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Weekly Fishing Report
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Keith Stephens (501) 223-6342, e-mail:
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's fishing report for September 24, 2003.

Fishing Tip: As the days grow shorter, the water gets cooler and the largemouth bass's metabolism slows down, but they still need to fatten up for the winter. The baitfish have reached their largest size for the year, but the numbers are way down due to the summer feeding. This is a good time to use your larger lures. The bass are forced out of some of their holding spots as the weeds die off becoming more concentrated in or around the remaining weed where more food is available. Bass often like to suspend along steep slopes where they can quickly move to shallow water to feed. Many bass focus more on crayfish, because baitfish is harder to find. These bass will be found on or near the rock piles where the crayfish live.

Lake Conway: Bates Field and Stream said bream are scattered and hitting wax worms or crickets. Crappie fishing is fair using minnows in the creek channels and in the live cypress trees. A few bass are being caught around the lily pads with plastic worms and topwater baits. Catfishing is fair using poles or jugs baited with nightcrawlers or minnows.

Little Red River: Lindsey's Rainbow Resort said the river has been mostly low lately with minimum generation in the late afternoon. Fishing is good using wax worms, Power Eggs and jigs. The brown trout are starting into the pre-spawn and fly-fishing is about to get very good.

Greers Ferry: Shiloh Marina said crappie are scattered and hitting shiny small spoons. Hybrids are schooling around Point 6 and hitting top water baits. Kentucky bass are 15 to 20 feet deep around rocky points hitting nightcrawlers.

Harris Brake Lake: Coffee Creek Landing said bream fishing is slow. Crappie fishing is good over the brush piles using minnows. Bass fishing is good with a variety of artificial lures. Catfishing is good on the southeast side of the lake on trotlines baited with liver.

Lake Overcup: Lakeview Landing said bream fishing is good on the bottom with worms. Crappie are hitting jigs. Catfishing is good on trotline or with rod and reels baited with minnows or stink bait. Overcup Landing said bass are doing well using black worms, black buzz bait trailing a black worm fishing five to 10 feet from the bank. Crappie are slow, but a few are being picked up using red/chartreuse, black/chartreuse tube jigs and small minnows. Bream are slowing down, but some are being picked up using red worms. Catfish are hitting nightcrawlers and live bream.

Cadron Creek: Wooster Grocery said bream fishing is good with worms or crickets. Crappie fishing is good using minnows.

Beaverfork Lake: Wooster Grocery said bream fishing is good using worms or crickets. Crappie are hitting minnows.

Brewer Lake: Overcup Landing said bass are hitting jig and pigs, Road Runners and Roostertails. Crappie are still fair in the brush piles using small minnows and tube jigs. Catfish and bream are slow. Wooster Grocery said crappie fishing is good with minnows. Bream fishing is good using worms or crickets.

Toad Suck Lock and Dam: Bates Field and Stream said catfishing is good using small bream or shad.

Little Maumelle River: River Valley Bait said the river level is up a tad and the clarity is fair. Redear and bream are still hitting worms, crickets and red poppers. The crappie fishing is spotty and the fish being caught are small. Bass are hitting minnows and spinner baits. Catfish are still being caught on any bait you want to use.

Lake Maumelle: Jolly Roger's Marina said black bass fishing is good from the weeds to 10 feet deep using spinner baits and little zoom worms in a dark color. Kentucky bass are five to 10 feet deep hitting jigs and worms. White bass fishing is excellent from in front of the marina to Big Island and west to Reese Creek. They are chasing small shad early and late and are being caught on Roostertails and clear crank baits. Catfishing is excellent 15 to 20 deep with large minnows and prepared baits. Crappie fishing is fair in 15 to 20 feet with minnows and assorted jigs. Bream fishing is excellent in 15 feet of water using crickets.

