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Arkansas Fishing Report

Help The Angler keep others informed by emailing fishing reports to us. Include your name in the message part of your report if you'd like to receive credit for the report.
Here is a list of Arkansas Counties

Video and instructions to help prevent the spread of Zebra Mussels

Updated April 22, 2015

Fishing Highlight of the Week:
Biologists in southwest Arkansas are currently conducting a study on Dierks Lake to determine annual catch rates of crappie. Many crappie were tagged with special blue tags behind the dorsal fin and released in January. Anglers who catch one of these fish are encouraged to do whatever they would normally do with the fish and keep the tag. They can then call the phone number on the tag and answer a few questions about their fishing experience. Results from this study will be used to determine the percentage of crappie removed from the population each year and will be used in future management to keep the lake productive for years to come. 
Arkansas and White river levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt 
For water quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality  
Family and Community Fishing Program: All Family and Community Fishing Program ponds are stocked with catfish and ready for fishing. The FCFP also is holding its annual tagged catfish promotion. If you catch a tagged catfish between now and June 2, call the phone number on the tag, then send it to the address the answering machine provides. You'll win a small fishing package and be entered into our grand prize drawing. Visit www.agfc.com/familyfishing for up-to-date information about pond stockings, events and locations.
Central Arkansas

(Updated 4-22-2015) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said bream are biting well about 5 feet out from the banks in the emerging vegetation. Crappie are fair and are spawning. Bass are biting well. Flathead catfish are excellent on bream and goldfish.
(Updated 4-1-2015) Daniel Zajac at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) said crappie are biting fairly well on the flats. They are sitting 1 to 2 feet deep, even in deeper water like Willhelmena Cove. Jigs and minnows are the best bet. White bass are biting well on Rooster Tails. Largemouth bass are fair on soft plastics. Bream are slow but are starting to move to the bank,hitting on crickets or worms. Catfishing is good on nightcrawlers.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ’em All Guide Service said the Little Red is currently receiving one unit of generation 24 hours per day. Expect this generation pattern to continue for the next couple of weeks. Streamers, hares ear, San Juan worms and sowbugs continue to work well for fly-fishermen. Also try hot pink and purple Trout Magnets on chartreuse and gold Trout Magnet jig heads.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the river was murky this morning below Sulphur Creek, but it is beginning to clear since they are still running one generator around the clock. The generation will probably remain the same for the next couple of weeks since one of the generators is scheduled to remain off line for this period due to maintenance.  The amount of water being released is the minimum amount the Corps sets for the current conditions. This means as long as the lake is in the flood pool, they will run this amount of water with one generator available. Looking at the bright side, the bulk of the rain was below the lake’s watershed so the reservoir is not rising. Clients caught nice rainbows on Friday and Sunday. The trick is to find the fish in the high water. Drift fishing with large flies seems to be the best bet. Size 12 flashback hare’s ears were productive in about 8 to 9 feet of water.
(Updated 4-22-2015) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Company (501-207-1770) said the water flow has been consistent, making the fishing great. Expect to see high water levels as we continue to get rain. After heavy rains the best fishing has been on the upper river where the water is clear. Wading is extremely difficult right now. The best fishing has been from boats. Hot flies continue to be pink San Juan worms and tan sow bugs. Pink Trout Magnets have been producing good numbers of fish as well. 

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 465.81 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).
(Updated 3-25-2015) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is 4.12 feet above normal pool and falling. The surface water temperature is between 51 and 58 degrees in the afternoons. Crappie are headed towards the bushes and the bite should really be good in about 1 1/2 weeks; try dipping jigs or just minnows around the bushes. Right now, trolling crankbaits in front of the bushes is producing pretty well. Bass fishing is pretty tough with a lot of fish roaming from deep to shallow. Walleye are still being caught in several places during low-light conditions; try jigs and jigs with minnows for the best results.  The hybrid and white bass are scattered as well. They are all the way up rivers and on every flat in between and the main lake creeks as well. Try vertical fishing , and up on the shallow flats, with a Road Runner or grub. No report on catfish or bream.
(Updated 4-1-2015) Cody Smith at fishgreersferry.com (501-691-5701) said water temps over the last week have skyrocketed on the main lake and two-thirds of teh way up the river arms. Surface temperatures are ranging in the upper 50s and even 60 in some areas, while inflow in all three major arms of the lake are still hovering around the 52 to 54-degree range. This is holding fish and forage at bay in some areas and spreading spawning fish out throughout the mid- to lower sections of traditional spawning areas. Crappie, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, white bass and walleyes are all in some portion of the spawn. This will really spread those fish out and make them a tad more difficult to catch with consistency. With warmer rain in the forecast I look for those fish lagging behind to really start the move and come shallow. 

