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Arkansas Fishing Report

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Video and instructions to help prevent the spread of Zebra Mussels

Updated July 27, 2016

(updated 7-27-2016) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is cloudy and surface temperature is 90 degrees. The level is normal. Bream fishing is good around lily pads. Bass are good using Monster worms, spinnerbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing has been good on limb lines and trotlines using chicken liver. There were no reports on crappie.


(updated 7-27-2016) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip ‘em All Guide Service said the Little Red is receiving several hours of daily generation on weekdays, providing excellent wade and drift fishing opportunities on all sections of the river. For fly fishing, sowbugs, midges and Woolly Buggers are working well. For Trout Magnet fishing, Myers recommends hot pink and white-colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.  
(updated 7-27-2016) Greg Seaton with Little Red Fly Fishing Trips (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear and cool and the weather remains humid and hot. Morning fishing is the best option because of the heat. Fishing has been fair to good with soft hackle emergers, midge pupas and sow bugs being the best fly choices. Generation has been starting about 2 p.m. each afternoon until about 7 p.m., with two units running during the week and one on the weekend.
(updated 7-20-2016) James Dillard at Tailwater Fishing Co. said fishing has been good. We have had great water levels, which has made fishing in the heat very productive. The hot flies have been sow bugs and pheasant tail nymphs. Pink, sassy and chartreuse Trout Magnets have been working well also.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.85 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461.44 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said black bass are for sure in their summer patterns and most are deep. With a few fish being shallow all year, the deeper fish can be caught on tubes, Texas rigged worms, C-rigs and deep diving crankbaits. The shallow fish will bite a spinnerbait if you have some wind, as well as small crankbaits and tube jigs. The crappie are all sitting around pole timber or brush piles either suspended or on the bottom and can be caught 15-35 feet deep on minnows or jigs. The catfish are eating a lot this time of year and can be caught on jugs, trotlines or rod and reels using live or prepared bait of your choice on flats next to deep water. The bream have just come off another spawn and guarding fry. There are shallow beds and deep beds, and your better fish will be in 20-27 feet of water and can be caught on crickets or crawlers. The walleye fishing is kind of rough this time of year; drag crawlers or crankbaits off of pea gravel banks in 24-30 feet of water for the best results. The hybrid and white bass are schooling some on and off all day. Use topwater baits for these and/or flies; the fish that are down in 25-45 feet of water can be caught on spoons, in-line spinners fished vertical and swimbaits.
(updated 7-27-2016) Cody Smith of Fish Greers Ferry guide service reports Greers Ferry water levels are falling slightly with daily generation. Most all species are ranging in the 15-35 feet zone. Typically the deeper the better quality fish. Hybrids are on the feed most mornings and afternoons here. Live bait along with casting and jigging spoons being best, and 30-40 is best with bait present. There are two to four different classes of thread fin shad depending on location on reservoir. The fish are focusing on them and the abundant blue gill population. Corps of Engineers habitat improvement areas are holding large numbers of assorted game fish. 


(updated 7-27-2016) Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said water level is low but the water is clear. Temperature at the surface is 87 degrees. Bass fishing is fair early in the morning or late in the day using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Bream are good on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Catfishing is good on trotlines and limb lines using nightcrawlers, worms and chicken livers.  
(updated 7-20-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting on minnows and Bobby Garland BBQ Chicken, Cajun Cricket, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and Penny Back Shad-colored 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs. The night bite has picked up for crappie. Catfish are biting on minnows, worms and shad. Bass are biting on buzzbaits, soft-plastic worms and minnows. Topwater lures have also been good. White bass are biting Bobby Garland Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs, Cajun Spins and Johnson Silver Minnows. Bream are  biting well on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper jigs.


No reports.
(updated 7-27-2016) Fosters Four Seasons (501-868-9061) said the bream fishing has been excellent on worms and crickets. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Bass are hitting spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwaters and rate good. Catfishing is good using nightcrawlers. Fosters can supply all your necessary bait and offers ethanol-free gas for your boat motor. 
(updated 7-20-2016) Jolly Roger’s Marina reported black bass good and biting on wacky rig worms, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. Early and late in the day are when the fish want to be caught. Backs can be caught in 15-20 feet of water. They are on the sharp banks and 15 feet off weeds. Despite the heat they are getting some good catches. Kyle Wise and Kerton Blaylock caught 8.9 pounds of bass to edge Lee Brizzo and Wes Lowder by .02 pounds in the Tuesday night tournament. Joey Hutchinson and Randall Clark also caught over 8 pounds of bass, including a big bass of 2.96 pounds. Kentucky bass are good and being caught on crankbaits and jigs. They can be found in 10-15 feet of water and mixed in with the blacks. White bass fishing is excellent. Use CC Spoons, deep-diving Bandits and Bombers. They are all over the lake and being caught in the main lake on CC Spoons, white jigs and Rooster Tails while schooling. Crappie fishing is fair on crappie minnows and jigs. They are 20 feet deep; try the edge of the channels. Bream are excellent and can be found at 15 feet on the bottom. They are being caught on crickets and live worms. Catfishing is good and they are being caught in 15-20 feet of water. Use stink bait, small bream and chicken livers. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfish was fair on trotlines using skipjack, chicken hearts, goldfish and crawfish. No other reports. 
(updated 7-6-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie is hitting Baby Shad and minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. Reports of white bass biting Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bass are biting on buzzbaits and topwater lures.


