Fishing Tip of the Week: Fried fish is a real treat, although most cooks don’t experiment to make it even tastier. Instead of buying prespiced breading, use plain breading and add your own touch. Try Parmesan cheese, cilantro, fresh-cracked black pepper or a combination of spices to your liking.
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: Visit http://www.agfc.com/fishing/Pages/FishingProgramsFCF.aspx for a list of program ponds. The AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program has stocked catfish in all program ponds with 10 tagged fish in each pond. Fluorescent pink tags say “Community Fishing.” Lucky anglers who catch a tagged fish should call 866-540-FISH for information on redeeming the tag for a prize package. All tags returned with a postmark on or before July 9 will be eligible for the grand prize drawing for a two-man fishing boat, trolling motor and battery, donated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation. One entry per angler. For stocking information, call 1-866-540-FISH (3474), or check us out online at http://www.agfc.com/fishing/Pages/FishingProgramsFCFStock.aspx.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the Lake is stained and running a little low. Bream fishing is excellent using worms and crickets around the lily pads. Bass fishing is excellent using top-waters or frogs in the early mornings or late evenings. Catfish fishing is good using night crawlers and minnows.
Little Red River
Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said the water clarity is good but the river is low. Trout are good; try wax worms, Power Bait and marshmallows. Try crankbaits or spinner baits in the afternoon.
Just Fishing Guides said water releases have been once per day in the afternoon/evening for one-two hours at 3,000-4,000 cfs.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 456.6 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service said the lake ranges from 86-92 degrees. The hybrid and white bass fishing is good on and off throughout the day on a variety of baits in different depths throughout the lake. Look for bait fish and the fish will not be very far away; use your electronics and be patient. Bream are just getting done spawning again and can be caught shallow and out to 27 feet of water on night crawlers and crickets. Crappie are suspended over brushpiles and in the pole timber in 15-30 feet of water all over the lake, and will eat jigs and jigs tipped with minnows. Catfishing is good all over the lake on jugs, trotlines and even rod and reels, close to channel drops. Walleye fishing is still very tough with scattered fish coming in on night crawlers in 15-40 feet of water. Bass fishing is good shallow with good fish being caught around bream beds on top-water baits and small crankbaits; the deeper fish are eating Texas-rigged worms and jigs tipped with worms, and the in-between fish are eating a drop-shot and a jighead worm.
Cody S. Smith of www.fishgreersferry.com had no report this week.
Greers Ferry Tailwater
Just Fishing Guides says there are plenty of low water opportunities for wade fishers. Mornings are better than afternoons with late evening coming in second. Heavier flows are the norm in the afternoon as the weather heats up. Bead-head nymphs such as pheasant tails and hare’s ears are producing well. Early terrestrials like beetles and ants are getting some top-water action. Be sure to have some sulphur and light Cahill dries in your fly box. Try a hopper/dropper combo to maximize your chances of hook-ups or, if possible, a double-nymph rig. Be ready to use various sizes of hoppers to find what the trout are keying on. Doubles are very possible. Water releases have been once per day in the afternoon for two to four hours at 3,000-4,000 cfs.
Harris Brake Lake
Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said lake water is clear and running a little low. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on crickets and jigs. Bass are biting well on spinner baits and minnows. Catfish are biting fair on stink bait, bream and minnows.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the lake is about 2 feet low. Crappie are biting on minnows and Slab Slay’Rs and Stroll’Rs in white/salt and pepper, red/chartreuse shad and bone white. PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow are working, too. Catfish are good on minnows, worms and goldfish at night. Bass are fair on tequila sunrise and dark-colored worms, spinner baits, Rooster Tails and Flukes. Bream are biting red worms, mealworms, crickets and rock hoppers. Redears are hitting red worms on the bottom.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) had no report this week.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting well on No. 6 minnows, Baby Shad, Stroll’R and Slab Slay’R in white/salt and pepper, red/chartreuse, bone white Baby Shad, and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Bream are biting great on night crawlers, red worms, mealworms, crickets and rock hoppers. Bass are hitting tequila sunrise and dark worms, spinner baits, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) filed no report.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) had no report this week.