(Updated 4-15-2015) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is high from the recent rains. Bream are biting well. Crappie are biting well on jigs and minnows. Catfish are biting well on live and prepared baits.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are hit-and-miss around the docks and brush. They are best on minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad lures in BBQ chicken, Cajun cricket, blue ice and bleeding shad colors. Catfishing is fair on minnows and worms. Bass are biting well on buzzbaits and worms. Bream are biting very well on crickets and redworms. 

(Updated 4-15-2015) Overcup Landing said the water temperature is running about 60 degrees. Female crappie are holding in about 7 to 8 feet of water and are being caught on minnows and jigs. The males are still moving shallow between fronts. Bass are fair on soft-plastics and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on noodles and trotlines baited with nightcrawlers and cut bait. Bream are just beginning to move shallow and are being caught on redworms.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Jan Johnson at Brewer Lake Bait Shop (501-354-4108) said the water is still very high. Cool nights and rain have scattered the crappie. They are hanging over brush piles in the afternoons at 6 to 8 feet deep. Trolling with minnows or jigs is very effective. Pink/white and popsicle are good jig colors this week. Bass are good at 5 to 6 feet deep on watermelon and black worms. White bass are in the creek mouths feeding on shad. Blue and channel cats are taking large minnows and bream on jugs set at 15 feet deep. Flatheads are beginning to move onto the flats and are taking live bait at 5 to 10 feet deep. Redear are fair on redworms fished on the bottom around the shore.

​(Updated 4-15-2015) Charley's Hidden Harbor at Opello said the water temperatures are getting in the high 50s and low 60s and the flow has decreased. Black bass are in backwater areas and are beginning to spawn. Fish soft-plastic worms around any green, new growth grass in the backwaters. Bream are moving around the jetties and riprap and are biting well on Mepps spinners with black bodies and gold blades fished around the rocks. White bass are at the mouths of creeks like the Petit Jean River, Coppers Gap and Point Remove Creek; fish firetiger crankbaits where the mud line forms at the mouths of the tributaries. White bass and stripers also are below the dams and are biting very well on wobble spoons. Catfishing is good in the evenings on whole shad fished on the downside of jetties when there's flow and on the upriver side if the flow is low. 

Lake Maumelle

(Updated 4-15-2015) Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water temperature is 61 to 65 degrees and fishing is good. Water is going over the spillway. Largemouth bass are excellent on jigs and Alabama rigs early and on suspending baits in 5 to 8 feet of water later in the day. They’re holding around the weeds and will be bedding up soon. Crank baits and floating worms are working well. First place in the latest Tuesday night tournament brought in 14.84lbs. Spotted bass are biting well in 10 to 15 feet of water on crankbaits. White bass are still upstream near the creek, but are beginning to move back toward the lake. They are being caught on CC spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails. Crappie are fair; they can be found in 15 feet of water and on sunny days are moving into shallower water. Bream can be found in 10 to 15 feet of water around brush. The catfish are being caught in 10 to 15 feet of water on stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. 
(Updated 4-22-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting well on Bobby Garland Baby Shad grubs and minnows in deer water. White bass are biting well on Cajun Spins and Johnson Silver Minnow spoons.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said crappie have been biting pink minnows and Kalin's 2-inch grubs in lemon meringue color. Customers report catching an occasional bream on the crappie grubs and on crickets and redworms. Catfishing has been slow, but a few have been caught on worms and chicken liver. 

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting fairly well on chicken liver, stinkbait and nightcrawlers. Crappie
fishing has been slow, but some customers are catching a few small ones on pink minnows. Bream are biting fairly well on crickets and redworms. Bass have been biting well on minnows and small Zoom lizards.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said there has not been much to report on the river because of the rain and high water. One customer has caught a few small bass on brood minnows near the access.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well on trotlines and jug lines baited with brood minnows, black salties, and goldfish. Some nice ones have been caught recently on rod and reel with nightcrawlers and no. 12 minnows. Bass are hitting minnows and plastic lizards and worms. The bream bite is picking up with redworms and crickets. As usual, the big ones are coming out of deep water. No recent reports from crappie anglers.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lisa's Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said a couple of regular Winona anglers say the crappie bite is slow, but the few they're catching are nice ones. No. 12 minnows seem to be working best right now. Catfish have been biting nightcrawlers, minnows and chicken livers and seem to be feeding in shallow water right about dark. Bream fishing has been fair and seems to be picking up as the water warms. A cricket or redworm on a tight line works for the bigger bream right now. Bass have been caught on minnows and jigs by crappie anglers as well as on Texas- and Carolina-rigged lizards.

