AR: Weekly Fishing Report March 07, 2012

Fishing Highlight of the Week: Lake Dunn in Village Creek State Park near Wynne produced a 16 pound, 5 ounce largemouth Feb. 28. If everything holds, this will be the new state record largemouth bass, surpassing Aaron Mardis’ 16 pound, 4 ounce largemouth caught March 2, 1976 at Mallard Lake. Click the link to read this week’s Arkansas Outdoors newsletter for more about this amazing catch:

http://tinyurl.com/122902-Arkansas-Outdoors

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 Ponds: Trout have been stocked across the state. Worms, small crappie jigs and spinners all work well, as does Berkley Power Bait. Click http://www.agfc.com/fishing/Pages/FishingProgramsFCF.aspx for a list of program ponds.

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas West-Central Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

Central Arkansas

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the water is stained and at normal level. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs around Pierce Creek and Green’s Lake. Yo-yos baited with live minnows are working well in the same areas at night. Bass are excellent on sexy shad-colored spinnerbaits in Pierce Creek. Catfishing is good on yo-yos baited with minnows.

Dan at Gold Creek Landing (501-607-0590) had no report.

Little Red River

Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) ) said the water is clear and at normal level with two generators running. Trout are biting well on wax worms and marshmallows when the water is low and on spinners and night crawlers when the flow increases.

Greers Ferry

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.49 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 461 MSL).

Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is rising, with water temperatures 47-53 degrees. The walleye bite has fallen off somewhat with the weather, moon and some other factors. Rain should really have them doing a lot better as the days move forward. Try minnows, Walleye Divers and Rogues for the best bite. Bass fishing is good on the Arkansas Claw, Wiggle Warts, jerk baits and C-rigs; some spinnerbait and small crankbait fish coming in as well. No report on catfish. Bream are more active in about 27-35 feet of water on ’crawlers and minnows. Crappie fishing is off and on with these fronts and water clarity. Try jigs with minnows, and the Slab Hunter with small baits on it about 6 feet deep up the rivers on flats. Other fish are suspended over brush piles and in the pole timber in 15-25 feet of water. Hybrid bass are off and on as they move with the weather and temperature. Try spoons, in-line spinners and swim baits on the Arkansas Claw for the best bite in 25-47 feet of water.

Cody S. Smith of www.fishgreersferry.com said water levels are slightly below normal pool and falling with little runoff entering the lake. Water temperatures are ranging widely over the lake, with upper 40s and mid 50-degree surface temperatures; 54 degrees seem to be holding the most shad. Fishing before sunrise has paid off on recent trips. We’ve seen lots of fish very shallow early and then hunker down in the 15-foot zone and deeper as the sun gets higher. Crayfish are starting to become available and fish that have transitioned into spawning areas are taking advantage of them. Last week marked the first time this spring I’ve seen fish on shallow cover and not suspended on the nearest drop.

Harris Brake Lake

Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said the water is stained and at normal level. Bream are fair on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting excellently on minnows and chartreuse/white or blue tube jigs. Bass are biting well on large minnows and spinnerbaits. No report on catfish.

Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) ) said crappie are biting well on No. 6 minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad, Slab Slay’R and Stroll’R in white/salt and pepper, red/chartreuse and bone white shad, and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Catfish are good on minnows and worms in shallow water and deep boat runs. Bass are good on worms, spinnerbaits and Rooster Tails. Bream are slow.

Lake Overcup

Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said crappie are starting to come into the bank at night and are being caught on yo-yos with No. 6 minnows. They are still slow in the day but are being picked up early morning and just before dark using Cubby lures and Little Hustlers in white/chartreuse and pearl stinger. Bass are starting to move into the bank. Catfish are hitting cut shad and skipjack on trotlines. Bream are good on red worms and crickets.

Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie biting well around dock, brush piles and dam area, but moving around. No. 6 minnows and bobby Garland Baby Shad, Stroll’R and Slab Slay’R in white/salt and pepper, red/chartreuse and bone white baby shad, and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow are working.

