbait.
Lake Overcup: Lakeview Landing (501-354-1470) said the water is muddy. All species are slow.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on worms near the bank. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished 1 foot deep. Bass are against the banks and are biting well on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on yo-yos baited with live bait.
Brewer Lake: Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said the water is fairly clear. Bream are fair on crickets fished in brushy areas. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs in brush piles. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits around brush. Catfishing is fair on yo-yos baited with cut bait.
Lake Maumelle: Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water level is 4 inches above the spillway and the surface temperature at the gas dock was 48 degrees Sunday morning. Largemouth bass are moving to shallow areas and are biting fairly well on jerk baits and jigs. Kentucky bass are biting fairly well on tubes and jigs fished 20 to 30 feet deep. White bass are excellent. The spring run has started. On the west side of the bridge and in the chimney area, anglers are doing very well on Rattlin’ Rogues, Storm Swim Shads and Vibric Rooster Tails. Crappie fishing is good around 15 to 20 feet deep on minnows and 1/32-oz. jigs. Bream are slow. Saugeye fishing is fair, with some fish moving to the west end of the lake and hitting Road Runners and jigs in 15 to 20 feet of water. Catfishing is fair. They are hitting worms and prepared baits in 25 feet of water.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said the water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are fair. Crappie are fair on minnows in deep water. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and soft-plastics fished around any shoreline cover and rocky areas. Catfishing is fair on worms and cut bait.
Lake Valencia: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream are fair on worms fished around any brush. Crappie are fair on minnows around brush. Bass fishing is slow. Catfishing is good on worms and cut bait.
Sunset Lake: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is clear. Bream are fair on crickets fished around stumps and brush. Crappie are fair around brush. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is slow.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is muddy and high. Bass are excellent on crankbaits in 4 to 6 feet of water. Crappie are fair. All other species are slow.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said crappie fishing below Lock 9 on the generating side is very good. Copper’s Gap, Point Remove Creek, Flagg Lake and the mouth of Petit Jean also are producing some crappie on minnows fished 3 to 6 feet deep. Catfish are beginning to move from deep holes to the jetty tips and riprap. Whole shad is the best bet for some large catfish. White bass and stripers are staging in the river mouths. Pearl-colored Sassy Shads are catching a few. Kentucky bas are holding on riprap and jetties and can be caught on crayfish. Largemouths are moving to the shallows and backwater areas. They are biting fairly well on shallow-running crankbaits and bass jigs fished next to woody cover. Bream are beginning to bite on crickets fished along rocky areas in the afternoons.
Arkansas River in Little Rock: Vince Miller from Fish ‘N Stuff had no report.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said crappie fishing and catfishing are good around Burns Park, Fourche La Fave, Fourche Creek and Palarm Creek. Bass are biting well in the Big Maumelle River and Little Maumelle River.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is muddy below Terry Lock and Dam. Crappie fishing is fair on live minnows. Bass fishing is fair on jigs. Catfishing is fair below the dam. All other species are slow.
Clear Lake: McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is fairly clear. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around the bank. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is fair on worms.
Peckerwood Lake: Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is low and muddy. Bream and crappie are slow. Bass are fair on yo-yos hung around brush. Catfishing is fair on yo-yos baited with prepared baits.
Pickthorne Lake: Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream fishing is fair. Crappie fishing is fair. Catfishing is fair to good. Bass are slow to fair.
White River: John Berry from Berry Brothers Guide Service said the generation pattern on the White was for low levels of generation around the clock with a couple of high level spikes during the day. This year’s shad kill is basically over, but trout are still hitting shad patterns. The most effective flies have been white marabou jigs and white beadhead woolly buggers. For fishing this area during high levels of generation, I generally use long 4X tippets (a 12-foot leader). Use plenty of lead to get the fly down and a big strike indicator to float it all. There have been reliable reports of excellent fishing on shad patterns from Bull Shoals down to Rim Shoals. The upper river from the Bull Shoals Dam catch-and-release area downstream to Cain Island has been a real hot spot. The lower flows were perfect for drift fishing and, with the trout still keying in on shad patterns, the bite was on. Other effective patterns were zebra midges and San Juan worms. The big story has been the spectacular streamer fishing. Several anglers have been drifting in the upper river from Bull Shoals down to Cotter. They were banging the bank with huge streamers (sculpin and baitfish patterns 5-7 inches long). They were using 8-weight fly rods with 300-grain sink tip lines. This technique resulted in several trophy browns.