​(Updated 4-8-2015) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are biting well on minnows fished around shallow trees. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits in 3 feet of water. No report on bream or catfish. 

(Updated 4-22-2015) Vince Miller from Fish ’N Stuff said the flows have been very high, so the main channel has been too swift to fish safely. However, backwaters are fishing well. Bream are fair on redworms. Crappie and bass are biting well.
(Updated 4-22-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the flow is high, but backwaters are fishing OK. Bream and crappie are biting fairly well. Catfish are fair at best. 

(Updated 4-22-2015) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said bream are biting well close to the banks. Crappie are biting well. Catfishing is fair. 

(Updated 4-22-2015) Herman's Landing (870-241-3731) said fishing has been very good for all species the last week. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie are biting best on jigs, with minnows producing as well. Bass are biting well on soft-plastics and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on live and prepared baits. 

North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 667.95 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
(Updated 4-22-2015) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said most of the shoreline has brush in the water. The water temperatures are still in the 50s to low 60s. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits in and along the brush in the warmer water back in the creeks. Jerk baits are working well out in 10 to 15 feet of water outside the brush. Jigs fished in 5 to 15 feet of water crawled along bluffs and rocks are working as well. White bass are back in the creeks, and some good limits have come in lately. Use small white jigs, spoons and crankbaits for the best results on the white bass. Walleye are being caught on stickbaits at night and are being caught incidentally by many bass anglers during the day. There haven't been any big stringers of walleye caught lately, but the warmer weather should change that. Crappie anglers are being a bit tight-lipped, but the few that are willing to share information are catching their fish in 20 feet of water around brush on small minnows, spoons and 1/32 oz. to 1/64 oz. jigs if you can find the days when the wind will let you fish that light.
(Updated 4-15-2015) Ken Minsky of Ken Minksy's Loch Leven Guide Service said the main lake temperature in the mid-lake area is 57 degrees, and has not come up much, if at all over the last two weeks. Overall fishing is good. During the warming trend, fish charged up into shallow water and were pretty aggressive, but they have since moved back out to the first drop to deeper water. White bass are all but done spawning, and the suckers have moved into the creeks to spawn.  Walleyes are also done spawning and are moving out toward the main lake again. Expect to find them in 15 to 20 feet of water along the creek banks.  Trolling crankbaits is still possible at those depths as the water is only covering the brush to about the 12 to 14 foot level. I’m not seeing many largemouths yet, but I suspect they will be getting a bit more active in the next couple of weeks.  Smallmouths and spotted bass are providing the most consistent action, but you’ll have to work for them too.  I’m finding them along the banks and soft secondary points in the creek arms.  Look for the warmest water and concentrate on the banks with south- facing slopes.  Small jigs have been working best the last few days, and I would stick to a low and slow presentation until the rain stops and the water warms up again. Bluegills have started to make a showing, small ones have moved along the banks and under docks.  The larger ones remain in at least 18 feet of water. A few crappies are coming to the net, but it’s been incidental catches for me.  I’ve not seen or heard that they have made a major move to the shallows yet. Bow fishing for carp and gar is hit and miss, at least during the day.  I saw lots of smaller size gar and a few carp on the flats up Shoal Creek the other day.  The flooded flats on East Sugar Loaf Creek were also full of carp after dark. 
(Updated 4-8-2015) Steve Curtis at S&S; Guide Service (870-740-1140) said the lake is still on the rise, but the water temperature is holing in the mid- to upper 50s. The crappie have pulled back and once the lake levels off they should move back shallow. They are still catching a few nice ones on 1/64 oz. jigs in the middle of Howard Creek. Bass fishing is still red hot and getting hotter. Most are coming on stick baits and Wiggle Warts around the Oakland area. They are starting to move up into staging areas at the end of bluffs and around secondary points. We landed a few nice smallies within sight of the dam on 1/2 oz. football jigs. 