(updated 7-27-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish are biting chicken livers, nightcrawlers and some stink baits. Bream have been biting fair on crickets and red worms. Bass have been hitting No. 12 minnows and small plastic worms and lizards. A few small crappie have been caught recently on pink minnows.


(updated 7-27-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said bass are biting small plastic lizards, small spinnerbaits, crawdad-colored crankbaits and No. 12 minnows. Crappie are slow with reports of only a few being caught on No. 6 minnows. Catfish have been biting fair on minnows, black saltys and nightcrawlers. Bream will bite a cricket or redworm. If you're just looking for some fun fishing, get on the river with some No. 12 minnows, good sharp hooks, strong line and a fairly heavy rod. When you see a gar, put your bait in front of it. They're a challenge to catch but they'll hit it almost every time. 


(updated 7-27-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting well at night on minnows, goldfish and black salties. Bass fishing is fair at night with plastic worms, Brush Hogs or lizards. Bream are still biting crickets and redworms. No reports of crappie being caught recently.


(updated 7-27-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are still biting but have slowed and seem to be scattered. The few caught recently bit No. 6 and No. 12 minnows. Bass have been slow as well with the best bite coming early in the morning on topwater baits or floating worms. Bream are biting crickets and redworms. Catfish are biting fair in the evenings on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and minnows. 


(updated 7-27-2016) Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said flows are slowing down and we are getting the 3-foot drops in water level up to three times daily due to generating for electricity. Fish when the water is on a rise. White bass are good on are on jetty tips; fish with a CC spoon. Also, on the downstream side of No. 9 dam, use a Wobble spoon. Catfishing is good too below dams 9 and 10; use shad. Drifting for cats is good early in the day and late in water 9-15 feet deep. Use whole shad and nightcrawlers. Catfishing overall is the best fishing on the river now. Bream are good on crickets under overhangs early and late. Go to Rooster Tails and Mepps spinnerbaits. Run them around the front of grass where water lets you. If water is low, use them on jetties 3 feet deep. If you have a newly hatched fly that is in grass when the water is high, bass are in front of it. Use Zara Puppies and Tiny Torpedoes. Stripers are OK on the downstream side of dam late in the evening. Float live shad or throw wobble spoons.


(updated 7-27-2016) Professional angler and guide Cody Kelley said bass fishing is still great on the river. Anytime you can get on the water when current is flowing, you can catch fish. The river has been clearing up in the past couple of weeks. With the clearing water, go to more finesse spinnerbaits like a War Eagle Screaming Eagle and silent crankbaits. Work all the main river current break areas that you can. Never forget about the topwater bite while out on the river. Clients have been catching tons of quality fish on topwater baits here lately. Catfishing is still going strong in the Cadron Pool. Although the day bite has slowed a bit, a lot of fun can be had once the sun goes down. Check your deeper outside bend areas for the bigger cats. Whole and cut shad has been producing the best for blues, with rice slicks working well around wood for flatheads. If the current slows down, try doing a drift around those same areas. As the current slows, the cats can begin spreading out. 


(updated 7-27-2016) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water level is normal and with clear clarity. The surface temperature is 90 degrees. Getting out very early or trying it late is working for bass anglers, as the bass bite has been good then on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good on trotlines and limb lines; use worms or chicken livers. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie reports have been good; use minnows and jigs. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bream biting well in 6-8 feet of water on redworms and crickets, as well as jigs and hand-tied bream bait. Bass were excellent in 10-12 feet of water. Use black and blue jigs, Shaky Head worms and Carolina-rigged jigs. 


(updated 7-27-2016) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said water level is normal around Clear Lake and Terry Lock and Dam. Bream are bedded and biting fair on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair, as are bass. Catfishing has been excellent on worms, blood bait and chicken livers. .
(updated 7-27-2016) Vince Miller at Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reported that water is clear and at a normal level. Bass fishing is good early in the morning or late at night using crankbaits, topwater lures and spinnerbaits. Crappie fishing is good, with the fish about 10-12 feet deep around brush piles; use minnows and jigs. Bream are fair in the jetties and around grass lines on worms. Catfish are biting fair using worms (particularly nightcrawlers), chicken livers and cut bait.
(updated 7-27-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and at a normal level, with the surface temperature in the 90s, but the fishing is slow with it so hot. Bream are active about 4-5 feet of depth and are good on worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is poor. Bass fishing is good early in the day and late after sundown around the rocky points; use black buzzbaits and topwater lures. Catfish are working the river in the vicinity of the Little Rock Regional Airport. They are about 25 feet deep and are biting well on cut shad and chicken livers. Closer to the David D. Terry Lock and Dam, try blood bait, shad, chicken livers and worms for the cats.
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said catfishing is fair on skipjack, shad, chicken livers and chicken hearts. It’s good snagging. No other reports on fish there.


(updated 7-27-2016) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water surface temperature has ranged from 81 to 90 degrees. The water is clear and at a normal level. Bream and crappie fishing were poor. Bass fishing is good using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good; try worms, blood bait and chicken livers. 


