Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 60 degrees. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets in 18 inches of water along the shoreline. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around cypress trees in 6 feet of water. Bass are biting well on white spinnerbaits and frogs fished along the edges of the lily pad fields. Catfishing is excellent on limb lines and goldfish baited with minnows.
(updated 4-27-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service
said low-water condition continue. Possible heavy rain is forecasted over the next several days. With limited generation and heavy rain, we could see the middle and lower sections of the river become stained or muddy. There are great wading and drift-fishing opportunities. All sections of the Little Red are having prolific afternoon and evening caddis hatches. Hot patterns are caddis pupa, emergers, soft hackles, hares ear nymphs and midges. For Trout Magnet fishing, use cotton candy and white bodies on silver and chartreuse jig heads.
(updated 4-27-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips
(501-690-9166) said the caddis hatch is going full blast on the Little Red River with fish most active river-wide between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the low water. The caddis activity has spurred the brown trout, Seaton said, with catches ranging from 4 to 21 inches, indicating a good natural spawning of the trout. Dam generation has been at a minimum, 1 to 2 hours, Seaton said, allowing for wading all of the river. Dry fly patterns haven’t been productive, he said, but caddis emergers fished just below the surface and weighted emergers and pupa under indicators are working best.
(updated 4-27-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company
(501-207-1770) reported great fishing, with low flows allowing anglers a rare opportunity lately to wade. Trout are keying on the strong caddis hatches. Hot flies are the caddies emergers and soft hackles, with pink and white trout magnets also working well.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.50 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service
said the water level is 2.50 feet below normal pool and steady. Most fish are spawning a little deeper than normal. The crappie are eating well around any shoreline cover and out suspended in 5 feet of water or so. Catfishing is getting better each day as the water warms. Some bream spawned this last full moon, but the big push will be the next moon. Try crickets, in-line spinners and small crankbaits for the best catches in and around shallow pockets and even some on flats out to 15-27 feet of water. Some walleye are still lagging around upriver. The warmer weather and sun should get them eating well within the next two weeks on crawlers. For now, try jigs tipped with minnows. Hybrid and white bass are doing about the same as walleye, but the lake fish are biting better. Try spoons, in-line spinners, swim baits or hair jigs or flies. Black bass are pre-spawn and spawn, with a good topwater bite on post-spawn fish as well.
Cody Smith at www.fishgreersferry.com
said it’s the calm before the storm on the reservoir right now. The bite over the last few days has gotten slower with howling winds and muddy water. Surface temperatures are in the upper 50s lake-wide with limited 60-degree water temps in select pockets and bays. The fish are moving around a lot right now. Many fish that were shallow in March moved deeper, but the next wave should move shallow to spawn with the next warm rain.
(updated 4-27-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort
(501-889-2745) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 70 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets along the bank. Crappie are fair on minnows fished close to the bank. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft-plastic worms fished near the bank. Catfishing has been good on worms.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Itty Bit Swim’Rs in monkey milk, pennyback shad, blue ice shimmer and Cajun cricket in 4 to 10 feet of water. Catfishing is good on worms, shad and minnows. Bass are biting buzzbaits and worms. White bass are biting well on Johnson Silver Minnows and Bobby Garland Itty Bit Swim’Rs. Bream are biting on crickets and worms.
Overcup Landing had no report.
(updated 4-27-2016) Fosters Four Seasons
(501-868-9061) said the water clarity is fair and the surface water temperature is in the low to mid-60s. Bream are excellent around shallow rocky areas on crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows fished around any shallow brush. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. The bass are bedding right now. Catfishing is excellent. Some bream anglers are even catching catfish on crickets while they’re searching for sunfish.
(updated 4-27-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina
said the water is 0.3 feet above the spillway and the surface water temperature is 66 degrees at mid-lake and 70 degrees at the west end. Largemouth bass are biting well on wacky-rigged worms, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and many other shallow-water lures. They are bedding in 3 to 6 feet of water, but the spawn is wrapping up. Spotted bass are biting well in 3 to 10 feet of water on jigs and crankbaits. White bass are fair and are moving back out into the lake. Deep-diving Bandit crankbaits and Bomber crankbaits fished on the east side of the bridge are working, as are spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails in the main body of the lake when you can find the fish schooled up. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. The crappie are moving back off the banks now that their spawn is over. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets fished around brush in 20 feet of water. Catfishing is good on stink bait, small sunfish and chicken livers in 15 to 20 feet of water.