(Updated 4-22-2015) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is at a very reasonable level with two to three generators running. Trout fishing has been very good on spinners and drifted Power Bait, Power Worms and bait shrimp. The size of the fish has been very good, with many 16-inch and larger rainbows being caught lately. Brown trout are biting well on artificials early and late in the day. 
(Updated 4-22-2015)Paul Bobby at GI on the Fly Guide Service (907-350-6610) said the White River from the dam to Three Chutes has been hot and cold. With high lake elevation, the morning high water is littered with Didymo. This stuff tears off rocky or gravel sections of the river bottom during high levels of generation and floats in the current, getting all over your line, leader and eveything else. Once water clears from the moss, fishing is good. Spin fishermen are casting spinners and small Rapalas. Dragging redworms, nightcrawlers or PowerBait tipped with shrimp will do the trick as well. Try the faster currents for the best bite. If you’re wadding and before entering the river, stand and watch the water. Most times, fishermen will walk right over feeding fish to get to a favorite spot just to find themselves in boat traffic or slipping off a rock and getting soaked. In the afternoon, a red ruby midge with a caddis pupa seems to work well. Red midges with copper bead and wire or black and even root beer midges dressed with copper can be hot. Dry fly presentations representing a caddis are working great in the afternoon and into the evening.
(Updated 3-25-2015) Brad Smith at Arkansas Headhunters (479-283-8490) said with spring break and the Sow Bug Roundup happening on the same week, the river will be busy so plan to be patient. The crowds really thin out in the afternoons into the evening hours, so plan on a later start and enjoy your morning relaxing. We’ve seen quite a bit of low water in the afternoons with a moderate push most weekday mornings. Despite the crowds the river is fishing great. Caddis will continue to become a staple for the fish as the hatch moves upriver. Adding a midge as a dropper will help bring your numbers up. 
(Updated 4-15-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the White has seen heavy generation with no wadable water. The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to recent rains, all of the lakes on this system are well above seasonal power pool and the Corps of Engineers is aggressively releasing water to draw the lake levels down to power pool. I do not foresee wadable water in the near future. On heavy generation, the best way to catch fish is to switch to longer leaders and heavier weight. The hot spot was the catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam. 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 (szie 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a prince nymph with a ruby midge or root beer midge suspended below it).

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 558.49 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
(Updated 4-22-2015) Guide Steve Olomon said the water temperature is in the mid 60s and the main part of the lake is clear. Some stripers and hybrids are coming up chasing shad early in the mornings. Throw a Zara Spook or try a wake-type bait. They are hitting live bait also. Find the baitfish and they will be close by. When they are not coming up, try throwing a swimbait or soft jerkbait like a Fluke or Bass Assassin. Some whites are coming up as well as the largemouth and spotted bass. The bass are also hitting jigs, swimbaits, and floating worms close to the brush on the banks. The night bite is very good on stickbaits cast to the bank and reeled back very slowly right at sunset.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the striper bite continues all over Norfork Lake. Some stripers have moved up Bennett’s arm, Big Creek and Brushy Creek, but a large number of stripers are being caught off the main lake points. There is a strong topwater bite in the Cranfield area and the Big Creek arm. The water temperature has gone up to the high 60s and the creeks are in the low 70s. The crappie bite has started, but the latest storms scattered them for a few days. Bass are starting to make their beds so it will not be long before they begin to spawn. 
(Updated 4-22-2015) Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Spring fishing is going strong and should continue to get better over the next month or so. Stripers, hybrids and black bass were all schooling on the surface last week. The fish did seem to relate to points, but there was some action out in the middle of lake. Zara Spooks were working great, but Flukes, Rat-L-Traps and Kastmaster spoons were also catching fish. Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has been very good. Spooks are working great early in the morning and in the late afternoon. During the day, throw plastics up to the bank and bring them back to the boat slowly on the bottom. Smallmouth are in 15 to 20 feet of water on the bottom. A good percentage of the largemouth have spawned, but you can still find a few on their beds. Lots of bass are being caught. Walleye fishing is starting to pick up. I had a guest catch several on a small crankbait and suspending jerkbaits slow rolled after dark on long shallow points and flats. Slowly trolling suspending jerk baits is also working in the late afternoons, again on long shallow points and close to the buck brush. Crappie fishing has been up and down. You can still find crappie up on the banks and on shallow sunken brush. Small jigs and crappie minnows using a slip float are working. White bass are back in the creeks spawning, but are starting to move back out. Top water action for whites will start very soon. The lake was starting to get very clear, but with latest rain the creeks and coves have stained up a little. The lake surface water temperature ranges from the low 60s to the high 60s depending on what part of the lake you are on.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Brad Smith at Arkansas Headhunters (479-283-8490) had no report.(Updated 4-15-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said one of the generators is down for routine maintenance. In an effort to draw the lake down, the Corps of Engineers is releasing additional water through the flood gates. The total release is approximately 6,000 cubic feet per second which is near maximum release through the generators. The Norfork has fished poorly recently. 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. 