(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass fishing has been good early in the day. Use spinnerbaits, buzzbait and Texas rigged creature bait. Catfishing is fair on the levee said. Use chicken hearts or liver, as well as shad.


(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that bass are excellent both early in the day and late in the evening. Topwater Zara Spooks are working well, as are black buzzbaits and Shaky worms. Bream fishing is fair around the docks on redworms and crickets. Catfishing is fair at night; use minnows, nightcrawlers and chicken liver and chicken hearts. 


(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported that catfishing is excellent on nightcrawlers, chicken liver, chicken hearts and stink bait. 


(updated 7-27-2016) Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said fishing has been fairly slow. Some catfish have been caught on chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Bream are biting fair on crickets. Bass have been slow with reports of only a few being caught on minnows. No reports of crappie being caught lately.


(updated 7-27-2016) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is clear and at a normal level, but with surface temperature at 90 degrees and heat indices in the mid-100s, it has slowed the fishing considerably. Bream are about 4-5 feet deep and are biting worms and crickets. Bass seem to like black buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, Zara Spooks and other topwater lures and are good very early or for late-in-the-evening anglers. Catfishing is good on shad, worms and chicken livers. Crappie are poor.
(updated 7-13-2016) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) reported bream were biting well in 6-8 feet of water in the Maumelle River. Redworms and crickets were attracting them, as well as hand-tied bream jigs. Bass fishing was excellent in 10-12 feet of water. Use Shaky Heads, black and blue jigs and Carolina rigged bait. 




North Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.39 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 7-13-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) reported lake conditions have pretty much remained the same the past few weeks. Despite all the rain and pop up thunderstorms, the water looks great! Good color with little to no debris. Fishing has slowed down for many anglers due to the extreme heat and humidity. But, still seeing a lot of big bass and walleye being caught. The boat launch has more parking available, but the lower road is still under water at the current level. Courtesy dock remains under water as well. Water level on Tuesday was 661.00 feet msl. Water temperature was 85-88 degrees and water is stained. Black Bass are good off of points and steep bluffs with a jig, Texas rigged worm and large plastics. Also good on topwater plugs early. Deep-diving crankbaits are also working for some. Walleye are good to fair on medium to large crankbaits trolling in 20-30 feet. Running baits around 12-18 feet range. Also good on dragging nightcrawlers. Also hitting white or silver half-ounce spoons off the points. Crappie fishing is slow on live minnows, due to the heat. Catching some in the 20-foot range around trees. Fair when trolling. Suspended in deeper water.
(updated 7-27-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock reportedthe summer fishing patterns are here. The surface temperature is in the mid-80s and up. The thermocline is around the 25-28 foot level. The lake is at the 660 feet level and  dropping slowly. Visibility is great according to the divers and is around 20-30 feet in most places. Bass are being caught on a variety of baits and in a variety of places. The largemouth are mostly shallow in the weeds, brush and shallow ledges. The smallmouth are a little deeper on the gravel and the spots are on brush, timber and rock piles around the thermocline. The walleye  have moved deep and are in the 25-35 feet range. Catfish are shallow at night up in the weeds and brush around the bank. The limb liners and trotlines are doing well. The bow fishermen are seeing them a lot at night. Daytime they are deeper in the brush and timber patches out of the sun. Here are some patterns to try: For largemouth bass, use topwater baits early and late, plastic worms in the brush, jigs in the brush and use spinnerbaits after dark; for smallmouths, jigs and plastics in 10-2 feet of water outside the brush line, split shot  a nightcrawler the same depth, parallel a crankbait outside brush line early and late. For spotted bass, drop shot a plastic worm, jigging spoon, live nightcrawler, live crawfish in 25-35 feet of water off of step drop-offs and points; for walleye, troll deep diving crankbaits in 15-20 feet of water, bottom bounce with nightcrawlers in 15-30 feet of water, lead core trolling in 25-35 feet of water with longer stick baits, and try a jigging spoon in 25-35 feet of water. For catfish, limb line around the bank in the brush and use trotlines in the coves. We haven’t seen many white bass but we’d think under lights at night would work. As for crappie, haven’t seen many but also think that night under lights would work.


(updated 7-27-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported the water was clear by midweek this week, but had been a mossy greenish hue during the early part of last week. The level is normal, and the trout bite has been excellent, both rainbows and browns. Jigs, stick baits and lures are all working.
(updated 7-27-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said most White River anglers believe, during periods of ongoing generation from Bull Shoals Dam, that the best fishing is "on the rise" (although a very respectable few guides feel they do better during falling water.) With daily afternoon releases, the trout have become accustomed to late afternoon meals (at least in the Cotter vicinity, later in the day as you move downriver) and may be more selective earlier in the day, so Gamble suggests having a variety of baits, lures and flies available if you're on the river before the rise. Don't be afraid to try something you've never used before. If it doesn't work, switch your baits. Worms are the first bait to use when the water first comes up. Gamble said they are still having terrific success with sculpins all day long, and with the cloud cover one afternoon this week, they returned to silver and blue spoons.
(updated 7-27-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that during the past week they have had no rain in Cotter, but had brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 0.5 feet to rest at 0.3 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 34.3 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.4 feet to rest at 1 foot below seasonal power pool and 15 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.3 feet to rest at .03 feet below seasonal power pool and 10.9 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had less generation this week with more wade-able water. On the White, the bite has been excellent. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, #12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 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 (Berry’s current favorite is a red San Juan worm with a ruby midge size 18 suspended below it). 