(updated 4-27-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton
(501-778-6944) said catfish have been good on chicken livers and Wildcat Blood Dough Bait. Bream are being caught on crickets and redworms. Crappie have been slow on pink minnows. Bass have been biting fairly well on bass minnows and trick worms.
(updated 4-27-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton
(501-778-6944) said catfish have been doing fair on trotlines with brooder minnows and goldfish. Good numbers of bream are being caught on crickets. Bass have been doing well on Zing Tail worms and lizards . Crappie have been fair on no. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows.
(updated 4-27-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton
(501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well on live crawfish and brooder minnows. Large redear bream have been biting well on crickets fished on the bottom. Crappie been slow on no. 6 crappie minnows and Kalin’s Tennessee shad-colored jigs . Bass have been hitting Beetle Spins and finesse worms.
(updated 4-27-2016) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton
(501-778-6944) said crappie are biting fairly well on no. 6 crappie minnows and blue crappie jigs. Catfish are biting well on Sonny's Super Sticky dip Bait and live crawfish. Bream are biting well on crickets and big redworms. Bass have been hitting watermelon/red soft-plastic worms.
(updated 4-20-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley
said the water remains muddy with temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s. Bass are fair. Not a ton are being caught, but when you catch one they are typically of good quality. Find backwaters with water that is slightly clearer and fish any piece of cover that a fish could spawn on or stage on (laydowns, brush, rocks, etc.). Try slowly dragging around simple baits like a Bio Spawn ExoStick bait or a lizard. Crappie fishing is still slow, but some can be caught dipping black/chartreuse tube jigs into backwater brush and laydowns. Some good-sized blue catfish are beginning to show up on trotlines baited with bass minnows. Channel catfish can also be caught in good numbers using your favorite stink bait. Fishing should continue to pick up as the water temperatures increase.
River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is in the low to mid-60s. Bream are biting well in 2 feet of water and shallower. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around cover in 2 to 3 feet of water near the banks. Bass are excellent in shallow water. The bass are on the beds and will bite pretty much anything right now. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and worms. White bass are fair on Rooster Tails. Overall, it’s been a good week on the Little Maumelle.
The folks at Fish ’N Stuff
(501-834-5733) said the water is muddy and the surface water temperature is 62 to 65 degrees. No report on bream. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs fished in brush from the bank to 6 feet deep. Bass are excellent on shallow-running crankbaits and on soft-plastic lizards and beaver-style baits. No report on catfish.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is at normal level. Bream are excellent on redworms and crickets near the bank. Crappie are shallow and are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on crankbaits, soft-plastic worms and spinnerbaits around any cover on the banks. Catfishing is slow. Most of the best action on bream and crappie has been in the mornings.
Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is dingy and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 60 to 63 degrees. Bream are fair on worms fished 2 to 8 feet deep. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on worms. The fishing really picked up in the last half of last week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 658.03 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(updated 4-13-2016) K Dock Marina
(417-334-2880) said the surface water temperature is 54 to 57 degrees and the water is stained to clear. The bite is beginning to pick up around the K Dock area. Some good numbers of crappie are coming in. Anglers are using live minnows and Bobby Garland Swimming Minnows fished in 8 to 10 feet of water near timber and brush piles. The fish are not up on the banks, but that may change with some good days and nights of warm weather. White bass seem to be in the Beaver Creek arm of the lake. There aren’t many whites surface feeding on shad around the flats near K Dock. Walleye are slow on night crawlers and small crankbaits. Many short fish are being caught. The action is better up in the Power Site Dam area. Largemouth bass are biting well on Wiggle Warts, Alabama rigs and spinnerbaits. They also are being caught pretty regularly on finesse jigs and shaky head worms. They still haven’t moved out of prespawn patterns completely.