Mountain River Fly Shop said the shad kill was very good on the White last week, but with a warming trend for the next week, we can expect the shad action to slow. Stay tuned as cooler temperatures, plus higher flows will have the shad back.
Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is low and clear with three generators running. Trout are fair on Power Bait.
White River (Below Cartney Access): Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said the area from Shipps Ferry to Reds Landing has been relatively slow compared to usual. You can always catch your limit by going to the bottom with Power Bait, corn or worms, but it may take a while. You also can use Rapalas or Zig Jigs and catch a limit, but you must make a lot of casts. The big fish of the day will most always come on the Rapala during tough conditions. Casting toward the bank when there is high water is always the most productive.
Crooked Creek: John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said Crooked Creek is still not fishing well. The water is low and clear but still a bit cold for the smallmouth to be active. As the weather warms and the water temperature reaches 55 degrees, we can expect the smallmouth action to improve.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 653.94 feet MSL.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.00 feet MSL.
101 Grocery and Bait said the last week was beautiful at Norfork, with air temperature in the 70s and water temperature ranging from 46-52 degrees. Crappie fishing has been good on minnows and jigs. White bass fishing is good. Walleye are fair, with most being caught on stick baits, such as Storm Thundersticks, at night. Bass fishing has been good and the largemouth and Kentucky bass can be found just about anywhere as they start their prespawn feed. Catfishing is slow. Striper fishing is slow. For those who want to use live bait, remember that it is illegal to bring live bait fish from another body of water to Norfork.
Norfork Tailwater: John Berry from Berry Brothers Guide Service said there has been limited generation on the Norfork with several windows of no generation that has created some excellent wading. With the hot action centered on the upper White River, the fishing pressure has been much lighter on the Norfork tailwater. Coupled with lower flows and reliable wadable water, this has created some greatly improved fishing. Anglers have reported success with white jigs and white woolly buggers. The better fishing has been on the lower river below the Ackerman Access. The fish seem to be running a bit larger there. Another hot spot has been Quarry Park below Norfork dam. There have been some spectacular midge hatches on sunny days. The best fly for this hatch has been Dan’s turkey tail emerger (size 18-22).
Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said the Long Hole to the confluence has been off more than on. The action has been more consistent on the White River on a fly rod or spinning rod with artificial baits. The catch-and-release area will produce some fish on San Juan worms, egg patterns and beadhead sow bugs, but it has been slow.
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.23 feet MSL.
JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass fishing has been good, but the size has been small. Try fishing a spinnerbait around cover near the bank. Chartreuse/white is a good choice. A crawdad-colored jig-and-pig is another good option around rocky banks. Crappie have been biting, but they have been small. Many small males are being caught around any cover from Monte-NE upstream into the rivers. Try a minnow or a Shineee Hineee jig under a cork fished 2-4 feet deep. White bass can be caught upstream in either river arm on a variety of minnow-imitating lures.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are fair on crickets and redworms. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs in less than 10 feet of water. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and soft plastics fished around brush and rocky points. Catfishing is slow.
Beaver Tailwaters: Ken Richards at Just Fishing Guides said the tailwater is fishing well, even with the high water. Some shad have been seen floating during water releases. Fish have not been taking shad on the surface but have been slamming shad patterns fished under the surface. Most fish caught are in the slot, but several above the slot have been caught and released. The best shad flies to use have been 2 to 4 inches long and are white or light gray.
Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is fair and at normal levels. Bream are fair on worms fished around 30 feet deep. Crappie are fair on jigs fished in the brush. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished near brushy cover. Catfishing is poor.
Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) had no report.
Lake Charles: Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) had no report.