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said stripers continue their summer feeding pattern. Both live bait and trolling seems to work the best right now. The trollers are mostly trolling between point 2 and the dam, staying on the edge of the channel. One person said he had caught 13 one day. The Arkansas Fish and Game Commission has requested that anybody who catches a legal striper should not be releasing them back into the lake. The warm water causes tremendous stress on the fish. They will look fine when released but later in the day they die, according to fish studies of stripers released in hot water. Catch your limit then switch to another species or call it a day and head for the beach. The stripers are still feeding in 35-50 feet of water before light, they then move off the points and suspend in or near the old river channel. Look for them off Thumb, Georges Cove, Koso and the dam area. The lake is being maintained at the 553 level until the dam gate work is completed. We should continue to see excellent striper fishing well into the fall. This past week the bigger stripers have started biting. Multiple days Tom says he has caught fish in the high teens up to the mid-20s. Now is the time to get out on the lake and catch your trophy. A young couple from Michigan called and wanted to try their luck at catching some stripers. Caleb and Danielle never fished for stripers so as with most of Tom’s clients the trip was going to be an adventure. Caleb hooked a striper before light and they were on their way to catching a limit early. Sometimes what you think will happen never seems to work out that way. For some reason after Caleb caught the first striper he could not keep a striper on the line. He had four stripers hooked and lost every one of them. It was getting frustrating for everybody, but failure sometimes turns out to be a success. Danielle caught a striper, then another, so we had three in the boat and should have been heading back to the marina if Caleb would have caught his. Tom moved out to the channel and it was now near 7 a.m. and getting hot. Then magic happened. The rod went down and Tom gave it to Caleb and he fought it for a good 10 minutes and finally he landed the striper which weighed 23 pounds. The next minute the float went down and Danielle started fighting that and she landed a 21-pound striper. The bite slowed so Tom moved to another spot and they caught number six quickly and were back at the marina by 8 a.m. The moral is, never give up just because you are having a bad day. You never know how it will turn out, Caleb's failure to land those early stripers led him and Danielle to catch a fish of a lifetime.
(updated 7-27-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing continues in its hot summer fishing pattern. Most fish are deep and will continue to go deeper as the thermocline drops. To be quite honest, he says, not much has changed since the report last week. Gabric says he is catching stripers before sunrise in 35-45 feet of water on long points and large flats. As the sun comes up they move off the side of the point into deeper water 70-plus feet, but are still 30-45 feet down. Live bait, vertical jigging with a spoon and trolling swimbaits are all working. Over the past week Gabric said he has been fishing with his family and they have been having a lot of fun. Some big fish are biting. His 9-year-old granddaughter landed a 20-plus pound striper and his 12-year-old granddaughter has caught several fish. Her biggest so far has been a 14-pound striper. He said it’s a blast to watch these kids fight a striper on their own from start to finish and they’re making some good memories. The biggest change this week over last is for the largemouth and spotted bass.Lou, as well as a couple of his guests, have found some good topwater fishing in the morning at sunrise and also at sunset. The other day he was fishing with his granddaughter and they were sitting in 70 feet of water off of a point where she was catching stripers. In the times between netting her fish, Lou said he was casting a Kastmaster into 25 feet of water. Almost every cast after the bait hit the water a bass hammered it. Some were keeper size, most were small, but still a lot of fun. The other location where his guests have gotten into topwater fish is back in the major creeks in shallow water. Fish are chasing shad early, but even after you don't see them they are still coming up for a topwater lure. Wiggle Warts are also working very well most days. Crappie fishing is in its normal hot water slow time, but there are some good crappie being caught. They are still under docks and you can also find them scattered along the deep water bluffs. Locate a ledge 20-30 feet down and they will be suspended along the ledge. Small swimbaits as well as live minnows have caught some nice fish. Norfork Lake water level is holding stable with minimal power generation and currently sits at 552.73. The surface water temperature is ranging from 87-92 degrees depending on the time of day. The main lake is clear and some creeks and coves are stained with others clearing. The lake is in great shape for all your summertime fun activities, not only fishing.
(updated 7-20-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is 552.8 and the water temperature is in the mid- to upper 80s. Stripers are suspended around 35 feet deep early in the morning. As the sun gets higher, they may move as deep as 60 feet down in 100-foot and deeper areas. Look along channel swings on bluff ends and in the deeper coves and on some of the deep flats. Black bass are hitting topwater lures early. Once the morning bite has died, switch to a jig, Texas-rigged worm or drop-shot rig with a small minnow-style lure or 4-inch finesse worm in 15 feet of water. The bass will move as deep as 30 feet during the hottest part of the day. Look for some white bass hanging in coves. Key in on the ditches that run through the coves close to any flats. 
(updated 7-27-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake fell 0.1 feet to rest at 3.1 feet below seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and 27.3 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had reliable, wade-able water every morning when it was a bit cooler. The Norfork has fished better on the lower water this week. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Nutt. 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 No. 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. My favorite fly has been the Green Butt.
Dry Run Creek has fished well. Berry said he has been guiding on Dry Run Creek for over 25  years, starting when my daughter was 12, and she is now 39. Over the years, Berry said, he made a number of observations. One thing he noted is that 90 percent, of the fish caught are landed by 10 percent of the anglers. There are a lot of big fish there, but proximity does not always guarantee success.  It should be noted that this is a Catch and Release stream set aside for children under 16 years of age and mobility impaired adults. Every time Berry goes there he sees some dad fishing the stream while his child is chasing a butterfly nearby. This is not why the creek was developed. Dry Run Creek is for children. That means they must cast, set the hook and fight the fish. You can rig their rod and net fish, but that is all. Mobility impaired adults must have a mobility impaired permit from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in order to fish there. Bait, of any kind, is strictly prohibited. Berry said he saw someone fishing there with corn on Monday. Berry explained to him that what he was doing was illegal and he quit. You must use a fly or artificial lure with a single barbless hook point. This method does little harm to the trout.
|Berry’s first recommendation is that you hire a guide. He admits this may sound a bit self-serving as both Berry and his wife, Lori, are guides who frequently work on Dry Run Creek. The fact is a guide can furnish all the gear that you need, is aware of the rules and can make it easier for you or your child to catch fish. They know what flies to use and where to concentrate your efforts. They can even furnish lunch and take pictures of trophy trout. Have your kids wear waders. There are plenty of places where you can fish from the bank, but a pair of waders can put you in some spots that hold plenty of trout but get less pressure than the spots that are easier to fish. A set of waders for yourself will help you get out from the bank, to net the big brown, that doesn’t want to come in. Move around from time to time. Berry said he notices that a lot of anglers congregate on the boardwalk. This area was designed for mobility impaired anglers. The big flat spaces are wheelchair platforms. It is difficult to land fish here. You must get into the water to net fish here unless you have a net with a very long handle (8 feet or more). Mobility impaired anglers are limited to fishing from the boardwalk. Carry the biggest net that you can lay your hands on. A long handle helps a lot. Berry said he has seen many big fish lost at the net. You can buy an inexpensive large net. Don’t try to net the fish too soon. Wait until it is at the top of the water column. The worst thing that you can do is to bump your kid’s trophy trout off. Also, use big tippet. Berry uses 4X fluorocarbon. If they hook a big one, you want them to have a chance to land it. Have them take their time when landing the fish. A big one will take several runs. If the child is gripping the line or the reel handle, the fish will break the line. This will happen unless the trout can pull line out. Adjust the reel drag to put as much pressure on the fish as possible, without breaking the tippet. Concentrate your efforts on faster deeper water. Berry keeps his fly selection to a minimum, using San Juan worms (worm brown, cerise and red) eggs (peach or orange) and sowbugs. His top producer for the last few weeks has been the worm brown San Juan worm. If your kid loses interest, it is time to move on. This is supposed to be fun.