Brewer Lake

Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said bass are coming in shallow getting ready to spawn and are good on topwaters and plastics. Bream are improving on crickets. Catfish are good on trotlines and noodles. Crappie are moving into the bank, starting to build beds and are being picked up on dark brown Cubby lures and white/chartreuse jigs.

Lake Maumelle

Jolly Roger’s Marina said the water level is 5 inches above the spillway, and the water temperature is around 49 degrees in the lake and 53 degrees in the coves. Largemouth bass are fair on jigs and grubs fished in 15 feet of water. Spotted bass are fair on Rooster Tails and grubs fished 20 feet deep. White bass have been spotted in the main channel from Jim’s Island west. There have been several reports of white bass caught on Rogues, Rooster Tails, spoons and grubs. Crappie are biting well on the edges of channels in 20 to 25 feet of water on small jigs and grubs. Bream and catfish are slow.

Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on pink minnows and popsicle-colored Kalin’s grubs fished on a slip-cork rig set 12 to 14 feet deep over PVC cover. White bass are moving to the west end of the lake and are biting well on spoons and Rattlin’ Rouges around the Arkansas Highway 10 bridge. Some white bass are being caught in Maumelle River on the far west end of the lake on white Beetle Spins. Largemouth bass are biting well on peanut butter and jelly and black/blue jigs near main lake points and channels. Catfishing is good on trotlines set in 10 to 12 feet of water, baited with live bream and large minnows.

Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are fair in coves and brush piles on Bobby Garland Baby Shad and Slab Slay’R in red/chartreuse, bone white and pearl and orange/chartreuse. No. 6 minnows are working, along with PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow in 12-20 feet of water. White bass are biting well in the channel and river on Rooster Tails and shad.

Lake Valencia

Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said catfishing is excellent on chicken hearts and nightcrawlers. Trout are biting well on Berkley Power Bait.

Sunset Lake

Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is clear and low. Crappie are fair on minnows fished in brush 8 feet deep. Bass are fair on green pumpkin lizards fished in 10 feet of water. No report on bream or catfish.

Saline River Access in Benton

Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is clear and low. Crappie are biting well on 2-inch Tennessee shad-colored grubs in 6 feet of water. Bass are excellent on small green pumpkin tube jigs and small orange crawdad-colored crankbaits. No report on catfish or bream.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Opello said wind has kept most anglers off the main channel of the river. Stripers are biting well below locks nine and 10 on live shad fished 4 to 6 feet deep. Spotted bass and white bass are biting well on shad-colored crankbaits in windblown coves. Crappie are biting fairly well on minnows fished 4 to 6 feet deep in backwater areas.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream are fair in Maumelle River and Little Maumelle River on crickets and wax worms. Crappie are biting well in backwater areas on pink/white or red/chartreuse tube jigs and minnows. Largemouth bass are biting well on gold/black Rattlin’ Rouges, shad-colored Rat-L-Traps and white spinnerbaits fished around backwater areas. Spotted bass are biting well on red Model A Bomber crankbaits and black/red or black/chartreuse jigs fished around jetties in the main channel. Catfishing is good on trotlines, jugs and yo-yos baited with skipjack, live minnows and chicken hearts

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

Vince Miller from Fish ’N Stuff said the water is dingy and at normal level. Crappie are moving to shallow areas and are being caught on minnows and jigs. A small umbrella rig is working well for crappie, as are yo-yos baited with live minnows at night. Bass are moving shallow and are biting well on Alabama-rigged swimbaits, Rat-L-Traps and jigs. Sauger are moving into the feeder creeks and are biting fairly well on curly tailed grubs, crankbaits and live bait near rocky creek bends.

Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said crappie are biting well on pink minnows fished under a slip-cork rig near the main channel and in Fourche Creek. White/chartreuse or silver glitter tube jigs are working well near Murray Lock and Dam. White bass are biting well near the dam on spoons, Little Georges and Gay Blades fished near the bottom. White bass are fair near Burns Park on live minnows and white curly tailed grubs. Catfishing is good near the main channel on cut shad, skipjack and live green sunfish.

McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water below Terry Lock and Dam is clear and at normal level. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. No report on any other species.