Crown Lake: Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is stained and at normal levels. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around rocky points in 10 to 12 feet of water. Bass are fair on jigs fished around deep drops near 20 feet of water. Catfishing is slow. Bream fishing is slow.
Lake Frierson: Lake Frierson State Park will be closed until the end of March because of ice damage.
Spring River: Mark Crawford at Spring River Fly Shop said the river is running very clear. Water levels are perfect for wading and the fishing has been great. The crackleback in a size 6 has been producing the biggest fish, but a brownie pattern has been catching the most fish. As always, you need to get the fly deep. CatchSpringRiver Fly Shop on K Country 95 radio every Saturday morning at 7:30 and learn the latest on fishing the SpringRiver.
Lake Chicot: Lakeshore Motel and Marina (870-265-9901) said the water is warming (It was 61 degrees Monday). Crappie are moving up in water around 2 to 3 feet deep. There have been many big slabs caught, some on jigs but most on minnows. The catfish are really biting well on minnows in the shallows. Bass fishing has been slow. Bream are biting well in 5 feet of water on crickets and wax worms.
Lake Chicot State Park said bass and crappie are biting well. Catfish are picking up, but it’s sporadic. Catfish are touch-and-go with some people not catching any, but one angler caught two catfish larger than 40 pounds. There is a lot of boating activity on the lake.
Lake Monticello: Fishing guide Greg Gulledge (870-723-3928) of MonticelloBigBass.com said bass fishing on Lake Monticello is picking up with the temperature. Surface temps in the upper 50s and low 60s have been the norm for the last few days. It’s hard to say what the cooler air temperature over the next few days will do to our surface temps. Hopefully, this little bit of winter will be brief. There have been some toads coming in on crankbaits, Texas-rigged lizards and big shiners. Several over 10-lbs. came out of the lake last weekend. The fish seem to be holding around 4 to 8 feet deep.
Millwood Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.58 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said main-lake and river clarity worsened with the high winds during the last few days. Some floating grass mats have broken loose in the river and many river buoys are still missing. The water surface temperature ranges from 49 to 54 degrees. Current at the dam is holding at 774 cubic feet per second, but should increase with the rain. Main lake clarity is 5 to 7 inches. Millwood State Park has one operational boat ramp and one still under repair. Bass activity is picking up between cold fronts. Prespawn black bass from 3 to 8 pounds are moving up and beginning to feed until the next front knocks them back. Early March can be a tricky time of year for a consistent bite. The best bite remains during the warmest hours of the day on slow-moving ¾- to 1-ounce Rat-L-Traps and slow-rolled Colorado-bladed spinnerbaits. Loud rattling crankbaits are working in creek channels. Chunky males are being seen in bedding areas. Wacky-rigged Bass Assassin trick worms, charms, or Senkos are working around hydrilla, lily pad stems, and pondweed. Hottest colors for Charm Assassins and trick worms are the sherbet or merthiolate in the muddy or stained water and watermelon-red or salt ‘n pepper silver phantom in the clearer water. 5- to 7-inch Salty Rat Tails in watermelon/red, smoke/blue, or purple smoke are working on points with vegetation or dead lily pad stems. Best jig colors are Texas Craw, black/blue or green pumpkin with chartreuse combinations. White bass continue biting well between cold fronts up Little River. Whites were best on ½- or ¾-oz. Rat-L-Traps in Diamond Dust, Millwood Magic and Red Craw colors, ½-oz. Rooster Tails in chrome/red or white/chartreuse colors. Further up Little River around Highway 71 Bridge and the Cossatot River Inflow Ditch, Whites are beginning to be seen in the creek mouth junctions with the River. A few more crappie fishermen were out again this week with the warm weather. Crappie are beginning to bunch up and bite again with the clearer water. The best bet continues to be Blakemore Roadrunners or Rocket Shads in white and chartreuse in the heavier stained water around current, or in planted brush piles on Tiny Tubes or 2-inch Bass Assassin Shads in Electric Chicken colors and live minnows. Channel catfish and blue catfish are fair on trotlines and yo-yos, along Little River.