(updated 7-27-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering the river. There are no dams and the river is prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


(updated 7-27-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. Try his favorite lure for smallmouths, the Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering. There are no dams, there are large drainages and the creek 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 1,118.44 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120.00 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) reported the water clear and a surface temperature of 90 degrees. The level is normal. Bream are fair in brush piles all around the lake using worms and crickets. Crappie have been good at night, slow the rest of the day, using small shad, minnows and jigs. Bass are fair, especially around the banks, early in the day or late. They are mostly at a depth of less than 20 feet and are working shallow before the sun is out. Try spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwater, spooks and plastic worms. Catfish continue hitting trotlines, limb lines and YoYo’s; use line bait, worms and chicken livers. Walleye reports have been good.
(updated 7-27-2016) Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper activity forecast for the week is good. Stripers are on main lake structures and mouths of coves, etc. Night bite has been best. Some Beaver Lake stripers are using gravel bars, points, humps, tree tops and cuts in the bank to corner bait. Fishing weighted down lines will definitely get you some fish. Beaver lake striper fishing will be good with striper taken on live shad fished on down lines from 30-60 feet deep; also try trolling small umbrella rigs with white grubs or chartreuse for stained water, plugs like Rapala No. 14 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6-inch model on downriggers. Jerkbaits like flukes, swimbaits and jigs will also produce. Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow, and current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure. Check the daily lake level and flow data link on my web site. These areas have been particularly hot in the past week: dam, Point 1, Indian Creek, Lost Bridge north, Point 3, Lost Bridge south, Point 4, Big Clifty, and Point 5. Walleye are on the main lake in numbers and on the feed. Walleye can be found from 10-20 feet deep depending on areas you fish. Use three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. Bink pro scale 1-ounce jigging spoons in white or white/chartreuse combo and a variety of jigs are also producing walleye.