Clear Lake

McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. No report on any other species.

Peckerwood Lake

Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the water is dingy and at normal level. Crappie are biting well on yo-yos baited with minnows and on jigs during the day. Catfishing is good on yo-yos baited with minnows.

Lake Pickthorne

Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream are fair on wax worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and red/white or chartreuse tube jigs. Bass are fair on chartreuse/white double-willow leaf spinnerbaits and shad-colored Bomber crankbaits. Catfishing is good on live green sunfish and cut bait

North Arkansas

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and low with no generation most mornings. Trout are excellent on midges, woolly buggers and soft hackles in swift current. Power Bait, spinners, Lil’ Cleo spoons and shrimp are working well from a boat.

Randy Oliver at www.randyoliverguide.com (901-832-1903) said generation has been steady this week and the fish are hitting corn and red worms fished off the bottom drift fishing.

Guide Davy Wotton said there should be some early caddis hatches soon with the warm weather. Generation levels are generally low with a few high water spikes, which have generated some shad through the dams. Best options are at this time drift fishing combinations of caddis larva and rock worms, sow bugs, white tail and prism midges in black and red. Wade fisherman, more or less as above, for the Norfork during low water then you will have to reduce the size of the midge from 16s to 22s at times, same also for Bull Shoals dam when generation is shut down.

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge(870-499-5185) said Buffalo City to Reds Landing water levels have been low for the last 10 days. We are not getting any flow from the Buffalo. Fishing has been very good in the low-water conditions. Rapalas in the deeper holes and Zig Jigs everywhere else. The wind has been an issue for a week making it very difficult to work jigs properly.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said the river levels are 1.97 feet and 56 cfs at Ponca; 4.20 feet and 93 cfs at Pruitt; 4.63 feet and 487 cfs at Tyler Bend, and 3.62 feet and 578 cfs at Buffalo Point. Water temperatures range from 52-60 degrees.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said the gauge at Kelley’s Slab is reading 10.66 ft and 223 cfs. Water temperatures have been averaging 55 degrees.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 653.61 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said the lake level is slightly below normal power pool at 653.5 and water temperature is in the lower 50s. Fishing is good. Walleye and bass are biting in less than 20 feet of water on Alabama rigs, stick baits and jigs. White bass are moving into creeks and bays, and biting on shad-type baits like Swimming Minnows, bucktail jigs and spoons. Crappie are moving shallow and biting on jigs and minnows.

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Just Fishing Guides said the lake level is 653.5 feet, 0.5 feet below the top of conservation pool. Generation has been around the clock varying between 1-3 units (3000-7,000 cfs). During the weekend, there was low water with zero flow. Nymphing and streamers are two of the more productive presentations. Early caddis have been coming off sparsely, so try nymphs and emergers in lime green. Brown trout are on the feed now following the spawn. Reports of shad coming through during generation are true. 1½-3-inch white flies will represent the shad. Large streamers on 7 and 8 weight rods and fast-sinking lines can put you on that epic fish. Try staying with rising water while fishing to improve your odds. Fish to 10+ pounds have been caught on big streamers. Good action on Mepps undressed spinners in gold and silver in size 2.

Lake Norfork

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 552.02 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool: Sept.-April – 552 MSL, April-Sept. – 554 MSL).

Blackburn Resort said the water level has stopped rising. Surface temperature is in the mid-40s. People are catching some nice stripers on grubs halfway back in the creeks. Crappie are also halfway back in the creeks around deep brush. Several fish have been caught on small spoons in the brush piles.

101 Grocery and Bait had no report.

STR Outfitters had no report.

Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no report.

Guide Steve Olomon had no report.

Randy Oliver at www.randyoliverguide.com (901-832-1903) said crappie are moving up into the creeks. Fish are suspended in brush piles in 15 to 20 feet of water. Minnows have worked well early in the morning until about 10 a.m.

Norfork Tailwater

Randy Oliver at www.randyoliverguide.com (901-832-1903) ) said shad have been coming through the dam and the fishing has been hot. When the river is running, use black and silver Countdown Rapalas in size 7, and black and silver Shad Raps in size 5. Dead shad and redworms are working during low water, fished about 12 inches off the bottom.