(updated 4-13-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock
said said the water is in the low to mid-50s. Visibility is good around most of the lake out of the wind. Walleye have picked up in the last few days. The fish that have been caught did not have eggs in them, so they are likely finished spawning and are beginning to feed up and move off the banks for summer. Mnay crappie have been caught in the last week on 1/8- to 1/64-oz. jigs fishing along the banks in 8 to 15 feet of water. They are in the pre-spawn to spawning stage right now. Some bass are staged up in main lake pockets, but the larger creek arms and spawning flats on the sides of those creeks have been the best bet. Smallmouth are spawning, and a grub, hair jig or Carolina rig will work very well for them over rocky and gravelly points. Wherever you have some clay on the bank causing a small mudline is a good place to throw a Wiggle Wart or Storm Rock Crawler crankbait.
(updated 4-20-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort
(870-453-2424) said the water is full of moss and the generators are rolling at nine to 10 strong. Trout fishing has been excellent on PowerBait, pink worms and stickbaits.
(updated 4-27-2016) Cotter Trout Dock
said White River Zig Jigs continue to pull in some nice fish. The best size is 1/8-oz. and the best colors are white, black or tri-olive. Several almost-keeper size browns were caught on a no. 5 gold/black Rapala Countdown. The moss issue seems to subsided a little. The last three days we experienced fairly low water with small rises for short times once or twice a day. Sculpins have been the best bet for bigger fish. In the vicinity of Crooked Creek, brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, cutthroat trout and a perch or two were caught by fly-fishermen using mostly red/silver midges, some Clouser minnows and sowbugs)
(updated 4-27-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said the river saw moderate generation last week with some wadable water. The bite has been a bit slow. During higher levels of generation the river is “dirty” with large amounts of aquatic vegetation suspended in it. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (size 8-10), Y2Ks (size 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead, size 16-18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with a hare and copper suspended below it). It is time for our big caddis hatch, which usually provides our best dry-fly fishing of the year. I have observed a few caddis on the White and have had a report of a decent hatch at Rim Shoals. This is a big insect (size 14). Before the hatch, fish prince nymphs. When you see topwater activity but no insects, I fish with my green butt or a partridge and orange. When trout start taking adults from the top, switch over to an elk hair caddis.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.95 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(updated 4-27-2016) Guide Steve Olomon
said the water temperature is in the upper 60s to the low 70s. Stripers, hybrids and white bass are coming up, chasing baitfish. Throw a Zara Spook, soft jerk bait, wake bait or a swim bait. The night bite has been good, but just because you find them on a bank doesn't mean they will be there again the next night. Some nights require fishing multiple banks. Reel your stick bait slowly or you won’t get many hits. There are still a few walleye up shallow at night also. Bass were spawning this week and some were hitting jigs in 2 to 15 feet of water. They were also hitting soft jerk baits and swim baits.
(updated 4-27-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
said the bite is on. Bass, stripers and hybrids are hitting all over the lake. Topwater lures, plugs and live bait are producing daily limits. I heard from some of the bass pros and they caught 40 to 50 keeper bass every day before the recent Bassmaster tournament. I have been fishing the south end of lake concentrating on main lake points. The shad are spawning right on the bank, so the predator fish are up there feeding all night and day. Find a windblown point and you find stripers feeding very shallow, in the morning. If you’re not on the lake this week and next you’re missing the high point of the spring bite. Crappie continue to be caught in the Big Creek area past Woods Point, about halfway into Brushy Creek. The best performing artificial striper bait seems to be Smithwick's Perfect 10 Rogue. Jewel has come out with a new feather bait looks good for trolling. Hand Cove Resort also has good size shiners in stock right now too. The stripers along with the other large predator species have moved into their spring feed patterns with the air and water temperatures about normal.