(updated 7-20-2016) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said the weather and generation have been perfect for morning fishing. Trout are plentiful and being caught in good numbers on light terminal tackle with various PowerBaits. Also, tossing a ¼-oz. spoon has produced great numbers as well. There are still a few lingering walleye to be caught as well. Most are juvenile males, but some reach or exceed the size limit. Try fishing with various crankbaits, nightcrawlers and jigs. Spotted bass and smallmouths are really hot right now toward Beavertown. Rapalas and various soft plastics fished around structure seem to be the ticket.  
(updated 7-27-2016) Beaver Dam Store reported tthe fly fishing has been pretty good. Norfork hatchery just dumped 1,200 trout in the tailwaters last Friday. A load was dumped right below Beaver Dam at the first baot ramp, so fishing should be excellent. The browns can be caught using midges, streamers and hopper patterns. For rainbows, try drifting zebra midges, numphing and swinging small soft hackles. These are good lures: gold and silver Colorado spoons, red and gold Bouyant spoons, Flicker Shad in Pro Series No. 4s and 5s. White, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach colors are working best for power baits. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive and hares ear, tungsten copper Johns, WD-40s and Trout Magnets. Catfish are biting on Wicket Sticky catfish bait along with Magic Bait crawfish/chicken blood bait.


Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said that health issues are forcing him to close the bait shop the remainder of the year.


(updated 7-27-2016) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) reported a surface temperature of 83 degrees with cloudy water at a normal level. Bass fishing is excellent using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwaters lures. Catfishing is excellent with worms and chicken livers. Bream are good; use worms and crickets. Crappie remain fair on minnows and jigs.


(updated 7-27-2016) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reported water temperature on the surface at 90 degrees, the level normal and clear. Bream fishing has been excellent; use worms and crickets. Bass fishing also has been excellent very early or after sunset using topwater lures. Catfishing is good using line bait and chicken livers. There were no reports on crappie. 



Northeast Arkansas

(updated 7-27-2016) Lake Poinsett State Park said that despite the heat, a few fishermen are venturing out.  The biggest selling bait is crickets. All other bait (redworms, nightcrawlers, minnows and goldfish, etc.,) are still selling but much less.  


(updated 7-27-2016) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and the surface temperature was 94 degrees earlier this week. Water level is normal. Bass fishing is excellent using crankbaits and topwater baits. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Catfishing is excellent using chicken livers. There were no reports on crappie.


(updated 7-20-2016) Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said the river is running at 375 cfs and clarity is clear. The river is the lowest it has been all year, making for easier wading and excellent fishing. The catch has been great early in the day and hot in the afternoon. Olive burnt woollies and Guppies have been the hot flies this week. Nymphs will produce also but the burnt olive woolly has been the hot fly. Swing it and wait for that hard hit at the end of the swing. Catching some nice sizes lately, too. Hot pink Trout Magnets are not only hot for trout, but the smallmouth bass love them, too. Chartreuse Trout Magnets have been good for trout as well. Be careful in the afternoons. Stay hydrated and wet wade.
(updated 7-27-2016) John Berry in Cotter said river is fishing well. It’s a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (No. 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (No. 10) and Y2Ks (No. 10). 


(updated 7-27-2016) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said it has been too hot for fishermen the past week. The water is clear and at normal level with a surface temperature earlier this week of 84 degrees. What bream, crappie and bass are working for anyone this week are at about 7 feet depth. 



Southeast Arkansas

(updated 7-27-2016) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Team said water surface temperatures are in the low 90s on the main channel and mid- to upper 90s by the end of the day in backwaters and in Lake Langhofer. The river is still moving a bit, enough to position fish on jetties. Black bass, especially the larger ones, are slow after about 11 a.m. Massive schools of small shad can be found throughout the river, pretty much everywhere, so downsize to small shad-imitating lures and be patient because bites are few and far between right now.  


No report.


No report.


(updated 7-27-2016) Pine Haven Bait and Tackle (870-367-4303) said the water level is normal the clarity is murky. Bream are biting well on worms. Crappie fishing is poor, as is bass fishing. Catfish are good on redworms, nightcrawlers and chicken livers.



Southwest Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 257.33 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.20 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level on Monday was about 2 feet below normal conservation pool and falling. There is slow current of 282 cfs in Little River; tailwater about 226.3 feet msl. Water temps were stable over the past week, ranging near 82 degrees early to 90 later under full sun, depending on location. Clarity and visibility is improved compared to last week, and on Monday the visibility ranged about 10-15 inches. Cottonshed and the northeast section of the lake remain heavily stained. Lake level in process of a 30-day, 2-foot drawdown for bank stabilization near Cottonshed Park, according to the Corps of Engineers. Use extreme caution during navigation due to stumps and submerged lodged timber are at or near surface. Largemouth bass are good from 2 to 3 pounds on topwaters early and late. Bass are the most aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, stumps, cypress trees and vegetation in Little River near deep drops. Buzzbaits, Pop-R's in bone color and Baby Torpedoes in frog and shad patterns are still drawing reactions at the surface at daybreak. Soft plastic Bass Assassin Shads and soft plastic frogs all remain working and drawing good responses early in the day. Best color of buzzbaits are Blue On Black, Bleeding shad (white/pink), or Casper Ghost colors around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels or in the river. Bass Assassin Shads continue biting best on Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom, Houdini and Bad to the Bone colors. Good bites continue on black, or June bug-colored soft plastic frogs this week around pads in clearest water you can find. 
Big bulky 10-inch worms in black, black grape and plum or peanut butter 'n jelly are working 5-10 feet deep in Little River around grass mats. The deep and medium diving crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Shad, in Tennessee Shad, Citrus Shad and Citruse colors are working across underwater points in Little River; squarebill crankbaits are working long old river channel swings where creek mouths and sloughs feed and dump into Little River. Rat-L-Trap/Echo 1.75 squarebills continue working in Millwood Magic and Ghost colors around deeper drops in Little River, and in the mouths of creek channels dumping into the river. Nice-size bass are hitting on magnum sized, 4-inch Salty Tubes in bluegill and Irish whiskey, and appleseed colors also have been working over the past several weeks. War Eagle spinnerbaits in Firecracker, Aurora and Spot Remover colors continue drawing good strikes around stumps and in vegetation over this past week in Little River. Bream-colored chatterbaits are working around pads, hydrilla and stumps from 3-6 feet deep near cypress trees along steep banks of Little River.
Whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and have been caught on Fat Free Shad crankbaits, Little Georges, Beetle Spins, Rooster Tails and Rocket Shads from about 7-12 feet deep. The crappie bite continued improving over the past week, and were biting over planted brush piles vertical jigging tubes and jigs from 12-16 feet of depth. Best colors were white, chartreuse and blue combinations. Blues and channel cats continue biting good in Little River on trotlines about 10-15 feet in creek mouths and outer bends of the river. Best bites continue to be on cut shad, chicken hearts, gizzards and chicken livers.  


