Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Arkansas Fishing Report of May 20

CENTRAL ARKANSAS:Lake Conway:Water is dingy and high. A few
bream are being caught near the bank on wax worms, tinsel teasers
and crickets. Crappie are not doing so well, but are biting near
cypress trees on minnows. Bass are doing well on black/red worms
and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is picking up on trotlines baited with
small bream and minnows.

Bluegill and red-eared sunfish are biting well on crickets. Bass
are biting well on plastics fished in the pads and at the edges of
channels. Crappie are fair around cypress trees in 5 feet of water.
Catfishing is good on trotlines baited with bream.

Little Red River:

Fishing is great with the water being clear and down with no
units running. Trout are biting well on Power Bait, plugs and
nightcrawlers. Fly-fisherman are doing well since the water level
is low.

Corps of Engineers has been releasing water every day from 6
a.m. until 10 p.m., using one generator for 8 hours and kicking in
the second unit for 8 hours.Wade fishing at Winkley Shoal is
possible from 6 a.m. to about 9 a.m. and until 11 a.m. at Libby
Shoal. The hatches continue unabated with caddis, BWO, March brown,
midge and sulphurs coming off most every day. The best dry flies to
try include midge (size 22; cream), para adams (size 18), elk hair
caddis (sizes 14-18; tan), blue-winged olive (size 18), para
sulphur (size 18) or crackleback (size 12).Productive sub-surface
flies to try include sowbug (sizes 14-16; tan, smoky olive, UV tan,
UV light gray or peacock), chronic (size 14), zebra midge (sizes
16-22; red, copper or black), green or red butt soft hackle (sizes
14-18), copper john (sizes 14-16; green or red) or woolly bugger
(sizes 8-12; olive, brown or black).

Greers Ferry:

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the
lake’s elevation at 470.70 feet MSL.

Hybrids and whites are coming up in places all over the lake and
some can even still be caught upriver. The lake is at 470.65 and
falling. Bass are biting well on swim baits, wake baits and soft
plastics fished around flooded cover. The old brush line and
secondary points also are working well. Catfishing is good on live
and prepared baits near cover, but you need stout line to get them
out of the brush. Walleye are biting in front of the old brush line
on hard bottoms as well as secondary and main lake points. Bream
are bedding and fishing for them is excellent in the shallows.

Water is clear and up about 10 feet. The bream are biting well,
and the bass are doing fairly well on live bait. There is no report
on crappie or catfish.

Lake Overcup:

Water is murky and back to normal level. Bream are biting well
on minnows and crickets. Crappie are still slow.There is no report
on bass.Catfishing is good on crickets and large minnows.

Water is about a foot high and dingy. Bream are biting well on
wax worms and crickets. Crappie are biting fairly well in 8-10 feet
of water on pink and white/chartreuse jigs. Bass are fair on
spinnerbaits and black soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on

Brewer Lake:

Water is high and clear. Bream are biting well near the bank on
redworms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on small minnows.
Bass are doing well near the brush on white/chartreuse and black
spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Catfishing is fair on nightcrawlers and

Lake Maumelle:

Average surface water temperature is 73 degrees. Black basshave
moved off the beds to deeper water (6 to 12 feet) and are hitting
deep-running crank baits, spinner baits and jigs. Kentucky Bass are
hitting in water from 6 to 14 feet deep and are being caught on
jigs deep and crank baits that go deeper. White bass are schooling
around the chimney and hitting on CC Spoons, clear Near Nuttings
and Rogues. Crappie are being caught about 15 to 20 feet deep.
Movement is to deeper water on minnows and 1/32 ounce jigs. Bream
are moving around the docks and in shallow areas. The break water
at the marina is proving good catches now. Bream are being caught
on worms and crickets. Saugeye are 10 to 15 feet deep and are
hitting Roadrunners and jigs and should start running on the west
end of the lake. Catfishare from 8 to 15 feet deep and hitting
minnows, worms and prepared baits.

Water is high and clear. Bream are biting well on crickets.
Crappie are biting well on minnows. Bass are biting well on
crankbaits. Catfish are good on cut shad and skip jack.