(updated 4-27-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said there has been some wadable water on the Norfork Tailwater. The Norfork is stained and has fished poorly due to algae in the water. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (size 18-22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (size 14-16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite combination has been a cerise worm with a Sunday special dropper.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.01 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(updated 4-27-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is stained and at normal level. The surface water temperature is in the mid-60s. Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets fished in 4 to 8 feet of water. Crappie are biting well on minnows and tube jigs in 5 to 10 feet of water with the mornings being the best time to go after them. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft-plastic tubes. Cordell Redfins are working well right now. Catfishing is slow, but an occasional fish has been caught on goldfish. White bass are biting well on Rooster Tails and on jigs or minnows drifted under a float.
(updated 4-27-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service
(479-366-8664) said stripers are making their way back out of the river and creek arms, feeding on bait. There has been some nice topwater action. Some stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, and cuts in the bank to corner bait. The fish still in the White River and War Eagle arms are feeding heavily throughout the day, gorging on shad. Try lightly weighted lines, free lines, balloons, planer boards in presenting your baits. The white bass run is finishing up; they are making their way back toward the main lake, and can be caught using a variety of methods, including grubs, spoons, Rooster Tails. Use lures in orange, chartreuse and white. It is time to night fish with lights under the Highway 12 bridge. Stripers can be taken on live shad fished on free lines and down lines from surface to about 20 feet deep and on trolled umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse grubs. Trolling Rapala no. 14 Huskey Jerks and Smithwick Rogues in black or purple-backed colors will produce. Soft jerkbaits like Zoom Flukes also work well.
(updated 4-13-2016) Beaver Dam Store
said water levels are returning to normal levels and many areas are accessible for anglers. Fly-fishermen are doing well on egg patterns, big nymphs, hare’s ears, midges and pheasant tails. It won't be long until the white bass make their way into the tailwater. These fish make for a great meal, so bring the kids, neighbors and family out to the tailwater. While fishing for trout, try Power Bait in white, red, chartreuse or pink, tipped with wax worms or night crawlers. You can also troll downstream from Bertrand Boat Launch with Berkley Flicker Shads and Rapala Original Floating Minnows. Colorado spoons also have been producing numbers of fish.
(updated 4-20-2016) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service
(479-640-8733) said anglers should make plans to hit the tailwater soon. Fishing is excellent. Generation is normal for this time of year, and the water temperature is warming slowly. There is plenty of bait from Houseman Access to Spider Creek. Trolling and casting various crankbaits to match the baitfish is the way to go. Walleye are still being caught jigging live minnows and various soft plastics. If you have a depth finder, you can find the eyes near the bottom. Rainbow trout are being caught in very nice numbers with various Power Baits on light terminal tackle. Throwing ¼-oz. spoons also has been a good bet for trout. Crappie are being caught on live minnows fished under a slip bobber around brush piles and stick ups. White bass are hitting various crankbaits that dive to about 10 feet deep between Beaver and Houseman Access.
(updated 4-27-2016) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat
said the water is a foot below normal, with visibility clear to 5 feet and the surface temperature 68 degrees. Fishing has been good overall, until the wind changes direction. Give it a few hours, though, and the bite will start again. Crappie seem to be holding at 10 feet deep. Minnows are working the best, however small white jigs have been good, too. Expect them to go shallower as the surface temperature rises. Rick Ford of Springdale said he caught several on Wednesday, with 26 that were 10 inches and above, and one at 18 inches. He was fishing around the public access area over the existing brush piles. Other hot spots are at the flood discharge end of dam, around Rock Island, and in the mouth of Keeper Cove. Bass anglers have done well along the old road bed. A pumpkin pepper worm or brown jig has been the best bet. A white spinnerbait will work in the afternoon if it becomes windy. Fish the deeper side of Preacher’s Point and the east shoreline along Duck Camp. Up in the Brush Creek area should be good for bedding bass. Fish well ahead of your boat and try a green or brown pepper lizard. Bream have started bedding, and the wooded area along grassy flats has always been a hot spot this time of year. Use crickets under a small bobber set around 2 feet deep. Watch ahead of your boat and move forward slowly, as not to be on top of the bedding area before you see it. No reports of any catfish have come in, but cut perch or live perch will work for flathead catfish.
Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is murky and at normal level. The surface temperature is 62 degrees. Bream are biting excellently on redworms and crickets. Crappie are excellent on minnows and blue/orange/pink jigs. Bass are fair on minnows and spinnerbaits fished in shallow water. Catfishing is fair on minnows.
Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and at 72 degrees. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets in shallow water. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs in shallow water. Bass are biting well on topwater lures, soft-plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and shad.
(updated 4-27-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park
said a good stringer of catfish was caught this week. Meanwhile, crappie should be spawning, making goldfish, minnows, crickets and worms all in high demand here for bait. A free kids’ fishing derby, open to children 12 and under, is being staged at the park on Saturday, May 21, from 8 a.m. to noon. Besides prizes for participants, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will help net catchable-size catfish, and children will learn how to tie a hook and other fishing tips.
(updated 4-27-2016) Boxhound Marina
(870-670-4496) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface temperature is 63 to 64 degrees. Bream are biting well on crickets fished around any rocky or gravelly areas. Crappie are biting well on minnows fished around docks. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished around the shoreline. Catfishing is good on chicken livers.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides
said water levels are running at 370 cfs at the spring. Water clarity is good. Trout are hitting Y2Ks and woolly buggers well. Lower levels make for easier wading.
Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are fair on worms and crickets in 6 feet of water. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 6 to 7 feet of water. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits. No report on walleye or catfish this week.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said surface water temperatures are in the low- to mid-70s in backwaters and upper 60s on the main channel. Water visibility is down this week. The main channel is very muddy with visibility only a few inches. There’s up to 10 inches of visibility in Lake Langhofer and protected backwaters. Black bass are biting well on crankbaits and jigs in backwaters, but the muddy water has slowed the main-channel bite.
(updated 4-20-2016) Cane Creek State Park
said bass are biting very well on frogs and white spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting on live bait such as minnows and bream. Crappie are fair on minnows and crappie jigs. Bream are biting better on worms than crickets.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 260.43 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service
said the lake level is 18 inches above normal conservation pool and is falling. Gate discharge is around 23,500 CFS. Surface water temperature ranges from 66 to 75 degrees, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location and time of day. Water clarity is 3-6 inches in the main lake, 2-5 inches in the river and 5-10 inches in upriver oxbows. Millwood State Park reopened its marina, nature trails and one loop of campsites. Both boat ramps at the park are open as well. Bass are coming off the spawn and are in a feeding mood. The best activity is in early and late in the morning. The best reactions over the past week seems to be on Jingle Bugs, Craw Fatty's, Pit Bosses, lizards, big bulky 10-inch worms and spinnerbaits. Swim baits are starting to turn on over the past couple weeks, as well. Bass Assassin Shads in Grey Ghost, Mississippi Hippie, and Bad To The Bone colors are catching nice largemouths in newly sprouted lily pad stems and shoots near cypress trees. Rat-L-Traps in Toledo Gold, Sexy Sunfish and Fathead Minnow are working on warmer days sunlight, in creek channels and higher up in shallow flats, deflecting off stumps and timber, cypress trees/knees. War Eagle spinnerbaits in chartreuse/white, and firetiger were taking nice largemouths along vegetation lines and dead lily pad stems in Mud Lake and Horseshoe. Schools of white bass are still roaming and have wrapped up their spawning run upriver. Crankbaits and spoons fished on primary and secondary points along Little River are catching some nice white bass. Crappie continue biting and have been caught close to cypress trees in 3 to 6 feet of water on jigs, small spinnerbaits and Rocket Shads. Yo-yos baited with shiners also are working. Catfish are biting consistently on trotlines baited with cut shad, buffalo, gar bait and chicken gizzards in 9 to 15 feet of water.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 547.17 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
said with crappie and bass finishing their spawns, large numbers of smaller fish are being caught. A few bigger fish are biting in 12 to 24 feet of water on minnows fished 6 to 12 feet deep. The water temperature is running in the low 70s.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.65 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
(updated 4-27-2016) Local angler George Graves said the best overall bass fishing has been between Caddo Drive and Cox Creek. Small bass fishing is good with larger ones hard to find, and he suggested fishing the spawning coves in 6-10 feet of water. Fish are hitting a Carolina-rigged worm or lizard pulled slowly across secondary points that might cross a bed. Early morning has seen some surface activity at the shoreline; Graves said to try a lipless crankbait or top-water lure such as a Zara Spook. Kentuckies are showing along the bluff banks at points 14 and 15, as well as the west side of Goat Island. Big white crappies should be roaming the open water in search of shad schools between now and most of May. Look for crappie between Point 15 and Point Cedar, with Woodall Cove being one of the better areas. Plan for a slow troll at about 1.5 mph; rig a 2- or 3-inch curly tail grub on a quarter-ounce chartreuse jig head. Along with chartreuse, fish are favoring white and Tennessee shad plastic lures. Fish the deep water, even 40-50 feet deep, and run a line about 100 feet – fish will be suspended at about 10-12 feet. Hybrid fish are surface-feeding nicely, mostly in the morning between sunup and 9. Any small surface plug should work, Graves said; get the lure as close to the break as possible. Catfish are hitting trotlines at night; set the lines in coves in 20-30 feet of water with chicken livers, hot dogs, Catfish Charlie, blood bait or night crawlers as bait. Bigger cats are hitting large minnows and live small bream.