Jolly Roger’s Marina reports black bass are good, 15-18 feet deep. They’re hitting spinner baits early in the day, then go to deeper lures such as pig and jigs and Carolina rigs. Early do the drop-offs and during the day, deep structure. Kentucky bass are good. Lots of Kentucky bass are being caught on Rooster Tails, jigheads and worms 10-18 feet deep. White bass are fair. They’re being caught toward the restricted area and north shore on Rooster Tails, trolling with lures 15 feet deep and jigging with CC spoons. Crappie have been excellent. They are 14-18 feet deep on the edges of the channels, and are hitting small jigs, colored grubs and small minnows. Bream are excellent. They’re hitting worms and crickets from 10-15 feet deep. Bream are really big this year. Catfish are excellent on trotlines with prepared bait and large minnows and bream. They are 10-13 feet deep; any deeper and the live bait dies quickly.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream fishing is excellent with crickets and worms. Crappie fishing is fair with minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good deep with deep-diving crankbaits and jerk baits. Catfish are fair with slicks and cut shad.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are good on Baby Shad and Slab Slay’Rs in red/chartreuse, bone white and pearl, and orange/chartreuse, as well as minnows and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. White bass are biting in the river channel on Rooster Tails in white or salt and pepper. Bream are great on night crawlers, red worms, mealworms, crickets and rock hoppers. Bass are hitting tequila sunrise and other dark worms, spinner baits, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bass fishing is good with night crawlers. Catfish fishing is excellent using worms and chicken hearts.
Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061)said the lake is clear and low. Fishing for all species has been slow; no specific reports this week.
Saline River Access in Benton
Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the river is low and clear. Bream fishing is excellent using yellow/black sixteenth-ounce Rooster Tails. Bass fishing is excellent using eighth-ounce white buzz baits or frog-colored Baby Chug Bugs.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said catfishing is very good using shad or skipjack drift fishing early or late in the day. Kentucky shad are schooling around shad on sandbars and around jetties; try Sassy Shad. Fish for largemouth early around the jetty and around wood, then try secondary drops or grass beds. Use a Horny Toad with a split shot. White bass are schooling around jetty tips; use crankbaits. Fish for bream with black Rooster Tails around grass early and late.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) had this report from Little Maumelle River and Maumelle River: Bream fishing is excellent on crickets and red worms. Crappie fishing is fair deep on jigs and minnows. Bass fishing is excellent on top-waters in the morning and deep-diving crankbaits and jigs. Catfish fishing is excellent on liver, hearts and worms. Main River Channel: Bass fishing is fair on the jetty points and backwater with shaky-heads, jigs and deep-diving crankbaits, as well as buzz baits. Catfish fishing is fair with slicks, shad and skipjack. Palarm Creek: Bream fishing is fair with red worms and crickets. Bass fishing is good in the deep parts with deep-diving cranks and jigs. Catfish fishing is fair with worms and liver.
Palarm Creek: Bream fishing is fair with red worms and crickets. Bass fishing is good in the deep parts with deep-diving cranks and jigs. Catfish fishing is fair with worms and liver.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
Vince Miller from Fish ’N Stuff had no report this week.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) had this report from Burns Park and the main channel: Bass fishing is fair around the jetty points with shaky-head worms, jigs and crank baits. Catfish fishing is fair out in the main river channel on skipjack and slicks.
Fourche Creek: No report this week.
Murray Lock and Dam: Crappie fishing is fair with jigs and minnows. Catfish fishing is fair with slicks, cut shad and skip jack.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no report this week.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) filed no report.
Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said catfish are biting on a variety of baits, just about anything you want to throw. Bass are biting on beetle spins with a crappie jig. Lake is down about 3 feet from normal pool, the stumps are showing and it’s clear.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) had no report on the lake this week.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream fishing is fair with red worms and crickets. Bass fishing is fair in the early morning and late evening using Texas-rigged black/red core worms and in the evening using top-waters. Catfish fishing is good in the evenings using livers, hearts and worms.
Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river is clear in the morning and stained in the afternoon. The river level is variable due to one generator running at night and four-five generators running during the day. The fishing is good; rainbows can be caught on small lures such as Little Cleos and most are drift fishing with Power Bait and Power Eggs. Browns are good in the evenings using stick baits (Rogues, Rapalas and jigs).
Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) had this report for Buffalo City to Red’s Landing: Fishing has been somewhat slow. Low water and lots of fishermen on the water have added to the hot temperatures to make it difficult. The fish are on the bottom and not moving into the shallower waters very easily. Rapalas in the faster runs and Zig Jigs everywhere else will probably put a limit in your boat. Make sure it close to the bottom before you start your retrieve. Just make a lot of casts and be patient.
Just Fishing Guides said as of Wednesday, the river was low and slowly falling. Ponca was very low at 1.45 feet, Pruitt was very low at 3.25 feet, Tyler Bend was low at 3.33 feet and Buffalo Point was low at 2.54 feet. The river level is extremely low for floating; the water is clear. Most of the Ozark streams are about 20 percent of their normal flows for this time of year. River levels are historically low this year and floating involves too much dragging. If you're willing to hike, you can reach long pools that are full of fish! Clousers, Shenk’s Streamer, KC’s Ozark Slider and Crazy Dads are all working well. Also, try large hopper and dragon fly patterns on top. Whit’s Hopper and Whitlock’s Gorilla Dragonfly are cool patterns to try, as well as Sneaky Pete’s, Gurglers in white or chartreuse, and Boogle Bullets. The top-water bite with flies is really going gangbusters. Spotted bass are holding near woody debris. Smallmouth bass are in the deeper channels. Sunfish have been caught with about anything that hits the water. Small poppers, woolly buggers, spiders, beetles and hoppers are raking in the sunfish. Sometimes it is hard not to catch them. Spin fishing has picked up fish with white or gray Flukes, 4-inch Zoom lizards in watermelon red and tube baits in green pumpkinseed. Crank baits, buzz baits and spinners have worked well also.
Just Fishing Guides said the gauge at Kelley’s Slab was reading 9.63 feet Wednesday. River levels are historically low this year and floating involves too much dragging. If you're willing to hike, you can reach long pools that are full of fish! Clousers, Shenks Streamer, KC's Ozark Slider and Crazy Dads are all working well. Also, try large hopper and dragon fly patterns on top. Whit’s Hopper and Whitlock’s Gorilla Dragonfly are cool patterns to try, as well as Sneaky Pete’s, Gurglers in white or chartreuse, and Boogle Bullets. The top-water bite with flies is really going gangbusters. Spotted bass are holding near woody debris. Smallmouth bass are in the deeper channels. Sunfish have been caught with about anything that hits the water. Small poppers, woolly buggers, spiders, beetles and hoppers are raking in the sunfish. Sometimes it is hard not to catch them. Spin fishing has picked up fish with white or gray Flukes, 4-inch Zoom lizards in watermelon red and tube baits in green pumpkinseed. Crank baits, buzzbaits and spinners have worked well also.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 651.4 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 654 msl).
Mike Worley’s Guide Service filed no report.
Bull Shoals Tailwater
Just Fishing Guides said water releases have been all over the place but heaviest in the afternoon and evening for eight hours, 2,000-9,000 cfs. Generation has been sporadic all last week. Some days had periods of no generation while other days ran around the clock with two-six units. Hopper fishing is hit or miss but when they are on, some nice browns are being caught. Nymphing is excellent and producing the best for numbers. Zebra midges, BH Hare’s Ear, scuds and sowbugs are all producing fish. Fishing near the dam with No. 16-18 beadhead pheasant tails has produced many fish. Small rubber-legged streamers have been working in the Wildcat Shoals area along with red Turk’s Tarantulas for browns.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 548.1 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 552 msl, April-September – 554 msl).
STR Outfitters – Tom Reynolds said stripers are off the points in the main lake and migrating towards the dam in larger numbers each day. I'm catching stripers on down lines, in water from 28 to 60-foot depths. My baits are set at 27-feet. They are feeding on shad and crawdads. I have been fishing between deep and shallow water.
Hummingbird Hideaway Resort Lou Gabric filed no report this week.
Guide Steve Olomon of Steve’s Guide Service had no report..