Just Fishing Guides said the lake level is 551.7 feet, 0.3 feet below the top of conservation pool. Generation has been usually twice per day with flows to 6,000 cfs with 2-6 hours each time. During the weekend it was continuous at 3,000 cfs. Tan scuds have been hot lately. Small streamers without bead or cone heads producing a slower fall are working well, also. Sow bugs, midges, worm and egg patterns should be in your arsenal as well.

Northwest Arkansas

Beaver Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,120.38 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 1,120 MSL).

Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said the forecast for striped bass is fair. Stripers can be taken on live shad on free lines 150 feet back and lightly weighted balloon lines trolled 50-100 feet back 10-35 feet deep. Stripers will be active most of the day. Fishing is good near the cedar thicket and in Fish Trap Hollow. Stripers have been taken in deep water in front of the marina at Rocky Branch. Check Cedar Creek, Ford Creek and Goat Island at Larue. Stripers can be caught consistently at Prairie Creek from the flat near the boat ramp at Arkansas Highway 12. Stripers are in the area across from Horseshoe Bend in the back of the cove, and along the flats breaking into the channel at Beaver Shores. Also check Joe Creek and Point 12. Fish deep holes for striper, white bass and walleye at War Eagle. Walleye are finishing up their spawn and white bass are beginning to spawn. White bass can be caught using white Rooster Tails, spoons, small curly tail grubs in various colors and live bait under a cork. Water temperatures in the mid to lower lake areas are low 40s-low 50s. Some big walleye have been caught near the dam. Most are 10-20 feet deep. Try trolling flats very slowly. Flat-line troll with Hot ’NTots, Rapala Tail Dancers, Shad Raps, Reef Runners or Ripsticks in natural blue or black back combos, or chartreuse/orange and clown colors. Jigging spoons around brush and rocks also works. Areas around the Prairie Creek islands and points 7-9 and 12 have been producing walleye.

JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) ) said bass can be caught by slow rolling 3/8-oz. white/chartreuse spinnerbaits along laydown trees. Crawdad-colored Wiggle Warts have also been effective along sloping chunk rock banks. Crappie are being caught shallow on sunny days suspending above brush piles, close to pole timber and laydown trees close to a channel. A black/chartreuse or white/chartreuse 2-inch swim bait on a 1/32-oz jighead under a cork set 3 to 6 feet deep has been effective. On cloudy days try a black/chartreuse or chartreuse curl tail grub on a 1/16-oz. jig head in the same areas, but close to the brush in 15 to 30 feet of water. Blue Springs, Hickory Creek, Piney Creek and Neal’s Bluff have all been good areas to fish. White Bass have been schooling up both river arms and can be caught using 2-inch curly tailed grubs or Rat-L-Traps around timber close to the channel. Friendship Creek, Piney Creek and the 412 bridge area have been good places to find some white bass. Catfishing has been good at Hickory Creek from the bank late in the day using liver or worms.

Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on Alabama-rigged swimbaits and Wiggle Warts. White bass are beginning to run upriver and are biting well on Lil’ Fishy swimbaits, jigs and live crawdads. Walleye are in the White River and War Eagle Creek. They are biting well on trolled Rattlin’ Rouges and minnows.

Beaver Tailwater

Just Fishing Guides said the lake level is 1120.2 feet. There has been low water for wade fishing late morning and afternoon. Generation has been twice per day with flows from 3,500-4,000 cfs. During the weekend, flows were once per day at 8,000 cfs. A variety of flies is working, including Humpback Scud, BH Simple Sow and BH Flashback Pheasant Tail, all in sizes 12-16. Zebra Midge (gray, black, olive and red), size 18, and small streamers (sizes 8-12) including Woolly Bugger, Sparrow, .56’er and Zonker. Long leaders ending in 7X and sizes 18-22 midge patterns are the best best now. Egg and San Juan Worm patterns also are working on high water.