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 543.39 feet msl (Flood pool – 548.00 msl).
No reports were submitted for this week.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 402.67 feet msl (flood pool – 408.00 msl).
(updated 7-27-2016) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is slow due to the heat and high water temps. A few fish are being caught early in the morning off deep points feeding on the surface shad schools. Most any topwater lure will work as long as the cast is right on the fish "break." Natural shad colors are best in the clear water. Also some decent catches reported coming late at night off long main lake points. Try big (11-inch) Texas rigged worms and big spinnerbaits. Black or dark colors work best. Some nice Kentuckies are showing up along the deep bluff banks in the area of points 14, 15 and 28. Texas rig a 4-inch finesse worm in green pumpkin/red flake.
No reports on crappies. Hybrid fishing is good with lots of nice catches reported. The fish are in deep water and suspended at 35-45 feet down. Use the sonar to locate the schools and drop a heavy jigging spoon, big in-line spinner and heavy swimbaits. White and chartreuse are the best colors. Another way to locate the fish is to just look for the fleet. It seems that everyone is now a hybrid fisherman, even the devoted bass fishermen, so it is easy to find the clumps of boats over the school. Look for fish in the lower part of the lake between Iron Mountain and Caddo Bend. The big coves at points 2 and 4 are very productive. Be on the water at sunup because usually the fishing is over by 9 a.m. Bream fishing is good for shell crackers off deep points. Fish in 20 to 30 feet near the bottom with redworms or crickets. The fish will be in schools so you will probably have to try several points until fish are found. Try points in big coves at mid-lake between Edgewood and Arlie Moore. Also try the big creeks such as Big Hill and Brushy. Catfish are fair at night on trotlines in Brushy and Big Hill creeks. Also try the big flat around Point 10. Bait with live small bream or big minnows.
(updated 7-27-2016) John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com said the lake level is at 402.68 feet due to slow draw down for generation and summer evaporation. Water temperature is in the 90s. Fishing has slowed and suffered with summer heat. Some of the bream beds are showing due to the low lake level. Reports of fair catches of bream are from Shouse Ford area. Deep-water fishing on tree tops and brush piles is your best bet. Most of the schooling fish are being reported in the Shouse Ford and Point Cedar area. Topwater baits, shallow running crankbaits and spoons are the best baits to throw. Most of the schooling fish are whites mixed with black and Kentucky. Some hybrids are being caught also. Black bass fishing is best in nighttime. Crappie bite has slowed due to the summer heat and water temperature. Deep water brush piles and tree tops are best bet. Fish 15 feet deep and deeper. Fish early in the day or very late for best results.
 



South-Central Arkansas

No reports.


(updated 7-13-2016) Buddy Ham at Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) ) said bass are biting on wobbleheads and spinnerbaits. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie have slowed down on the lower side. A few catfish being caught.
(updated 7-13-2016) Local angler Jaret Rushing said the area has seen no real change from the past few weeks. Bass, bream, crappie and catfish are all on summer patterns, so there won’t be much of a change until they get some sort of weather phenomenon (cool front or rain). Most recently, Rushing said, bass had been aggressive early in the morning attacking topwater baits and more aggressive shad-like baits. When the sun was at its highest, anglers found success by staging bass on shaded cypress trees or floating vegetation such as hydrilla or duckweed. Finding bream beds that are holding decent sized bream are sparse now. Anglers are catching many fish but the quality is hit-or-miss with the most success coming off of early morning bites with topwater flies or popping bugs and later bites on 3-4 feet deep cricket or worm sets. Crappie seem to be sporadic as well with anglers catching the majority of their fish in fallen tops rather than creek channels or around trees. Baits for this species vary with water condition.


(updated 7-13-2016) Sportsman's One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) said crappie being caught at night under lanterns. No report on bass, bream or catfish.


(updated 7-13-2016) Local angler Jaret Rushing said the lake has seen no real change from the past few weeks. Bass, bream, crappie and catfish are all on summer patterns, so there won’t be much of a change until they get some sort of major change in the weather, like heavy rain or a cool front.