Campground News: Jordan Campground on Norfork Lake is open April 1-Oct. 1 and managed by Jordan Marina. Formerly run by the Army Corps of Engineers, Jordan Campground is a favorite of families camping on the south end of Norfork Lake and is the gateway to Sand Island and Jordan area beaches. This area also is a favorite of scuba divers, with 30 dive sites within 2 miles of the campground. Jordan Campground has 41 RV and tent sites; sites with 50-amp service and 30-amp service are available for $20 per night. The campground, adjacent to Jordan Marina, also features a swimming beach, picnic pavilion, boat launch and two restrooms. For more information, call (870) 499-7223 or Jordan Marina at (870) 499-7348.
Just Fishing Guides said water releases have been once per day in the afternoon for four-eight hours at 3,000-5,000 cfs. Periods of no generation were happening most days last week. Black and dark brown zebra midges, followed by olive and tan scud patterns, are producing best right now. Terrestrials are hit or miss, but worth trying because of season and the excitement of seeing the take, and they can produce some quality fish.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,114.5 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said grab your headlamps – the night bite is on! This is my favorite time of year; the big fish are on the feed big time! We have been using 10-pound Sufix 832 to subdue some real monsters, including one striper a few ounces short of 40 pounds. Beaver lake striper are still scattered and can be caught from Rocky Branch area to the dam. Beaver lake striper fishing will be excellent with striper taken on live shad fished on down lines and lightly weighted balloon lines trolled 50-100 feet back, 25-45 feet deep. Down-riggers are also producing with artificials; try Rapala No. 14 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors. Beaver lake stripers will be in areas holding bait near the main channel. We have been getting our limits of nice stripes every night, several striper over 30 pounds have been taken in the last four weeks. Check the back of Indian Creek past the power lines. Dry creek is producing striper; fish the mouth of this arm. Point 4 is another hot spot; check the humps near the cedar thicket, and Fish Trap Hollow. Point 5 is a hot spot, too; check Doc’s Cabin and the mouth of the Big Clifty arm. The deep water between the water intake and the little island is producing striper. Rocky Branch is good, too; try the island and the road bed that extends to the island. Also check the little islands in front of the Larue boat ramp. Lots of walleye in the area. Most walleye are about 15-30 feet deep; fish are being taken off area flats near the channel. Try the areas mentioned above. Flat-line troll with Hot N’ Tots, 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 rock piles are also producing.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) ) said the lake is clear but low. Bream are biting good using crickets. Crappie are biting fair deep-trolling with crankbaits. Bass are biting well at night with spinners and big plastic worms. Catfish are biting well on jugs and trotlines using live or prepared bait.
Jason Piper of JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass fishing has been best at night. Try fishing a 6-inch black lizard or an 8-inch ringtail worm on a three-eighths-ounce shaky head or Texas rig. Fish them along sloping gravel to chunk rock banks. Bluff lines and adjacent pockets along the bluff appear to be holding the majority of the fish at night. For day fishing, try Carolina-rigging Finesse baits on the deep side of main lake points or Texas-rigging lizards along pole timber close to bluffs. Crappie fishing has been best very early in the day as the sun comes up. Fish have been suspended just off the bottom close to brush or timber, not far away from a channel in 20-40 feet of water. Inch-and-a-half black/chartreuse, black/white, pearl and pink/white tube jigs on sixteenth-ounce jig-heads have been most productive in the shadiest areas possible. Horseshoe Bend, Eden Bluff, upstream from War Eagle Marina and Monte Ne have all been good places to fish. White bass have been schooling each evening lakewide on main lake flats and adjacent points. Quarter- to half-ounce Kastmaster spoons have been the best lure choices. Catfishing is best at night from the bank using liver or worms. Both U.S. Highway 412 and Arkansas Highway 12 accesses have been good places to fish.