Arkansas River: Charley's Hidden Harbor near Oppelo said to fish for catfish in the main channel about 30 to 35 feet deep with a cocktail of shad and nightcrawlers. White bass are hitting watermelon-colored Wart Hogs or chartreuse and white spinners over low water jetties about four to six feet deep. Largemouth bass are on the down stream side of the jetties where there are flows over the tops of the jetties. Fish are hitting gray and chartreuse Bandits. Some nice skippers have been caught around underwater structures eight to 10 feet deep using silver CC Spoons or chartreuse and white deep diving Rapalas. Crappie are eight to 10 feet deep around wood structures hitting minnows. Bream are six to 12 feet deep around creek mouths and jetties and hitting black and yellow Beetle Spins.


White River: Gaston's White River Resort said the river level is low and the fishing is good. The best baits have been wax worms, yellow Power Bait, pink Glo Worms and Little Cleos. McLellan's Fly Shop said generation has slacked off with the cooler weather, so anglers can get in a full day of wade fishing by hopping from spot to spot. Fishing at Rim Shoals, where there is still some good hopper action to be had, has been doing very well lately. Soft hackles are working well when swung slowly across the current. When not in the catch and release area, try swinging teams of soft hackles by fishing two different sizes and colors. Fly fishermen are having the best luck using olive, tan and gray McLellan's Hunchback Scud size 14-16, tan and light gray Mullets size 12-16, gray and olive McLellan's Woven V-Rib Sow Bug size 14-16, March Brown Spiders, partridge and yellow, partridge and herl, and Red Ass Soft Hackles, standard, flashback and beadhead Pheasant Tail nymph, size 14-18, standard and beadhead Whitlock's Red Fox Squirrel nymph size 14-16, Pozyback hare's ear nymph size 14-16, Ultimate Skip nymph size 14-18, Grand Hopper and Red Legged Hopper size 8 and Rogue Hopper size 10.

North Fork River: Fly-fishing guide John Gulley said fly fishermen are having the best luck in the early morning using olive or black Woolly Buggers and later in the day with sow bugs or scuds. Spin fishermen are using small spinners, small cranks or small jigs when the water is low. High water fishing is best with a CD5 to a CD7 Countdown Rapala in various colors. Bait fishermen are using crawdad tails, scalpin, worms, corn and yellow or chartreuse Power Bait.

Bull Shoals Lake: Lead Hill Boat Dock, Inc. said crappie are being caught with minnows 25 to 30 feet deep. Kentucky bass are about 20 feet off points next to deep water and are hitting crawdads and 30 to 35 feet deep on the flats hitting spoons. Walleye fishing is slow, but a few are being picked up in 30 to 35 feet of water on the flats with spoons. Wilderness Trail said the thermocline is from 34 to 36 feet deep, the lake temperature has dropped from 79 to 76.5 degrees and the lake level is 649.64. Crappie have moved back onto more brush piles in the creeks, fish the deep side of the brush piles using spoons, crappie minnows, small grubs or Swimming Minnows. Largemouth bass continue to move to the back of the creeks, cuts and pockets with the lake cool down. Buzz baits are working well in the morning on largemouth that are right up on the banks. Brush piles, blow downs and stumps are holding areas during the day. Top water can turn on any time of the day; you will see them breaking shad and Zara Spook Jrs. and Spit"N Images Jrs. will trigger feeding strikes. Spider jigs and Carolina rigged lizards or centipedes are also working on largemouth that are holding on structure. Smallmouth bass are back on the pea gravel points and on the main lake. They are searching for crawdads and hitting Spider Jigs and tube baits in green colors with watermelon trailers. Kentucky bass are schooled up following the shad and frenzy feeding throughout the day. Pop R's, Spook Jr.'s and Spit'n Images Jrs. trigger the feeders into top water action. Spooning has also picked up on Kentuckys holding under shad around main lake points and in the middle of main lake pockets. The best colors have been white, gray and white and silver. Walleye have been spotty this week. They are in a transition move from deep water to feeding flats and the bite has been slow. Long liners are catching a few on Reef Runners, worm harnesses and Bill Norman DD 22's outside feeding flats in 32 to 42 feet of water. Nightcrawler rigs are working drifting over the drop-offs along side the feeding flats. The best bite is on spoons fished vertically over the flats. Most of the walleye we are marking are in the 32 to 38 feet of water. White or silver spoons are working the best.