(Updated 4-15-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are stained and high. With the weather warming, the smallmouths should be active soon. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

(Updated 4-15-2015) Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are stained and high. With the weather warming, the smallmouths should be active soon. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

Northwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,121.16 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
(Updated 4-22-2015) Roger Craven of JT's Crappie Guide Service said bass are biting all over the lake. In the river, spinnerbaits and crankbaits have been working well. From midlake to the dam, bass have been caught on a Gambler Little EZ swim bait. The hot bait this week has been the Gambler Giggy head with a Gambler Sweebo worm. Work the Giggy head/Sweebo worm in 10-15 feet of water on secondary points and pockets. Indian Creek, Little Clifty, Ventris, Monte-Ne and Hickory Creek have all been good places to fish for bass. Male crappie have begun to clear out beds close to the bank and a few females have already spawned south of Monte-Ne. North of Monte Ne crappie have been holding out in 25 feet of water with fish being caught near the banks during mid-day.  Crappie can be caught by using a 2-inch swim bait under a cork set 3 to 5 feet deep on sloping gravel banks close to laydown trees or flooded logs. For the crappie that have not or already spawned, look for them to be suspending 6 to 10 feet deep around timber close to the creek or run off channel in 15 to 25 feet of water. A 2-inch curly tail grub has been producing for these fish. Monte-NE. Hickory Creek, Piney Creek and upstream from War Eagle Marina in the White River have all been producing good numbers of crappie. White bass are biting well up both river arms and in the backs of main creek arms throughout the lake. They are biting anything that resembles a shad. Catfishing has been slow, but a few can be caught in the evening using liver or cut bait. Hickory Creek, 12 Bridge and the 412 Bridge access have all been good places to fish.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said stripers are still in the tributaries and creek channels in the longer arms like Blackburn creek but are using main lake points to feed. They are being caught at night on large surface lures like Redfins and Rapalas. Fishing during the day is good on live shad fished from the surface down to 25 feet deep. Also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, or troll plugs on flat lines or slightly weighted lines (best options are Rapala no. 14 Husky Jerk's in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5- to 6-inch models. Hot spots for stripers have been the mouth of Indian Creek, the Highway 12 Bridge, Prairie Creek and Blackburn Creek. Walleye and white bass are upriver arms for their spawning run and the bite for them is good. Most walleye are being caught about 5 to 10 feet deep on chartreuse/orange Rapalas on three-way rigs, on jigs tipped with minnows, nightcrawlers or leeches and on slow-death or shakee blade rigs fished with bottom bouncers and baited with nightcrawlers or leeches. Hot spots for walleye have been Blackburn Creek, Beaver Shores, Hickory Creek, War Eagle and the White River/War Eagle junction.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is slightly high and in the mid-60s. Crappie are biting well on small jigs fished in less than 10 feet of water. White bass are biting well on minnows and shad-imitating lures. Largemouth are spawning and are fair on soft-plastics worked close to their beds. Walleye are finished spawning, and are biting fairly well on trolled crankbaits and spinner rigs fished toward the main lake. 

(Updated 4-22-2015) Austin Kennedy of Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service (479-640-8733) said water temperatures from Spider Creek to Houseman Access ranged from mid- to high 40s, which is excellent for the trout and normal for this time of season and generation schedule. The preferred method this week to catch trout from the bank has been with light terminal tackle and PowerBait. If you have the chance to get out on a boat, try trolling a Rapala CD 5, F-9 or X-Rap. Both gold and silver spoons have produced nice numbers as well. White bass are scattered from Holiday Island to Housman Access. As with last week, no bait balls have been found, so the whites and walleye won't be in that "feeding frenzy" just yet. Both species have been caught, just not in the numbers as this time last year. When we get a break from this rain and the sun starts to heat things up, that should help move things along.   
(Updated 3-25-2015) Beaver Dam Store has an update about the dam boat ramp. Concrete has been partially placed into the river, but it’s not usable yet.  I did fish this week and had a blast using midges, scuds and micro jigs. They are still generating most weekday mornings. You just need a kayak or boat, float the running river throwing either streamers like a Clouser minnow or woolly bugger. With a spinning rod, most Rapala crankbaits or even simple ¼-oz. jigs thrown at the banks will get the trout’s attention. 

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said stormy weather has kept most anglers at home, or those trying to fish,, have been dodging for cover. Black crappie were being caught in 20 feet of water fishing a minnow at 8 feet under a slip bobber before the rains. These were almost all male. In some areas anglers have caught the crappie on large flats using a minnow set 2 feet under a bobber. Bass fishing has suffered with the weather changes. Spinnerbaits, plastics and even  some topwater baits have been good. Bass are being seen on spawning beds in the upper end of the lake. Bluegill and redear don't seen to be affected as much by the weather changes. They are biting crickets and worms. No reports on catfish lately.