Just Fishing Guides said water releases have been once per day in the afternoon for two-four hours at 2,000-4,000 cfs. Low, clear water demands long leaders ending in 6-7X with size 16 and smaller nymphs under a small indicator. Zebra-style midges in black and chocolate brown colors are working best, followed by gray and olive, size 18-22. Scuds in shades of olive and gray, size 16, are working well at times also. For spin fishing, try gold and black Rapalas, sizes 5 and 7, and black and olive marabou jigs, 1/32-ounce. During periods of generation, float fishing using medium-size streamers with sink-tips can put you on some nice browns, especially in the Parker Bend area. For spin fishing during periods of generation, try using countdown Rapalas and Smithwick Rogue Jrs. in black/gold color combinations or Rebel Jointed Minnows in brown trout color.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat (479-871-6305) said with the lake level getting lower with each passing day, big bass are moving to deeper, cooler areas. Brush Creek is extremely low, and fish are moving to 7-foot water, hiding in the grass and weeds. One bait that has worked good this week is the 8-worm. Mann’s grape/black has proven its worth this week with three bass totaling 8.25 pounds , then a 4-pounder the next day. Changing wind directions put the skids on what would have been the next-to-best moon phase fishing day of the month (Tuesday). Poppers and buzz baits have worked good before sunrise and after sunset. Ten bass with two around 3 pounds, were reported by two Springdale anglers after fishing most of Saturday night. Crappie are scattered, but can be found in 16-18 feet of water Try trolling crank baits in these areas. A 17-incher was caught using minnows under a slip bobber at 12 feet over the brush piles near the boat ramp last week. You might try that. Where are the catfish? That’s what I’m being asked. I don’t know. We aren’t seeing or hearing of any being caught. That is unusual for this lake. Use stink bait or liver would be my guess. Good luck on Mr. Whiskers. Bluegill and redear have slowed down because of the heat. Try fishing 4 feet deep with crickets for perch, and red worms on the bottom for redear in 5 feet of water. For daily updates, call me (Lucky) at 479-871-6305.
Just Fishing Guides said the river gauge near Grandview was reading 2.36 feet and 8.1 cfs Wednesday. The river is still extremely low due to lack of rain for several months. Walking and wade fishing the longer, deeper pools is producing good numbers of smallmouth. Top-water is excellent with good numbers and size of fish. For fly-fishers, try Sneaky Pete’s, Gurglers and Boogle Bug/Bullets in white, chartreuse, and black on top; for subsurface, try Clousers, Crazy Dads, Zonkers and Shenk’s Streamers in shades of olive, white, yellow and black. For spin fishers, try Tiny Torpedoes and buzz baits for top-water. For subsurface, try 4-inch lizards, 3-inch tubes and Brush Hawgs in watermelon/red and green pumpkin, and 4-inch Flukes in baby bass, watermelon and white.
Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is clear and a little low. Bream are biting well on the bottom with worms and floating near the top with crickets. Crappie are fair about 10 feet deep using minnows. Bass are biting fair on a variety of lures.
Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake was stained and 18 inches low. Bass are biting well on spinner baits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are biting well on chicken livers, shad and goldfish.
Upper White River (Twin Bridges area)
Just Fishing Guides said warm-water streams and rivers have been fishing very well (although hot!) lately with both high-quantity and high-quality fish being caught. Mornings are better than afternoons, with late evening coming in second. Heavier flows are the norm in the afternoon as the weather heats up. Beadhead nymphs such as pheasant tails and hare’s ears are producing well. Early terrestrials like beetles and ants are getting some top-water action. Be sure to have some sulphur and light Cahill dries in your fly box. Try a hopper/dropper combo to maximize your chances of hook-ups or, if possible, a double-nymph rig. Be ready to use various sizes of hoppers to find what the trout are keying on. Doubles are very possible.
War Eagle Creek
Just Fishing Guides aid the level at the Huntsville gauge as of Wednesday was 0.7 and 9.3 cfs. River levels are historically low this year and floating involves too much dragging. If you’re willing to hike, you can reach long pools that are full of fish! Clousers, Shenks Streamer, KC's Ozark Slider and Crazy Dads are all working well. Also, try large hopper and dragon fly patterns on top. Whit’s Hopper and Whitlock’s Gorilla Dragonfly are cool patterns to try, as well as Sneaky Pete’s, Gurglers in white or chartreuse, and Boogle Bullets. The top-water bite with flies is really going gangbusters. Spotted bass are holding near woody debris. Smallmouth bass are in the deeper channels. Sunfish have been caught with about anything that hits the water. Small poppers, woolly buggers, spiders, beetles and hoppers are raking in the sunfish. Sometimes it is hard not to catch them. Spin fishing has picked up fish with white or gray Flukes, 4-inch Zoom lizards in watermelon red and tube baits in green pumpkinseed. Crank baits, buzzbaits and spinners have worked well also.
Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) filed no report this week.