White Oak Lake: White Oak Lake State Park had no report.
Lake Greeson: Daryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips said the lake level is steady and the water is warming very quickly. Crappie are being caught as shallow as 1 foot deep.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 405.14 feet MSL.
Local angler George Graves said the surface water temperature is 59 degrees (49 degrees 20 feet deep) and the water is very clear. Overall, the fishing as been a bit lackluster. There have been a few fair reports of crappie catches from the river end of the lake, (from Point 14 to Point Cedar, Beaton Creek and Point Cedar Creek). Fish brush 18 to 20 feet deep using a 1/16 ounce chartreuse jig, or crappie minnows. Bass are fair between Arlie Moore and Shouse Ford. The warmer weather moved the bass fairly shallow on main-lake and secondary points. Carolina-rigged worms and lizards are working. On windy days, fish the windy points and banks with a spinnerbait because food will be pushed to the area and it won’t take long for the bass to find it. No reports on hybrids or white bass.
DeGray One Stop (501-865-3511) said the water is clear. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair in 30 feet of water on jigs and stumps. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished around brush and rocks in 15 to 20 feet of water. Catfishing is slow.
Iron Mountain Lodge and Marina said the surface temperature is 50 degrees. Largemouth bass are fair on watermelonseed and green pumpkin ½-oz. cannon ball jigs and Zoom super chunk trailers fished 18-25 feet deep around main-lake points. Spinnerbaits and rattling Hot Spots fished on flats and humps are catching a few fish as well. In the upper lake, crayfish-colored crankbaits are catching a few fish. Hybrids and white bass are fair on ¾-oz. spoons, red or gray bucktail jigs and shad-colored crankbaits fished around flats near 20 feet of water. Crappie are biting well on Tennessee shad-colored grubs fished around brush piles in 12-20 feet of water.
Lake Dardanelle: Spadra Marina said some nice-sized crappie have been caught, but they are few and far between. They are still 6-8 feet deep and are biting the best on minnows and jigs with red/sparkle skirts. Catfishing is good on bass minnows, but are better on shad if you can find them. Bass tournaments are picking up, and we should start seeing some nice bass soon.
Murphy’s Sporting Goods (479-229-3200) said the water is muddy and high. No report on the fishing.
Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart (479-667-5155) said the water is stained and at normal levels. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished in 12 feet of water around backwater areas. Bass are slow. Catfish are biting fairly well on worms.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 572.39 feet MSL.
Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said bass are excellent with the water temperature climbing and fish moving shallow. Shad-colored crankbaits and Revenge spinnerbaits are working around secondary points and coves with grass and wind.
Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is clear and the surface temperature ranges from 55 to 58 degrees. Largemouth bass are excellent and can be caught on Rat-L-Traps and white spinnerbaits fished on the outside edge of the moss. Carolina-rigged lizards and speed craws are hot on main-lake and secondary points. Walleye are fair and being caught on crankbaits and jerk baits up the river channels. Stripers are still good on live shad or trotline minnows. Wild eye shad baits and gray hair jigs are working as well. Bream are fair to good on worms or crickets in 18 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are biting very well over brush in 15 to 30 feet of water on minnows and crappie grubs. Catfish are fair and being caught on cut bait and live bait on jug lines and trotlines.
Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports said the lake is 5 feet below the roots of the buckbrush, and the water temperature is in the mid-50s. The lake is falling and clearing up quickly. Bass are holding around any new growth in the weedline. Most of the lake has brown moss, which the fish are avoiding. Look for green moss in the middle of the lake. It is holding more and better fish. Bass are being caught on crankbaits and jigs around that new moss.
Lake Hamilton: Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service had no report for Lake Hamilton.
Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports said the lake is filling, and should be back to normal level by March 15. The water is warming slowly, and the surface temperature is in the mid-50s. The water color is clearing up fast and most of the lake is clear to stained (for Hamilton’s standards). A medium-diving (5-7 foot) crankbait is working well because the fish are not very deep. Also try a ½-oz. Rat-L-Trap on the flats in the afternoon when the sun warms them. As the lake fills, many logs and leaves will float off the bank, making it very important to watch for hazards.
Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that the lake began refilling March 8. The lake will rise 5 inches per day until the 3-foot winter drawdown has been refilled (by March 15). Water temperature fluctuates from 48 to 50 degrees, depending on weather. Rainbow trout fishing has to be experienced to be believed. Trips of 50 or more fish are common with numbers nearing 100 when conditions are right. The best fishing takes place during periods of no generation, but stringers of trout are being caught in the current as well. Bank fishermen casting wax worms and meal worms fished on the bottom or under a bobber routinely catch limits around visible cover. Nightcrawlers and redworms work very well using this same system. Boaters anchoring near sand bars and submerged islands are catching trout at will as these fish school by the hundreds chasing shad and insects. White jigs and brown Rooster Tails have been very productive fished in shallow water along with Super Dupers and small crawfish crankbaits. Trolling in the channels has been a very successful technique during periods of generation. Fly-fishermen casting San Juan worms in red or pink with a strike indicator have done well this past week in the shoal areas. Micro-jigs in white or gray match the threadfin shad color perfectly and appear as an easy meal. The walleye run has been underway for several weeks. Fishing has been spotty at best, but the fish are in the tailrace. Live bait is needed, especially when the turbines are off. Trolling has caught fish during generation, but it’s been very spotty. Fishermen should concentrate their efforts on the channels and be patient. Striper activity is hit-and-miss. Top-water action is heavy when a trout stocking is in progress, so be ready with a C-10 Redfins in rainbow trout colors or a white ¼-ounce jig. The crappie spawn will begin in the next week to 10 days, depending on the weather. Fishing is very good at Carpenter Dam and outdoors lovers should take advantage of a wonderful fishery right here in Hot Springs.
Lake Hinkle: Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-4719) said the water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around brush and stumps in 6 to 8 feet of water. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished near any cover. Catfishing is fair on cut bait.
Lake Atkins: Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is clear. Catfishing is good on worms, minnows and blood bait. All other species are slow.
SOUTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Moro Bay: Moro Bay State Park said the Ouachita River is at 68 feet above sea level (only 3 feet higher than the summer norm). It appears to be receding slowly each day. The warm weather is bringing folks back to the bay for some pretty good bream fishing. Large red-eared sunfish can be caught on the bottom using worms in the bay. They are holding close to cover such as docks and cypress trees. Crappie have been off and on all winter but never consistent for more than a day or two. A few bass fishermen have had success on soft-plastic worms, but few fish caught meet the new 14-inch minimum size limit. Those with special netting licenses have caught some nice buffalo lately but that appears to be slowing down.
Tri-County Lake: Windy weather rolling across the lake made fishing extremely difficult. All species were slow.
Ouachita River Oxbows: Spotted bass are hitting jigs well, but there isn’t much size to them. Largemouths are still hitting shallow-running crankbaits (2-5 foot depth) and slow-rolled spinnerbaits around creek channels.
Arkansas River at Pine Bluff: The Tackle Box (870-534-1498) said the water is low and muddy. Bream are biting well on worms, wax worms and crickets fished around the banks. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around brush and rocky areas. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and minnows fished around brush and stumps. Catfishing is good on worms and cut bait.
White River: Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clearing and is at normal levels. Bass fishing is fair on soft-plastic worms fished around the creeks. Walleye are fair on minnows in the main river. All other species are slow.
Maddox Bay: Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is muddy and high. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on yo-yos baited with minnows and hung from brush near the banks. Some bass and catfish have been caught on the yo-yos as well.
Bear Creek Lake: Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass and catfish are slow.
Island 40 Chute: Daily’s Boat Dock (870-739-3478) said the water is at normal levels and fairly clear. Crappie are fair in 3 feet of water on green jigs fished around brush and piers. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits fished along the bank. Catfishing is slow.
Horseshoe Lake: Local angler Clyde Gregory said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on crickets and redworms fished around brushy areas. Crappie are fair on jigs tipped with a minnow fished around 20 feet deep. Bass are slow. Catfishing is good on cut bait and stink bait.