(Updated on 4-22-2015) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is stained and at normal level. Crappie are biting well. Black bass are biting well. Bream have moved to the shallows and are biting well on redworms and crickets. White bass are still biting well, but are wrapping up their spawn. 

(Updated 4-15-2015) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said crappie are biting well on jigs and minnows. Largemouth bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, soft-plastics and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on minnows, chicken liver or cut shad. Bream are biting fairly well on worms and crickets. 

​(Updated 4-22-2015) Jake Knoedl at Knoedl's Outdoor Tech in Hiwasse (479-344-6131) said bass have been biting well on Golden's Paddletail fished on a drop-shot rig, small jigs and weightless Senkos. Catfishing is decent on nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Bluegill and redear are biting well on crickets.

​(Updated 4-22-2015) Jake Knoedl at Knoedl's Outdoor Tech in Hiwasse (479-344-6131) said bass are hitting Brush Hogs and flukes fished 3 to 10 feet deep. Bluegill have been biting well on crickets and redworms. Crappie are being caught on minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad. Catfishing is slow.

Northeast Arkansas

(Updated 4-1-2015) ​ Hunter Snell, owner of 2nd Amendment Gunshop, (870-761-3861) said every day is different at Lake Charles lately; the water is still high and on a warming trend. All species have been fair to good and excellent for some folks at times. Look for the bass and crappie to be moving shallower over the next couple weeks. Bream can be caught near bushes off the bank.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lake Poinsett State Park said a lot of nice catfish are being caught. Many fishermen are using goldfish for bait as well as Doc’s stink bait and a variety of other baits. Some bass and bream are also being caught. It is time for the crappie to spawn. There is a kids' fishing derby scheduled at Lake Poinsett State Park May 9.  It will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at noon. The participants must be 12 years old and under. Call 870-578-2064 for more details.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is dingy and a little high. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. They are moving into the shallows to spawn. Bass are on the beds and are biting very well. No report on catfish or bream.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Lake Frierson State Park said water levels are still high. Surface water temperature is climbing, and the fishing has been good. Channel and blue catfish have been good on worms, dip baits, minnows and liver. Many large bass have come in over the last week with an 8-pounder being the best and several fish over 5 lbs. The larger bass have bloody tails already and are being caught in staging areas and likely bedding areas in coves. Try soft plastics with repeated casts to trigger reaction bites. Some fish have also been caught on topwater early/late and crankbaits or spinnerbaits with chartreuse throughout the day.  Saugeye have been fair to good with the fish biting minnows or minnow imitators fished near the bottom and moved slowly. Crankbaits should produce some fish as well. Bream are poor to fair. They have begun biting on crickets and pieces of worms or redworms. This bite should continue to improve as water temperatures climb.  Few reports of crappie, a few nice fish have been caught on minnows and grubs, but no reports of limits.

(Updated 4-15-2015) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at about 500 cfs at the spring and the water has a green tint. Over the last week, woolly buggers fished on a sink-tip line have been the go-to bait. Chartreuse spinners and hot pink Trout Magnets have been hot for spin fishing. Visit Spring River Flies and Guides website for any changes after heavy rains. 

Southeast Arkansas

(Updated 4-22-2015) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water temperatures are in the 70s. Water clarity ranges from about one foot to less than half a foot of visibility. Current and elevation have been variable for the last several days in the Pine Bluff pool. The post-spawn slump has arrived, but fish can still be caught shallow with slower-moving soft plastics and jigs. The river current has main-channel fish in more predictable positions but the larger fish still seem to be coming from protected backwater areas. Expect the offshore brush-pile bite in Lake Langhofer to pick up in a few weeks.

(Updated 4-8-2015) Seth Boone at Cane Creek State Park in Star City said the crappie have warmed up and are in the mouths of incoming streams due to the influx of rainwater. The best thing to try would be crappie jigs and minnows. The bass are in the really shallow north end spawning. If you can reach them, a purple plastic worm should do the ticket. Catfish are biting on live bait and stinkbait in the deep areas of the lake. The bream are biting fairly well on crickets and worms.

(Updated 4-8-2015) Geoff Wright at Lake Chicot State Park said fishing has really picked up at Lake Chicot. There have been hundreds of catfish caught over the last week, mostly on yo-yos set in cypress trees on the edge of the lake. Some folks have run trotlines and jugs with equal success. These are mostly fish under 10 pounds caught on cut shad and stinkbait. There have been some nice crappie catches, too. Again, these have been caught on yo-yos in the same area, using live shiners. A few flatheads have been caught on trotlines in deeper areas using larger live bait such as goldfish. The lake is only a foot or two low now, almost back to normal.

Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.53 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.60 msl).
(Updated 4-22-2015) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service  said as of Monday the water level rose to just over 4.6 inches above normal conservation pool and is now falling. There is increased current of Little River with the gates releasing around 11,650 CFS Monday. Surface water temperature ranges 67 to 75 degrees, depending on location, wind, and sun. Water clarity ranges 8 to 10 inches away from current. The entire lake is stained, but Cottonshed, Okay, and east to Saratoga from Saline River inflow remains muddy.  Little River's visibility ranges 9-10 inches depending on location and current. Oxbow clarities are 20 to 24 inches of visibility, more or less. Largemouth bass fishing improved last week with bass in full spawn. Many big bass have already finished and are postspawn. The best bite is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on slow-moving swim baits, Chatterbaits, Rat-L-Traps and Bass Assassin shads. The best color for Chatterbaits was black/blue. Rat-L-Traps were best in crawfish patterns and red, brown and orange colors fished around stumps from 1 to 5 feet deep at the transition of channels and spawning flats. Look for clearer water in protected coves and pockets along the main lake from south Hickory to Millwood State Park. Four-inch Texas-rigged magnum tubes in pumpkinseed/chartreuse and black/blue have been getting bit in the golf course pockets next to stumps, cypress trees, and scattered new lily pad growth. War Eagle Spinnerbaits white/chartreuse or spot remover continue to catch 2-3 pound largemouths, in stained water around cypress trees, dead lily pad stems, and grass. Crappie are moving into cypress knees and trees for their spawn, and were fairly consistent over the past week in 2-4 feet of water on live shiners and Southern Pro Lil’ Hustler tubes in white/blue. Catfish continue biting well on trotlines set 9 to 12 feet deep near current and baited with chicken hearts, livers or gizzards and cut shad and buffalo.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 546.39 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 407.53 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
(Updated 4-22-2015) Local angler George Graves said bass fishing is very good with both spawn and postspawn fish. The best pattern is throwing lipped and lipless crankbaits across points in spawning coves. Also try a spinnerbait on windblown points. The fish are shallow, so use lures that run 4 to 5 feet deep. A Texas-rigged worm or lizard crawled along the bottom on the same points works when the cranks don't produce. The best areas are between Arlie Moore and Cox Creek. Also try Big Hill and Yancey creeks. No report on crappie. Several decent catches of hybrids are coming from the Arlie Moore and Caddo Drive areas. Looks like the fish are moving downlake early this year. Trolling is the best bet, with small five-arm umbrella rigs loaded with 4-inch swim baits. Quite a few white bass are showing in the Point Cedar area, but very few hybrids. Some catfish are being taken on trotlines in the Yancey Creek area.  Set the lines off points in 20 to 30 feet of water.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Darryl Morris of www.familyfishingtrips.com said crappie and bass are nearing the end of their spawn and will be pulling off the banks and stacking up in the brushpiles soon.

South-Central Arkansas

(Updated 4-22-2015) Stacey Jackson at White Oak Lake State Park (870-685-2748) said on the upper lake, bass are biting well on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and Texas-rigged brush hogs. Bream are biting fairly well on worms and crickets. Catfish are biting well on trotlines baited with live bait, worms and prepared catfish baits and on tightlined worms, catfish baits and crickets. On the lower lake, bream are biting fairly well on worms, and catfish are biting well on trotlines. Bass are biting crankbaits, spinnerbaits and Texas-rigged brush hogs. No report on crappie. The lower lake has a daily limit of 50 bream and 5 catfish, with all other species being catch-and-release only. 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. http://www.ArkansasStateParks.com/whiteoaklake/

(Updated 4-8-2015) Local angler Jaret Rushing had no report this week. 

(Updated 4-8-2015) Local angler Jaret Rushing said the oxbows have not stabilized from all the rain. Fishing is very sporadic, and it would be best to find an oxbow or lake that's separated from the river right now. 

West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 345.43 feet msl (flood pool – 373 msl). 
(4-15-2015) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said fishing has been kind of slow. A few crappie were caught Sunday, but it's been a tough bite.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are hit-and-miss in the shallow brush on Bobby Garland Baby Shad and Slab SlayRs and minnows. Catfishing is good on worms.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the water temperature is 64 to 67 degrees in the main channel with some backwaters in the 70s. The river is muddy with fast current, but the backwaters have been clearer. Bass have been slow upriver because of the current, but have been excellent in the midlake and lower lake backwaters on frogs, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Look for logjams and any other obstructions in the current near the river channel and look for spawning flats in the backs of the backwaters. Stripers and white bass have been good on the ends of jetties on crankbaits and topwater poppers. They can also be found in the outlet of the nuclear plant and the backs of creeks in the mid-river section of the lake. Crappie are excellent on minnows and black/chartreuse or hot pink crappie jigs fished around stumps from one foot to 6 feet deep in the backwaters. Bream have been excellent on crickets and redworms fished around wood and grass in the backwaters about 2 feet deep. Catfishing is very good on cut shad and worms fished in the creeks feeding the backwaters.