Lake Frierson State Park had no report this week.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water is running at 275 cfs at the spring and water is clear. The river is low and clear. Hot flies for this week have been olive Woollies and Guppies and Y2ks. The trout have been biting well this week. They are getting use to the heat. Trout Magnets in pink, white, red, purple haze and salad shrimp have been working well. Look for the deeper pools and bounce the fly or bait off the bottom.
Cane Creek Lake
Cane Creek State Park’s Geoff Wright said bream fishing is still pretty steady at Cane Creek Lake. Fish around lily pads and log beds with crickets. Catfishing is also good with trotlines or limblines using minnows or other live bait.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 259.5 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 259.2 msl).
Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said clarity and visibility are fair to good depending on location; clarity is stained somewhat in the river but the oxbows’ clarity is better. The best largemouth bass bite in the last several weeks continues to be from dawn through mid-morning, then again a couple hours before dusk. Numerous techniques are catching bass, including buzz baits, Spit’n Images, Zara Spooks, Jitterbugs and soft-plastic Bass Assassin shad jerk baits near vegetation and lily pads. Points in Little River and her oxbows continue to hold the most active fish at dawn. Creature and hog baits like Brush Hogs, Pit Bosses, Wooly Bugs, bulky 10-inch worms, spinner baits and jigs around stumps and grass on these points are catching largemouth in the 14-inch to 18-inch class. For white bass, Rat-L-Traps and Bomber crankbaits will still get bites from random and aggressive fish roaming the oxbows in large, broken schools, chasing shad. Whites are scattered along Little River and the oxbows in loose and broken schools, and can still be found trolling crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps in the Little River between Jack’s Isle and Mud Lake, and between Mud Lake and Horseshoe Lake, around Hurricane Creek dump into the river. Several broken schools were chasing and busting shad at the surface in McGuire and Horseshoe oxbow lakes up Little River the last few weeks. Daylight is the best time for these broken schooling fish. Crappie have slowed with the recent heat, and are scattered, but continue holding in 15-20 feet of water around planted brushpiles, and can be located with electronics in 15-18 feet on jigs and grubs on light-wire jigheads in brushpiles and standing timber. Smoke-colored Cordell paddle tail grubs on eighth-ounce jigheads were working early morning hours the last couple of weeks. Catfish have been fair to slow over the last couple of weeks, mainly because of reduced current in Little River. Trotlines, yo-yos, and tight lines, in any remaining current, and break lines in the outer bends of Little River are the best bets. Blue and channel cats were biting best on punch bait, cut shad and cottonseed mill cake in 18-22 feet of Little River on the outer break lines in any remaining current, or on yo-yos tied along the Little River or from cypress tree limbs in 10-15 feet of the oxbows. Minnows were catching some nice blues in McGuire and Mud lakes, on yo-yos in the last week.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 545.2 feet msl (Flood pool – 548 msl).
Lakeside Grocery and Bait (870-398-5304) bream can be caught on crickets, and bass are schooling early in the morning. Catch them on top-water plugs, jigs and worms on brushpiles other times of the day. The lake is a little higher than normal for this time of year. Water temperature is 88 degrees.
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.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 402.5 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
Local angler George Graves says he’s starting to see quite a few fawns; looks like the hot weather didn’t affect the deer crop too badly. The morning surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is only fair with very little morning surface activity. However, some decent catches reported on top-water lures on main lake points. At first light, throw a Zara Spook, Spitin’ Image, Swimming Fluke or a 4-inch swim bait. Natural shad patterns are working best. Also try a Texas- or Carolina-rigged worm or lizard worked down the steep sides of points. Be sure the point has some rock or wood cover. Just about all the bass action in this hot weather is in the early morning from first light to about 9 a.m. Best areas for bass have been in the lower end of the lake between Caddo Bend and the spillway, also try the big coves on the south side between points 2 and 6. Crappie fishing is slow with virtually no reports. A few fish can be caught by fishing the deep main lake attractors at 20-25 feet deep. Fish a 2-inch grub or tube on a sixteenth-ounce jighead vertically over and just above the thickest part of the brush. Natural shad patterns are the best colors. Also try a minnow on the jig, sometimes this is all they will bite. Like all fishing in this hot weather early morning is best and probably the only time to catch fish. Look for attractors between Edgewood and the dam. Hybrid fishing remains good with the fish still in the coves between Caddo Bend and the spillway. Also a few fish reported in the big coves on the south side between points 2 and 4. Since there are very few breaking fish, the best pattern is to troll the umbrella rig, (with the trolling motor), to locate the schools. Once the fish are located, you can cast heavy jigging spoons and big in-line spinners to the fish, which will be suspended about 20 feet down. Three-inch white Curly Tail grubs are working best on the U-rig. Once again, look for hybrids early in the morning from first light to about 9 a.m. Bream fishing remains good in most any cove with some cover. Use a float set to about 4 feet deep with crickets or red worms. For bigger bream, tight line the bait just off the bottom in about 20 feet of water around brush attractors. Catfish are fair at night on trotlines and noodles. Set the trotlines in coves and place the noodles in deep water over standing timber. Set the hooks on the noodles to about 20 feet down. The timber is now about 35 feet down and the fish will come up to the bait. Use Catfish Charlie, blood, liver and hot dogs with soap. For bigger cats, use big minnows and small live bream.