Lake Elmdale

Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said 8-inch bass have started moving into the shallow shore areas to feed. Suspending jerk baits is working well. Go deeper with a jig-n-frog for bigger bass. Crappie are also starting to bite. Small crappie minnows are best, but jigs are working, too. Bluegill are being caught at 6 feet on red worms. No report on any catfish being caught.

Kings River

Just Fishing Guides said the river gauge near Grandview is reading 3.56 ft. and 233 cfs. Water temperatures are hitting near 52-58 degrees in the afternoon.

Lake Fayetteville

Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is murky and at normal level. Bream are fair on small jigs. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and jigs. White bass are fair on minnows.

Lake Sequoyah

Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and at normal level. The surface temperature is 56 degrees. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs in 2 to 5 feet of water. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft-plastic worms. White bass are biting very well on shad-imitating lures.

Northeast Arkansas

Lake Charles

Lake Charles State Park had no report.

Lake Poinsett

Lake Poinsett State Park said many fish are suspended in deep water right now. Medium-diving crankbaits and lipless crankbaits are ideal for bass fishing this time of year. Many catfish and bass are being caught in shallow water on warm days.

Crown Lake

Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and the surface temperature is 49 to 52 degrees. Crappie are biting well on minnows and Bobby Garland Stroll’Rs fished 4 to 5 feet deep around brush in 15 feet of water. Bass are biting well on Alabama-rigged swimbaits and grubs

Lake Frierson

Lake Frierson State Park said the water is murky and at normal level. Bass are biting well on live minnows and a variety of artificial lures. Catfishing is good on stinkbait. No report on bream, crappie or saugeye.

Spring River

Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 365 cfs at the spring and water is clear. The fishing has been great over the last week on the days the wind has not been blowing. Caddis and mayflies are hatching during the day. Mark’s emergers and brownies have been doing really well. I have not seen trout coming up for dries but with all of the hatches, it could be possible. White and red Trout Magnets are doing very well also. The only big factor in the fishing over the last week has been the wind.

Southeast Arkansas

Lake Chicot

Local angler Jessie James (870-355-7800) said bream are all over the lake; crickets are the bait of choice. Catfish have been caught on cut bait and worms all over the lake. Crappie are bedding; use white or black 1/8-ounce spinner baits. White and black baits are working for bass on beds. Some bass are still coming up to spawn. A stringer of more than 20 pounds won a bass tournament last Saturday.

Fishing guide Greg Gulledge (870-723-3928) of MonticelloBigBass.com had no report.

Lake Chicot State Park had no report.

Cane Creek Lake

Cane Creek State Park had no report.

Lake Monticello

Fishing guide Greg Gulledge (870-723-3928) of MonticelloBigBass.com had no report.

Southwest Arkansas

Millwood Lake

Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake level remains slightly above normal conservation pool and is continuing to recede. Oxbows and the lake continue a slow clearing trend. Largemouth bass are beginning to congregate in creek channels and ditches, and biting throughout the afternoon. Surface temps are 57-64 degrees. Lake level as of Monday was 259.28 (normal pool is 259.2). Navigation is much improved this week. River Run East facilities are still undergoing maintenance and closed until mid-July. Paraloma Park is closed for the winter. The best bass bite over the last week was pitching jigs, Super Tubes, spinnerbaits, Rogues, and soft-plastic shad jerk baits and lizards to stumps, grass, dead lily pad stems, and wood laydowns in the oxbow. Male largemouths, 3-5 pounds, are beginning to bed for the spawn. Females are in deeper creek channel swings. White bass continue to congregate above the Arkansas Highway 71 bridge on points and cuts, hitting Rat-L-Traps and Bomber crankbaits up Little River. Based on current surface water temperatures, these whites are beginning their annual spawning migration runs to Patterson Shoals areas where anglers are reporting catches of 20-50 a day already. Crappie are beginning to think about spawning as well. Jigs worked around cypress trees and knees were taking some nice slabs this week in 4-8-foot depths in the oxbows up Little River. Catfish remain very good on trotlines, yo-yos, tight lines, along current and break lines in the outer bends of Little River. Blues, flatheads and channel cats were biting best on cut shad, chicken liver and blood bait in 15-18 feet of Little River.