Lake Valencia:

Water is high and stained. Bream are biting well on crickets.
Crappie are biting minnows. Bass are biting on minnows. Catfishing
is good on nightcrawlers and package bait.

Sunset Lake:

Water is normal and stained. Bream are biting well in the
shallow water on crickets. Crappie are slow. Bass are biting well
on top-water lures and shad-colored soft plastics. Catfish are
biting well on chicken liver and Magic Bait.

Saline River Access in Benton:

Water is normal with a little color. Bream are biting well on
black/brown Rooster Tails and live bait. Crappie are fair on 2-inch
grub worms.Bass are biting well on white/chartreuse spinnerbaits.
Catfishing is good in the shallows on Magic Bait and shad.

Arkansas River at Morrilton:

River is flowing around 140,000 cubic feet per second, but
falling steadily. Bream are in the backwaters such as Copper’s Gap,
Flag and Lake Cutoff and are hitting crickets. Kentucky bass are on
the inside of jetties near rock breaks. Fish from the upstream side
using a spinner bait near the break. Catfish are trying to spawn in
calm areas in the river. Nightcrawlers are working well for
catfish. Black bass can be found in schools of shad. Pork rinds are
working well. Bailey Lake on Petit Jean Mountain has been the hot
spot for bream.

Arkansas River in Little Rock:

Water is high and muddy. Some anglers are catching a few bass in
the backwater areas. The catfishing is good off the banks near the
hydro plant using live bait.

Water is high and murky. At Burns Park, bream are biting on
redworms and crickets. Crappie are biting fairly well on minnows.
Bass are slow but biting plastics. At Fourche La Fave bream are
biting redworms and crickets. Not a lot to report on crappie, some
are biting on red/chartreuse jigs and minnows. Bass are biting well
at the Little Maumelle River, Fourche La Fave and Fourche Creek on
white spinnerbaits and pearl crankbaits. At Big Maumelle Creek,
bass seem to be biting better on red or blue soft-plastic worms.
Catfishing is excellent on nightcrawlers and shad throughout the

Water is high and muddy and nothing to report at Terry Lock and

Clear Lake:

Water is high and muddy. Bream are biting well in 1-2 feet of
water on crickets. A few crappie are being caught on minnows.
Catfishing is good on nightcrawlers.

Peckerwood Lake:

Water is dingy but clearing. Bass and crappie are very slow.
Bream are biting well on crickets. Catfishing is very good on
minnows and worms.

Pickthorne Lake:

Bream are good on crickets and redworms. Crappie are biting well
on minnows. Bass are biting well on plastics. Catfishing is
excellent on nightcrawlers and large minnows.


White River:

With all the rain and rising water, the pattern on the White was
for round-the-clock generation of moderate flows. This has created
some excellent conditions for drift fishing. The catch-and-release
section below Bull Shoals Dam has been a bit spotty. One day is
excellent and the next is very slow. Anglers reported success on
midge patterns. The most effective were zebra midges in black with
silver wire and silver beads and red with silver wire and silver
beads. The best sizes were 14-16. Wildcat Shoals has been another
hotspot. Anglers have reported great success during lower flows.
The hot flies have been soft hackles. Try green butts, partridge
and orange soft hackles and partridge and green soft hackles. An
olive woolly bugger on a sink tip has also been quite effective.
Rim Shoals has fished well. There are still some caddis coming off
and there is some top-water activity near the banks. This requires
an accurate cast and a good drift. Several anglers have had great
success with green caddis larva ticked along the bottom under an

Water is clear with two to three generators running all week,
keeping the water down.Fishing is great, especially
fly-fishing.They are using woolly buggers, zebra midges and copper

White River (From Buffalo Shoals to Norfork):

Water has been very muddy. Even with the colored water, you can
catch fish on hot pink glo-worms on a drift rig and tip your hook
with white Power Bait. The fishing will be back to normal before
the weekend unless we get more rain.

Crooked Creek:

Seemingly endless rains have left Crooked Creek and the Buffalo
River high and muddy. It will take a while for them to clear.