West-Central Arkansas

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 336.89 feet msl (full pool – 342.00 msl). 
(updated 7-27-2016) Andrew's Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported that fishing was slow because of the heat, and only a few fish are being caught. The water level is normal. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are barely biting on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair; use spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing is fair on worms and chicken livers. 
(updated 7-20-2016) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reported crappie biting in creeks on BBQ Chicken, Cajun Cricket, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk and Penny Back-co9lored Baby Shad, Slab Slay’rs and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’rs and minnows. The best bite has been at night. Catfish are hitting yo-yo’s baited with minnows, worms and shad. Bream are biting on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper jigs. Bass are biting best on buzzbaits and other topwater lures. 
(updated 7-13-2016) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said draining work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making it impossible to get to boats.


​(updated 7-13-2016) Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) reported the water being low and clear, with the surface temperature reaching 92 earlier this week. Small bream were being caught on worms and crickets; the bream fishing rated excellent. Crappie were good, but the fishing was slow. Crappie mostly are working in the deep waters on minnows and jigs. Bass fishing was excellent on crankbaits and topwater baits. Catfishing was good using small perch and shad. White bass were fair.


(updated 7-27-2016) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the river is stained with sporadic current flow. Temperature on the surface has been 87 degrees warming to the 90s. Bass fishing has been good in the cooler creeks and the main river. Worms have been working really well with an occasional topwater bite with Chug Bugs and Zara Spooks. Main river flipping wood with worms and structure bugs, and crankbaits off of drops. Striper fishing has been really good using chatterbaits with a scamshad trailer, white or pearl blue, as well as swimbaits in the same color. Fish outside the buoy line along gravel, rock jetties, the inlet of the nuclear plant and in the deeper holes of the bigger creeks where are the topwater bite has been pretty good early in the morning. White bass and yellow perch are schooling the main river. Small crankbaits, Rattle Traps and in-line spinners are working very well. Bream have been very good along river rock with grass and in creeks on stumps and laydowns. Use crickets, worms and grasshoppers. Catfishing has been real good along the jetties on worms, small perch and shad.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.33 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
​(updated 7-27-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191) said the water temperature is 86-90 degrees, the water level is clear and the lake was at a level of 573.45 feet msl. Black bass are still fair and still being caught with Texas rigged worms, Pop-R’s and buzzbaits. Brush piles on main lake and secondary points are producing the best results when fished with Texas rigged plastics. Drop shot finesse worms are working well for “spots.” Walleye are still excellent and are being caught trolling shallow running crankbaits and jigging CC spoons. Stripers are fair on live bait.  The central and east areas of the lake are the hottest right now. Bream are good. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 12-25 feet deep. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 20-30 feet deep near brush. Catfish are fair. Try live bait or hot dogs in depths of 15-20 feet. 


(updated 7-13-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported white bass are schooling early in the mornings, and the best baits are Rooster Tails and spoons.


(updated 7-27-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 59 degrees, but rises to 65 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace as summertime lake levels are in place until late November. Entergy is currently generating at noon each day until 8 pm every day. This schedule can change at any time especially if our area is subject to heavy rainfall. Rainbow trout fishing remains very slow with the majority of fish either caught or migrated away from the dam. This situation occurs every year around this time and fishing will not improve until the stocking program starts again in November. A few diehard anglers continue to target trout and have taken a few fish on live minnows tight-lined over deep water. Nightcrawlers and redworms have also drawn strikes fished in the same manner. While small numbers of trout remain in the area, these fish are finicky and difficult to catch. White bass have finished their spawning run with numbers of bass remaining below the dam to rest and feed. Live minnows, small jigs, and jerkbaits have all taken fish in the last week primarily during times of generation. Current flow triggers a hunt reflex in fish that live below dams and Carpenter Dam is no exception. Feeding times are often short so fishermen need to be alert and watch for breaking fish. Alabama rigs work well when white bass are schooling and give an angler a chance to hook more than one fish at a time. A few hybrid bass have been caught with the white bass schools and actively feed on the same forage. Stripers can appear at any time during the day, but are often early morning feeders and remain hard to find after daylight. Again, Alabama rigs are a key lure to entice strikes as these predator fish are feeding on shad. C-10 Redfins in rainbow trout colors can bring heart-stopping strikes from fish that often weigh well over 20 pounds.
Freshwater drum are still present below the dam and are being caught on nightcrawlers or crawfish combined with a Carolina rig. Strong rods are lines are recommended as these fish are ferocious fighters and capable of snapping rods and dragging fishing equipment to the bottom of the lake. Overall, a summer pattern has set in on Lake Catherine as few species of fish are available to catch below Carpenter Dam. The summer heat keeps many anglers off the lake and forces the area gamefish into short and irregular feeding times. Anyone navigating the tailrace must always wear a life jacket and be aware of the generation schedules.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 386.22 feet msl (flood pool – 384.00 msl).
No fishing reports were recorded.



East Arkansas

No reports.


No reports. 


(updated 7-27-2016) Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) reported water as clear and with a temperature of 83 degrees or higher the past week. The level is normal. Bream are good around brush piles on worms and crickets. Crappie appear to be about 5 feet in depth and are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are good early in the morning and after sundown; try spinnerbaits, topwater baits and cranks. Catfishing is good using stink bait, nightcrawlers and other worms, blood bait and chicken livers.

 

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