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 389.92 feet msl (flood pool – 419 msl).

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.13 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl).
(Updated 4-22-2015) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is 64 to 68 degrees and is clear. Largemouth bass are biting well on soft-plastics, particularly floating worms, YUM dingers and brush hogs in green pumpkin, watermelon seed and watermelon candy. Walleye are biting well on main lake and secondary points. Jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or minnows have worked well around points in 10 to 15 feet of water. Trolling a jerkbait over humps and points at the same depths has worked as well. Stripers are still excellent on Alabama rigs and topwater C-10 Redfins fished around Cedar Fourche and Bird Island. Bream are biting well on worms, grubs and crickets near brush in 20 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are biting well on crappie jigs and minnows in 10 to 16 feet of water. Catfishing is very good on live minnows and nightcrawlers suspended from jugs or trotlines.
(Updated 4-22-2015) Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs said the bass spawn is about 70 percent over, but bream will be moving up soon, and the bass will be looking for them. Weightless floating worms fished around spawning areas are working well, as are small Senkos.

(Updated 4-22-2015) Darryl Morris of Familyfishingtrips.com said the Army Corps of Engineers has been passing a lot of water through Hamilton to lower Ouachita, making the bass and crappie tough to catch. However, things should begin to settle down soon. The surface water temperature Saturday was 67 degrees  
(Updated 4-22-2015) Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs  said the bass spawn is wrapping up, but a few may still be in the shallows guarding fry from bluegill. 

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(Updated 4-22-2015) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 50 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Heavy rains have forced Entergy to release large amounts of water through all area dams the last few months to keep lakes at manageable levels. This process has kept many anglers off the water. Presently, Entergy has scheduled generation times that include slack water periods which will allow fishermen to boat and bank fish with success. Rainbow trout are being caught on redworms and nightcrawlers fished under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Crickets and wax worms  presented in the same manner have been very effective hooking trout that are fat from weeks of feeding on injured shad. Power Bait in white or yellow will attract rainbows when these fish ignore other baits. Spin fishermen are having success casting small 1/8-ounce jigs around rock structure when the turbines are running. Super Dupers and Little Cleos in silver or white are also working well as hungry trout actively search for shad. Crappie fishing is on the upswing with untouched spawners located all over the tailrace. Live minnows tightlined over deep water and fan casting jigs and small spinners have accounted for good catches of quality fish this week.  These fish seek cover and are located where rock structure is heaviest. Very little wood cover is available in the area and the best bedding areas are next to the large rock in the middle of the lake near the dam. Stealth and patience are a must when targeting these spooky fish in the shallow water of Carpenter Dam. The rest of April should be a very good month for crappie as the end of the spawn is near. Walleye are still being caught in the main channel of the trailrace even though the spawn is over. These fish often remain the area feeding up before migrating downstream to the main lake. jerkbaits in bright colors, grey jigs and Carolina-rigs tipped with nightcrawlers have all hooked fish in the 3 to 5 pound class mostly in the late evening. White bass will be moving toward the dam this month and be present in good numbers in May and June. Because of the adverse conditions, most of the striper fishing has been done miles downstream from the dam, but these fish will inhabit the trailrace in search of trout and shad. 

East Arkansas

​(Updated 4-15-2015) Big River Marine Xpress, Excel and Alweld dealer (870-635-0202) said crappie are on fire at Horseshoe. Fish the canal, ditches and willows with minnows under a cork or black/red tube jigs. Bream are biting well in the same areas on worms and crickets, with the occasional big bream hitting crappie jigs. No report on bass or catfish. 

​(Updated 4-15-2015) Big River Marine Xpress, Excel and Alweld dealer (870-635-0202) said bream and crappie are beginning to bite well in the shallows. Try minnows for crappie and crickets for bream.

​(Updated 4-15-2015) Big River Marine Xpress, Excel and Alweld dealer (870-635-0202) said bream are biting well in shallow brush on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting very well around shallow brush on jigs and minnows. No report on any other species. 

​(Updated 3-25-2015) Big River Marine Xpress, Excel and Alweld dealer (870-635-0202) had no report this week. 

(Updated 4-22-2015) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said a few anglers have been catching catfish on trotlines, but not much fishing has taken place other than that.

​(Updated 4-22-2015) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) had no report due to lack of anglers on the water.


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