Lake Norfork: Cranfield Junction Quik Stop said crappie are shallow and hitting minnows. Stripers are hitting live bait. Bass are ranging in depths from 10 to 50 with spinner baits or jigs for the deeper fish. Walleye fishing is slow. Catfishing is good using rod and reels baited with nightcrawlers or on trotlines or jugs with cut bait.


Beaver Lake: Southtown Sporting Goods said crappie fishing is fair in six to 18 feet of water with minnows or jigs or trolling with Hot'N'Tots. Stripers are deep hitting live shad. Bass fishing is fair in the mornings with topwater baits or during the daytime using white or shad colored ounce spinner baits or finesse worms. White bass are schooling and hitting spoons and Roostertails. Catfishing is fair using cut bait or live bait.

Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock said a few bluegills are being caught with red worms or nightcrawlers. Crappie are hitting minnows and small jigs. Bass fishing is slow. A few catfish are being caught using nightcrawlers or chicken liver.

Lake Sequoyah: Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock said bream and redear fishing is good using worms. Crappie fishing is fair using minnows or jigs. Bass fishing is good using spinner bait, plastic worms or buzz baits. Catfishing is slow, but a few are being caught using chicken liver or large minnows.

Beaver Tailwaters: Beaver Dam Store says last week a fisherman using a P J's 1/32 ounce olive jig on two pound test line landed a 10.2 pound rainbow trout measuring 26 inches long in the Spider Creek area. The area around Spider Creek and the Bertrand access ramp still remain good holding areas for trout. Olive jigs, chartreuse Power Bait, salmon eggs and wax worms are working the best. Fly fishermen are enjoying plenty of late summer dry fly action on the tailwaters. Hopper patterns, Adams and various midge patterns and colors are productive throughout the day. Bead Head Olive Woollies, size 8-12, Hare's Ear Nymph, size 14-18 in olive or dark, Y2K or Egg Patterns are also good choices. Generation has been fairly consistent, coming on between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and shutting down between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Big Piney Creek: Fish and Game Guaranteed Guide Service said the creek is not floatable, but wade fishing has been very good, particularly mid-day. Largemouth and Kentucky bass are being caught on Rapalas and jerk baits. Fish are schooled in deeper water around logs and boulders.


White River: Local fisherman Jeff Moore said the White River at Batesville is very low making it difficult to travel above Guion and below Lock #1. Fishing remains relatively good despite the low water. Trout fishing in the in the Guion area continues to be good. Anchor fishing is extremely effective with the low water. Baits such as Power Eggs, corn, and worms fished on light line are really working well. Little Cleo spoons and small inline spinners are catching a lot of fish as well. Drifting with the current and casting to and around the various formations and bottom contours is producing some nice rainbows. Smallmouth bass can be caught on the main river on Gitzits, Hula Grubs and small crawdad crank baits. It is possible to site fish for the smallmouth around the rocks and drops in the river itself. Below Lock #3 to Batesville bass fishing continues to be fair. Both largemouth and smallmouth can be caught from the river grass on a variety of baits. Small four inch Zoom worms Texas rigged are working very well as are Gitzits, floating worms, and top waters. Walleye fishing is fair between Lock #3 and Lock #1. Most of the fish are being caught by trolling small crank baits such as Wiggle Warts and model A Bombers in crawdad and fire/tiger patterns. Below Lock #1 sauger and Walleye continue to be good. They can be caught on jig and minnow combinations and various grubs. White bass and hybrids continue to be caught on the sand bars with spoons, small crank baits and minnows. Bream fishing is good from beneath Lock #3 down on worms and crickets. They can be found along the main river grass and lay downs around the creek mouths.

Lake Charles: Powhatan Landing said crappie fishing is good using minnows. Catfishing is good with stink bait or large minnows or on trotlines with rice slicks or goldfish.

Black River: Powhatan Landing said catfishing is good.

Spring River: Many Islands Camp said fishing is good using bright colored Power Bait or nightcrawlers.