Lake Columbia

Steve’s Outdoor Sports (870-234-2222) had no report.

Lake Erling

Steve’s Outdoor Sports (870-234-2222) had no report.

Lake Greeson

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 542.48 MSL (Flood pool – 548 MSL).

Lakeside Grocery and Bait (870-398-5304) said the water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are biting well on minnows in 3 to 12 feet of water. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and soft-plastics in 3 to 10 feet of water. White bass are excellent on crankbaits, spoons and small spinners in creek channels. Stripers are running with the white bass and are biting well. No report on catfish or walleye.

For more information on crappie fishing at Lake Greeson, visit Jerry Blake’s website, www.actionfishingtrips.com/tripreports.htm.

Lake Greeson Tailwater (Little Missouri River)

Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.

Cossatot River

Cossatot River State Park had no report.

DeGray Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 406.82 feet MSL (Flood pool – 408 MSL).

Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 50s and the lake is clear up to Point 14, with a bit of color in the upper end. Bass fishing is good with fish coming from the warmer, wind-blown points. The prespawn has begun. Look for fish on main lake and secondary points in 5-10 feet of water. The best pattern has been the five-arm Alabama rig with 3½-inch paddle-tail swim baits such as the Swimming Fluke. Best color has been white with albino a close second. A single swim bait on a quarter-ounce jighead works, too. Quite a few fish reported on medium-running crank baits fished on wind-blown points; natural and shad patterns working best. Crappie fishing is picking up. Fish are moving to the tops of brush in 20-25 feet of water, although some are up to 10-12 feet for the spawn. On deep brush, fish vertically with a 1/16-ounce jig head and a 2-inch curly tail grub or tube. Fish slowly just above the brush. On shallower brush, throw lure over cover and count it down to just above the brush and slowly retrieve. Don’t hesitate to move if there’s no action in a few minutes. Best areas for early season crappies are between Point 14 and Point Cedar with Shrouse Ford the center of the action.

Hybrid fishing is still good with the best fishing up the Caddo River. Slow trolling a U rig with 3-inch white grubs has been the most productive. Use sonar to find schools 10-15 feet down. Woodall Cove and Point 15 have been producing nice fish on the U rig. No reports on catfish or bream.

West-Central Arkansas

Lake Nimrod

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.03 feet MSL.

Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie biting great around brush piles at the dam area and upper Fourche River around low-water bridge in Sunlight Bay area on No. 6 minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad, Slab Slay’R and Stroll’R in white/salt and pepper, red/chartreuse and bone white shad, and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Bream are good.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean Mountain)

Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said bream are slow on crickets and worms. Catfishing is fair on worms and minnows.

Fourche La Fave River

Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said the river is stained and low. Crappie are biting on minnows and worms in run-off areas like the Duck area and rivers; white/salt and pepper and red/chartreuse shad, and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow are working. Catfish are biting on stink bait and livers in the river. Other species are slow.

Lake Hinkle

Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-7419) said the water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are biting well on minnows. Bass are biting well on large minnows. No report on catfish or bream.

Lake Dardanelle

Regina Olson at Spadra Marina said largemouth bass are in full swing. An angler had a 6.5-pounder and four others heavier than 4 pounds. They are biting on black and blue chigger craws, tubes, you name it, as long as they are black and blue. Greens are runner-up, for example, watermelon seed and green pumpkin. Catfish have been doing well in honey holes. Shad have been a little hard to find, so most are using minnows and livers. Crappie are doing well. We are starting to see big ones full of eggs. A 2-pounder and a 2.1-pounder were caught this week. Lots of crappie minnows being used. Jig color choices have been silver glitter, natural cricket and quite a few anglers are using pinks, like pink and pearl and electric chicken.

Blue Mountain Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.92 feet MSL.

Lake Ouachita

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.41 MSL (Flood pool – 578 MSL).

Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service said Lake Ouachita bass are good on jigs on secondary points in the creeks, and spinner baits and jerk baits are doing well in the same areas. Striped bass are slow and hit and miss.

Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports had no report.

Mountain Harbor Resort said the water temperature is 50-54 degrees. Largemouth bass are excellent on a pig-and-jig in watermelon seed or black and blue. Alabama rigs are producing fish at 25-40 feet deep with shad-colored baits attached. Walleye are fair on bottom-bouncer jigs, spoons and trolling crankbaits 25-35 feet deep around brush. Stripers are very good on live bait and trolling large hair jigs or crank baits 18-25 feet deep. Alabama rigs are working very well for stripers up river channels and in major creek basins. Bream are fair on crickets or worms 20-25 feet deep. Crappie are very good near and over brush 15-25 feet deep with minnows or grubs. Tennessee shad and rainbow trout are best colors for artificial baits. Catfish are fair on cut bait and live bait on jug lines and trot lines 20-30 feet deep.

Lake Hamilton

Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports had no report.

For a daily fishing report from Darryl Morris, visit Family Fishing Trips.

Lake Catherine

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.

Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that lakes Hamilton and Catherine are in the process of being refilled and will be at normal summer levels by March 11. Water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 53 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Rainbow trout fishing is hot with daily limits common; some trout in the 4-pound class. Bank fishermen should stick to basic live bait presentations such as wax worms, meal worms, night crawlers or red worms, and be patient when the bite is slow. Avoid fast water and concentrate on areas protected from the current. Fly fishermen casting egg patterns on the edges of current have done very well this week. Small streamers in white perfectly imitate an injured shad and should be fished with a strike indicator. Boaters trolling the main channel have limited out on rainbows by using small crankbaits that dive 3-5 feet and suspend. More lanes are opening up to troll correctly with the lake rising 7-8 inches a day. Walleye are in mid-spawn but very few have been caught. Crappie are moving in the tailrace preparing to spawn. Live minnows or jigs will be the best techniques to catch these fish. White bass are being caught on minnows and jerkbaits as they also look to spawn in the upcoming weeks. Striper activity has improved this week with big fish breaking below the bridge in the early morning. Anglers need to move into casting distance of these feeding fish and use large, soft-plastic lures in the shape of trout or shad. Balloon rigs baited with gizzard or brood shad also work well and must be used with heavy tackle.

Lake Atkins

Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water is still high and the surface temperature is 49 degrees. Crappie fishing has picked up. Anglers are catching their limits on jigs and minnows. Bream are biting fairly well on worms. Bass are slow.

South-Central Arkansas

White Oak Lake

No Report.

Moro Bay

Moro Bay State Park at the junction of the Ouachita River, Raymond Lake and Moro Bay had no report.

Ouachita River Oxbows

Jaret Rushing said warm weather has turned on fish. In Ouachita River oxbows, bass are biting crankbaits extremely well. Running crankbaits about 4 feet deep around submerged timber has yielded some nice fish that are almost ready to spawn. Crappie also are starting to fire up. They’re being caught on fallen tops 4-6 feet deep on dark jigs and shiners.

Tri-County Lake

Jaret Rushing said some largemouth bass are starting to bed in shallows as weather warms.

East Arkansas

Bear Creek Lake

Mississippi River State Park said the water is clear and at normal level. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits around trees in coves. Bream are biting well on crickets around docks and trees. Crappie are biting well on jigs. No report on catfish.

Storm Creek Lake

Mississippi River State Park said bass and crappie are still biting well on small jigs around points. Catfishing is fair on minnows. Bream are fair on crickets.

White River

Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) said the water is clear and at normal level. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and tube jigs. Catfishing is good on stinkbait and chicken liver. Walleye are biting well on grubs and spoons fished near channel turns. No report on any other species.

Maddox Bay

Maddox Bay Landing (870-462-8317) said the water is stained and at normal level. Bream are fair on jigs. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are fair on crankbaits. No report on catfish.

Horseshoe Lake

Local angler Clyde Gregory said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on wax worms. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs near shallow water. Bass are fair on white spinnerbaits fished around lily pad stems. Catfishing is good on limb lines baited with stinkbait and cut bait.

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