Bull Shoals Lake:

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the
lake’s elevation at 669.30 feet MSL.

Lake Norfork:

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the
lake’s elevation at 560.88 feet MSL.

Water surface temperature is in the mid to upper 60s and the
water is stained. Fishing has been good during the last few weeks.
Stripers are hitting top-water baits in the morning and evenings.
Crappie fishing is good, not all of them have spawned yet and they
are being caught at varying depths (3-25 feet deep). Bass fishing
is good on jigs, spinnerbaits and soft-plastics. Some monster
bluegills are hitting minnows, worms and crickets. Catfishing is
fair. White Bass fishing is fair. Walleye fishing is good using
live bait and crankbaits around 18 feet deep along secondary
points. Smallmouth bass fishing is good using small soft-plastics
on a 3/16-oz. jig.

Norfork Tailwater:

Generation on the Norfork has been very limited, which has
created some excellent wading. The Corps of Engineers has been
holding back water to relieve flooding downstream. When that
flooding abates, we can expect some much higher levels of
generation. Fishing remains slow. There has been little generation
recently and it has been pounded with near constant pressure. If
you are fishing Quarry Park the hot fly has been the sowbug. On the
lower river, zebra midges in black with silver wire and silver bead
(size 18) and red micro worms (size 18) have been the go-to flies.
There are still a few caddis out. Here again the presentation of
your elk hair caddis must be flawless. Dry Run Creek continues to
fish well. There is little room to cast here so you should keep
your line short. The hot fly is the sowbug and the San Juan worm in

Water is muddy with back up water from the White River. It will
clear up as soon as some generation comes through to push out the
muddy water. There have still been quite a few fish caught below
the catch-and-release area on Power Bait and worms. Cast out and
drag your bait back like you are working a plastic worm in the lake
for bass. This works good when there is no generation.


Beaver Lake:

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the
lake’s elevation at 1,129.12 feet MSL.

Bass fishing has been fair. Try using Texas-rigged tubes or
lizards around flooded cover. Crappie fishing has been tough. Try
fishing a minnow along standing timber in the back half of coves
and along bluff walls with standing timber. The crappie have been
suspended 10 to 15 feet deep. White bass are schooling in open
water on main lake flats early and late. Try casting shad-imitating
baits directly into a feeding school. Bluegill are biting well
close to the bank on crickets fished 1 to 4 feet deep.

Water is high and muddy. Bluegill are coming out and biting on
crickets. Nothing has been heard on crappie.Bass are slow but there
have been a few white bass and stripers caught in the river arms.
Catfishing is very good on live bait and jug lines.

Lake Fayetteville:

Water is normal and murky.A few bluegill have been caught on
crickets and worms. Crappie, bass, and catfish are slow.

Lake Sequoyah:

Water about two feet above normal and dingy. Bream are biting
well on worms and crickets, but water is still too cool for them to
bed up. Crappie are biting well in the shallow water around tree
tops on minnows and Road Runners. Bass are biting fairly well in
1-3 feet of water on plastic worms and buzzbaits. Catfishing is
good in 8-10 foot of water on chicken liver and shad.


Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA:

North entrance to Henry Gray Hurricane Lake WMA reports that the
WMA is still flooded, but the water is starting to go down slowly.
A few trotliners are boating back to Hurricane Lake and Honey Lake.
They are catching plenty of crappie and bass for their effort. The
White River stage is still projected to be above 30 feet until May

Crown Lake:

Water is normal and clear. Bream are biting well on redworms.
Crappie are slow. Bass are biting well on flukes and trick worms.
Catfishing is good on nightcrawlers and chicken liver.

Lake Frierson:

Lake Frierson State Park said the water is cloudy and high.
There is nothing to report on bream or bass. Crappie were biting
well on minnows. Some flatheads and blue catfish have been caught
on minnows and nightcrawlers.

Spring River:

Rains have muddied the Warm Fork and raised water levels, but
the Spring is still running clear. The Warm Fork is a small creek
that runs into the Spring River at Dam 1. When it runs muddy and
the Spring remains clear it usually takes about a day to clear up.
Modified San Juan worms did very well Sunday morning.