(updated 4-27-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com
said said surface water temperature is running from 70 degrees at mid-lake to 75 degrees in the Cedar Point area. Bass are in shallow water, bedding. Floating worms and Carolina rigs producing well. The crappie bite has been good in Shouse Ford and Cedar Point. Fishing minnows with cork from 3 to 3½ feet around and in brush is the best bet. If you are a jig fisherman, try the baby bass jigs with a sliding cork fished at the same depth. The best colors are still acid rain, Tennessee shad, lemon meringue and popsicle. The water in these areas is clearing up making it harder to get to the bedding fish without them spotting you. If you are fishing for the bedding crappie you need to be there real early or real late to eliminate the sun issue. Some crappie still being picked up on brush piles in the Shouse Ford and Cedar Point area. The best depths are 12 to 15 feet deep. These crappie are running smaller due to the spawn with bigger females in the spawning stage. Some hybrids and crappie are being picked up trolling crankbaits that run 10 to 12 feet deep. Bream have moved into the shallows to spawn. The best bet is to fish shallow coves with brush in 5 feet of water. Hybrids are now beginning to show up in the mid-lake area. They are not surfacing on shad but are near the surface. Shallow-running crankbaits are the best bet for them. Rapala and Rebels are good bets on them.
Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park
(870-685-2748) said bass are hitting on crankbaits, Zoom Brush Hogs and spinnerbaits. Catfish are biting well on trotlines using live and prepared catfish baits. Tight lining using worms and catfish baits also is working well. Crappie are biting on minnows and jigs in the upper lake. For lake information or a camping reservation please call White Oak Lake State Park at 870-685-2748 or stop in at the Visitor Center.
(updated 4-27-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said bass are still being caught during the spawn. Bream are just starting to bite. There’s been no report on crappie or catfish.
Local angler Jaret Rushing said the Ouachita River has been fluctuating due to the high amounts of rain lately, so finding stable patterns to catch fish has been tedious. Anglers are catching some post-spawn bass and crappie when water levels are finally stable and/or slowly rising. Anglers are typically staying off the waters when the levels are on the fall. When staged, bass are trying to reload after spawn season and are starting to become more aggressive with the warming water. Anglers should use baits that mimic fry. Also, bream are starting to bed up, so using live bait (crickets and/or worms) at about 3-4 feet deep should yield a good mess of bream if you find the right area.
Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said there have been a few reports of bream and catfish being caught, but no specific lures were mentioned. No report on bass or crappie.
Local angler Jaret Rushing said Tri-County has been rather productive after the drawdown from this past summer. Anglers are starting to catch bass in the channels of the lake again and crappie tend to be staged around wood structures and artificial structures. Bass are feeding up after their spawn. Baits that resemble their food sources will increase your chance of landing a boat-load. Crappie are finicky as the strikes seem to be staggered. Keeping a lighter-colored jig in the strike zone for the crappie will increase your chances of landing a few slabs as well.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.45 feet msl (full pool – 342 msl).