Lake Enterprise: Fred's Sport Shop said bream fishing is picking up using crickets. Crappie fishing is slow with a few being picked up using jigs. A few bass are being caught on crank baits or plastic worms. Catfishing is still good in the running streams with cold worms.

Lake Chicot: Koenig's Bass Tracker Marine said bass are hitting topwater baits. Catfish are hitting liver.

Grand Lake: Koenig's Bass Tracker Marine said catfish are hitting worms or liver. Crappie are still being caught trolling minnows or jigs.

Mississippi River: Koenig's Bass Tracker Marine said catfishing is good using worms or liver.


Millwood Lake: Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level is 259.37, clarity is stained and the temperature is 78 to 85 degrees. White and largemouth bass, in the two to three pound range, are still schooling. Black and white bass are schooling and fishing is excellent using chrome/black Cordell Crazy Shads, clear blue Torpedos or Zara Spooks, white rocket shads or Rat-L-Traps along the river and in the oxbows early or late. Once the schooling bass subside, try a chrome medium or deep diving crank bait about six to 10 feet deep. Flat-A Shad or ounce Rat-L-Trap in chrome/blue, white or chrome/black can pick up some additional bass that are following and below the shad school. Along and in the deeper water in the river, a Carolina rig lizard in pumpkin/chartreuse or watermelon red, are working next to cuts and creek dumps into Little River on stumps and grass lines. Jigs with Gene Larew Hawg craw trailers, in black and blue or pumpkinseed, or 10 inch Berkley Power worms in blue fleck or black/chart tail, are working very good, producing around cypress trees eight to nine feet deep. Blue cats are still being caught on trotlines, eight to 10 feet deep, along the river in current, and on yo-yos under cypress trees using catalpa worms, chicken livers, and blood meal mixes. Crappie this week have improved. Crappie are being caught along the river in eight to 10 feet of water using live shiners and jigs, and around cypress trees jigging small tail spinners.

Lake Columbia: Steve's Marine said bream are scattered and hitting worms or crickets. Crappie are hitting shiners at night.

Lake Erling: Steve's Marine said bream are scattered and hitting worms or crickets. Crappie are hitting shiners at night. Catfishing is excellent using cold worms or large shiners.

Lake Greeson: Lakeside Grocery, Motel/Bait Shop said the lake is low and the bream fishing is excellent in 10 to 15 feet of water around the brush piles with worms. A few crappie are being caught around brush piles or stumps with minnows or jigs. Bass are three to 10 feet deep hitting topwater baits, spinner baits and plastic worms. Catfishing is fair in the shallow water with worms and chicken liver.

DeGray Lake: DeGray State Park Marina said crappie are around the outside edge of the moss in about 18 feet of water hitting minnows. Largemouth bass can be found in the shallow water in the early mornings and late afternoon and are hitting flukes, worms and buzz baits. Hybrids and whites are still schooling early and late hitting Zara Spook Jr.'s, Roostertails and spoons. Catfish are seven to 18 feet deep off points or humps hitting blood bait, stink bait or nightcrawlers.

Little Missouri River: Fly-fishing guide Jeff Guerin said the peak of the hatch is in the morning. In addition, we'll be getting enough time for the water to go down in the evening for the fish to have an opportunity to feed every evening. It takes about half an hour for the water to drop to normal after shut down. Just enough time for the fish to key in on the "hover" every evening. Going to improve the fishing this week by leaps and bounds. Not to mention that we'll actually be able to do some worthwhile fishing in the mornings.


Lake Dardanelle: Early Bird Outfitters said bream fishing is fair to good using worms or crickets. Crappie are four to 10 feet deep hitting minnows or jigs. Bass are shallow hitting spinner baits. Catfishing is good using shad or cut bait.

Ozark Pool: Lakeside Food Mart said bream are scattered and hitting nightcrawlers. Crappie are deep and can be caught using minnows or jigs. Black bass are hitting crank baits or spinner baits. White bass are schooling below the dam. Catfishing is fair to good with cut shad or minnows.