Lake Chicot:

Water is falling, but is still about a foot high. Bream are
beginning to bed up and are biting well on crickets. Catfish are
biting very well on minnows, nightcrawlers and shad. Bass and
crappie are slow.

Lake Monticello:

Recent rains have Lake Monticello well above normal, but the
fish keep biting. The bass are fired up. Many bass are in the
shallows, but most of them have spawned. Cruising fish can be
caught on frogs, flukes and senkos. The live bait bite is still
going with shiners. There are some giant red-eared sunfish coming
out of the lake right now.Jigs, crickets and red worms are working
excellently. Many bream over a pound each have been caught.


Millwood Lake:

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the
lake’s elevation at 270.2 feet MSL.

Water is 12.2 feet high and the only ramps open are at
Yarborough and Jack’s Isle. All Corps of Engineers ramps and state
park ramps are closed, as are the campgrounds. Navigating the lake
right now is nothing short of treacherous. The lake is full of
floating logs and debris and the current at the dam is more than
60,000 cfs. Visibility has been reduced to nearly zero everywhere
in the lake. Bass should be in postspawn patterns and should bite
fairly well around newly flooded areas on Red Coach Dog and
Millwood Magic Rat-L-Traps. Hot mouse-colored War Eagle
spinnerbaits should work as well. Crappie have shut down with the
rising, muddy water. Catfishing should be excellent on cut bait and
stink bait fished near moderate current.

White Oak Lake:

Fishing was just getting hot and the rains came. Catfishing is
excellent on trotlines and jugs set near channels and spawning
areas. Bream also were biting well on redworms and crickets. Bass
were still being caught shallow on crankbaits and jerkbaits. The
lake level as of Monday was about 2 feet over normal.

Lake Greeson:

Lake is 15 feet over flood stage at 563.18msl and falling
slowly. Water has been going over the dam spillway since May 15,
which hasn’t happened since 1968. Reports have been made that bass
are being caught in the back of secondary creek arms. Crappie and
bream can be caught over flooded laydowns and buck brush. If you
run a small boat, you can get into the standing timber in the backs
of the flooded coves.

DeGray Lake:

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the
lake’s elevation was 415.2 feet MSL.

Water surface temperature is in the low 70s. The water is
slightly stained in the lower end and muddy above Arlie Moore. Only
two boat ramps are open.The Corps ramp across from the Iron
Mountain Marina and the State Park ramp. Not many anglers are
fishing due to the high water and limited lake access. Those who
are fishing are reporting good catches of bass. The fish are moving
out of the trees and are biting well in small coves and ditches on
the main lake on green pumpkin Texas-rigged worms, Brush Hogs and
jigs. A few big Kentuckies are being taken off main lake rocky
points on spinnerbaits. Many bream and catfish have been caught
from the bank around DeGray State Park on worms.

Water is high and muddy. Most boat ramps have been closed all
week. No report.


Lake Dardanelle:

River has slowed somewhat at the upper end of the lake, making
it possible to fish some of the backwaters. White bass have been
running and surface feeding like crazy at the upper end of the
lake. Largemouth bass have been slow to fair. Crappie are fair on
minnows fished 4 feet deep. Catfishing is excellent on prepared
baits and live shad.

Murphy’s Sporting Goods (479-229-3200) said the water is
extremely muddy and high. The water flow is 230,000 and small craft
warnings are in effect.

Blue Mountain Lake:

Water is high and muddy. Nothing has been heard and not much to

Ozark Pool:

Water is muddy and high. Bream are biting fairly well on
crickets and nightcrawlers. Crappie are slow on minnows and jigs.
Catfishing was good on cut bait, shad and nightcrawlers. Black bass
are fair on crankbaits and jigs in the backwater.

Lake Ouachita:

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the
lake’s elevation at 587.3 feet MSL.