(updated 4-27-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025)
said the water is slightly murky and the surface temperature is 62 to 68 degrees. Bream are excellent on worms and crickets fished near the bank. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. They are spawning and moving out to deeper water. Bass are biting well on crankbaits fished along any cover on the banks. Catfishing is good with some good flatheads coming through the store lately.
Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is clear and low. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs around any exposed stumps and brush you find. Bass are biting well on spirnnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics around exposed cover. Catfishing is slow.
(updated 4-27-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615)
said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface water temperature is 64 degrees. Bream are fair on worms fished around the bank. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are excellent, with many large fish bedding right now. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are working well around any shallow areas. Catfishing is good on trotlines and yo-yos baited with shad. Only a few white bass have been caught this week.
Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said water temperatures are in the upper 50s to lower 60s. The river is dingy, with clearer water in the creeks and backwaters, but the rain should change that and muddy up the backwaters as well. Bass have been good on topwaters in the morning and evening. Buzzbaits, frogs and Pop R’s have worked around any fry you see. Flipping lizards, baby brush hogs and Bamboozie craws has worked for bedding bass. Staging bass have been good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps and jigs. Striped bass have been biting well. Fish swimbaits and topwater prop baits in areas with a lot of current. White bass are in the creeks and are biting well on white grubs and small white crankbaits. Crappie fishing has improved with good size crappie caught on minnows and chartreuse, black/chartreuse and pink jigs along the edge of grass and stumps. Bream have been biting well in the creeks around stumps and laydowns on worms and crickets. Catfish have been good and will improve with the rain. Worms and minnows in the creek and cut perch and shad in the river should produce well.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.85 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(updated 4-27-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort
said the surface water temperature is 66 to 70 degrees and the water clarity is clearing up, but the rains may change that. Largemouth bass are still biting very well on floating worms, creature baits and Carolina-rigged lizards around main-lake and secondary points. Walleye are biting well on shallow-running crankbaits in the mornings and evenings. Stripers are biting well on C-10 Redfins with the west end of the lake being hot. Bream are excellent on crickets, redworms and maggots in 10 to 20 feet of water. Crappie are biting very well on minnows and jigs in brush around 8 to 15 feet deep. Catfishing is very good on live bait and cut bait in 20 to 25 feet of water.
(updated 4-27-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips
is hearing reports from anglers saying the fishing is slow. Best production, he said, should come from dock fishing for bass or crappie.
(updated 4-27-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service
, said possible heavy rainfall forecasted for this weekend has prompted Entergy to schedule very heavy generation below Carpenter Dam. Around-the-clock releases have been enacted in preparation for rising lake levels and will be in place for all of this week and beyond, depending on how much rainfall the area receives from these storms. The tailrace is unsafe to navigate and boaters are cautioned to remain off the water until lake conditions return to normal. Fast currents are the norm and flood gates could be opened should water levels become excessive. No one should attempt to wade or boat the area under these conditions.
(updated 4-20-2016) Mississippi River State Park
(870-295-4040) said crappie have moved up on their beds and are hitting white/chartreuse jigs. Submerged treetops have been producing good amounts of crappie. Bream are on their beds and hitting black bugs (small jigs). Crickets and worms also have produced some bream. Bass have responded well to spinnerbaits, preferably white spinnerbaits. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center in Marianna, off of Hwy 44, is open 8-5 every day and sells minnows, crickets, nightcrawlers, shad and a wide variety of artificial lures.
(updated 4-20-2016) Mississippi River State Park
(870-295-4040) said crappie are on their beds, hitting jigs and minnows. Hybrid stripers and largemouth bass have been striking Texas-rigged green worms off the banks. The AGFC conducted shocking samples last week and reported many good-size crappie and bass in the population. The Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center in Marianna, off of Hwy 44, is open 8-5 every day and sells minnows, crickets, nightcrawlers, shad and a wide variety of artificial lures.
Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is low and murky. Bream are fair on crickets and worms in the shallows. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows in the shallows. Bass are slow, but some have been caught on spinnerbaits fished around the shallows. Catfishing is slow.