Lake Ouachita: Mountain Harbor Resort said largemouth bass fishing is fair on top water with Zara Spooks and Boy Howdies early and late. The hot colors are chrome, bone and clear/blue. Lizards and u-tail worms in red bug, plum, grape and bloodline have been very productive as well. Try main lake points outside edge of the moss-line. White Roostertails and silver spoons are also producing some fish. Walleye fishing is fair using deep diving silver and black rogues on moss humps 20 to 30 feet deep. Some walleye are also being caught in deep timber with spoons. Striper fishing is slow but there is still some action on shad and brood sized minnows around points three and four. Big white, gray jigs and C C Spoons will produce some fish out in deep water. Bream fishing is good using crickets or worms in eight to 25 feet of water in the coves and main lake points. Crappie fishing is fair over brush piles, main lake points and large moss flats 10 to 25 feet deep using feather jigs and two inch grubs in white, silver, Tennessee shad and lemon pearl. Catfishing is good on trotlines or jugs baited with nightcrawlers, stink bait, live minnows or bacon.

Lake Catherine: Dozhier's Bait Shop and Rainbow Landing said most of the striper, hybrid and white bass action is around the Camp Tanako area where breaking fish are being taken in the early mornings using top water baits and live shad. When the sun comes up these fish are going deep and holding in the downed timber along the north shoreline. Bass are hitting short Carolina rigged lizards and worms worked off rocky points and around underwater humps. Bream are deep and hitting crickets and red worms. Catfish are hitting live shiners, nightcrawlers and stink baits fished six to 10 feet deep with more of the action at the east end of the lake. Walleye are beginning to move into the Twin Creeks areas and are hitting silver spoons worked slowly off the bottom.

Lake Hamilton: Dozhier's Bait Shop and Rainbow Landing said some schooling bass, mostly small Kentuckys, are breaking off Big Goat Island and going for top water baits and small silver and white grubs. Stripers are reported off the point where Mazarn Creek runs into the main body of the lake. Live free-swimming shad are working well. Catfish are hitting live shiners and whole shad with the best action around the fish hatchery and in Hot Springs Creek. Bream are deep and hitting crickets and red worms fished 10 to 20 feet deep around docks and boathouses.

Lake Hinkle: Bill's Bait Shop said the lake level is low. Bream fishing is excellent toward the bank in about four feet of water using worms. A few crappie are being caught in the treetops with jigs. The bass are schooling and the fishing is excellent in two to three feet of water around the brush with spinner baits and a few topwater baits. Catfishing is fair on trotlines with worms or stink bait.


Maddox Bay: Maddox Bay Landing said the water level is normal. Bream fishing is poor with a few being caught from the bank in two to three feet of water with crickets. Crappie fishing is fair about 15 feet from the bank and five feet deep using minnows. Bass fishing is fair with spinner baits around the docks. Catfishing is good in the deep holes with stink bait.

Midway Lake: Ed's Boat Camp said the lake is a little high. Bream fishing is good around the stumps with red worms or crickets. Crappie fishing is fair with minnows or some jigs. Bass fishing is excellent around the brush and the docks with spinner baits. Catfishing is good on trotlines baited with minnows. Six Rivers Bait Shop said crappie fishing is very good using minnows.

Bear Creek Lake: Six Rivers Bait Shop said bream fishing is good using crickets.

Cow Bayou: Six Rivers Bait Shop said the crappie fishing is very good using minnows.

White Hall Lake: Six Rivers Bait Shop said crappie are hitting minnows.

Mississippi River: Six Rivers Bait Shop said catfishing is good using rice slicks, skip jack and cut bait on trotlines and nightcrawlers on rod and reels.

Lower St. Francis River: Six Rivers Bait Shop said catfishing is good using rice slicks, cut bait or skip jack on trotlines and nightcrawlers on rod and reels.

Horseshoe Lake: Local fishermen Clyde Gregory said bream fishing is excellent around the cypress trees using red worms or crickets. Crappie are hitting green and black or black and chartreuse jigs and minnows around the cypress trees and up in the lily pads around the little willow trees. Catfishing is very good in the cypress trees using cut bait or stink bait.




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