The water temperature is between 68-72 degrees. Largemouth bass
are biting well on shad baits and flukes fished on main and
secondary points. Yum Dingers and floating worms are very effective
right now fished in coves or around shoreline brush. Top-water
action has slowed, but is still good. Zara Pups and Spooks, Rooster
Tails and Boy Howdies will make for a fun day on the water. Walleye
are fair and still being caught on crankbaits and jerk baits on
main-lake points near brush. Green grubs and finesse worms are
producing a few fish as well. Stripers are good on live shad and
trotline minnows. Top-water action is good with C-10 Redfins. Bream
are excellent with worms or crickets in 6 to 12 feet of water.
Crappie are fair near brush in 10 to 20 feet of water. Minnows or
crappie grubs are still working best. Catfish are excellent on cut
bait and live bait on jug lines and trotlines.

Lake Hamilton:

Lake is full, and the surface temperature is in the mid-70s. The
water is muddy from recent rain and there are many floating logs
and debris in the lake. A Carolina-rigged lizard or creature bait
is working well on primary ledges and main-lake points.
Wacky-rigged floating worms are working fairly well in the guts of
pockets. White bass are schooling in the middle of the creeks on
the surface.

Lake Catherine:

Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that
the Carpenter Dam tailwater is clearing but still stained and
moving fast. Heavy generation is the norm and will continue until
Lake Ouachita is out of flood pool. Fishing has been limited, but
some anglers are still catching fish. Rainbow trout fishing is very
poor in the fast, muddy waters, but will improve as the water
clears and slows. Areas that hold clearer water and are protected
from the current have given up a few trout on nightcrawlers and wax
worms fished just off the bottom. Brightly colored Rooster Tails
and small crankbaits have taken some rainbows, but the bite is
inconsistent. The majority of the crappie and white bass spawn is
over, but many fish of both species are in the tailrace and are
feeding heavily and resting before they migrate downstream. White
and gray jigs cast around visible rock structure are working fairly
well. Mid-May always marks the beginning of schooling striper
action below the dam. Threadfin shad schools move toward the cooler
shallows and the stripers follow. Casting large top-water baits
such as trout-colored C-10 Redfins and Super Spooks are highly

Lake Hinkle:

Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-4719) said water is clear and high.
Bream are biting well on crickets and worms. Crappie are biting
well on minnows and pink/white or chartreuse/red jigs. Bass are
biting well on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good using trotlines
with chicken liver and shiners.

Lake Atkins:

Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is normal and murky.
The bream are biting well on worms and crickets. No report on
crappie or bass. Catfishing is good on large minnows and cut


Moro Bay:

Moro Bay State Park at the junction of the Ouachita River,

Raymond Lake and Moro Bay said the river is at 88.0 feet MSL

feet above normal). It reached 88.8 feet last Thursday, the

highest crest on record. The water level is falling very

Rod-and-reel fishing of all kinds is difficult and water

are unsafe in the river for boating. The state park is closed.

stay updated on when conditions will return to normal you can

out the Nation Weather Service Web site at:

Tri-County Lake:

The water is beginning to drop. Some anglers have made it to the
water and are doing well on bass. Fishing is slow at first, but
picks up at around mid-morning. Shallow crankbaits, finesse worms
and top-water frogs are working well around any growing moss.

Ouachita River Oxbows:

High water continued to slow fishing last week.


Arkansas River at Pine Bluff:

The Tackle Box (870-534-1498) said the water is high and muddy.
Bream are biting well on wax worms and crickets. Crappie and bass
are slow. Catfishing is good on worms, cut bait and skip jack.

Maddox Bay:

Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is high and
dingy.There is nothing to report on bream, crappie, or
bass.Catfishing is good using a trotline with minnows.

Bear Creek Lake:

Arkansas Outdoors (870-295-4240) said the water is clear and
about normal.The bream are biting well on worms and crickets.No report on crappie, bass or

Island 40 Chute:

Daily’s Boat Dock (870-739-3478) said the water is high and
clear. No fishing to report.

Horseshoe Lake:

Local angler Clyde Gregory said the water is clear and high.
Bream are biting well on redworms and crickets. Crappie are biting
very well on black/chartreuse jigs and minnows in shallow water.
Some bass have been caught on spinnerbaits, but it’s slow.
Catfishing is very good on cut bait in shallow water.

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