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 344.0 feet msl (flood pool – 373 msl).
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting Baby Shad, Slab Slay’Rs and Stroll’Rs in white/salt and pepper, red/chartreuse, and bone white shad, and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Bream are biting great on red worms, mealworms, crickets and rock hoppers. Bass are good on tequila sunrise/dark-colored worms, spinner baits, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean Mountain)
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said bream are biting great on red worms, mealworms, crickets and rock hoppers. Catfish are biting well on worms, minnows and goldfish. Bass are good on dark-colored worms, spinner baits, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Fourche La Fave River
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the river is stained and very low. Crappie are hitting minnows and white/salt and pepper and red/chartreuse Baby Shad, and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Catfish are going for stink bait, livers, minnows and goldfish in the river. Bass are going for tequila sunrise and dark worms, spinner baits, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-7419) said the lake is clear and normal. Bream fishing is good with crickets. Crappie are biting fair on jigs in deeper water. Bass are biting well on spinners, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are biting well on worms and chicken livers.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 385.3 feet msl (flood pool – 419 msl).
The Army Corps of Engineers began a drawdown of Blue Mountain Lake July 5 to improve aquatic vegetation, make repairs to launch ramps and buoys, and complete other projects. The lake will be dropped to 379 feet msl, which is 7 feet below the normal pool elevation. This will take about 26 days, depending on rainfall. When this level is reached, about Aug.1, Corps officials will decide if the drawdown will continue to 373 feet by Oct. 1. During the drawdown, boaters should exercise extreme caution because submerged stumps and shallow areas will be more prominent. All water activities such as skiing, tubing and operating personal watercraft are prohibited. Boaters should be cautious when launching because of damage or sediment build-up that may have occurred at the end of the ramps. It is impossible to determine which ramps might be affected. Boat ramp closures may occur during the drawdown.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 573.1 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl).
Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191) says the water temperature is 84-88 degrees. Largemouth bass are still good on crankbaits and big Texas-rigged worms. Try fishing near brush in water 25-30 feet deep. Black spinner baits have been working fished after dark near main lake points. Walleye are still very good on jigging spoons near humps and main lake points with brush. Trolling deep-diving crankbaits, using shad colors, has been very effective in the 20-28 foot range. Stripers are still good and being caught with live bait. Main lake points are the best locations for these fish. The east end of the lake has been the most productive. Bream are good and being caught on crickets or worms in 20-25 feet of water. Crappie are fair and being caught near and over brush. Try brush in water 15-25 feet deep. Minnows or crappie grubs are working best. Tennessee shad and rainbow trout are the best colors for artificial baits. Catfish are good and being caught on cut bait and live bait on juglines and trotlines from 20-30 feet deep.
For a daily fishing report from Darryl Morris, visit Family Fishing Trips.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 62 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Excessive heat has created large areas of heavy moss growth on rocks. Regular generation times have kept water temperatures at safe levels and have also aided in removing some of the moss. July normally marks the end of the rainbow trout season with very few trout seen or caught from the bridge to the dam. However, trout are still around the dam but are very wary and difficult to catch. Live bait presentations are best under the circumstances as artificial lures are mostly ignored. Wax worms and live minnows tight-lined over deep pockets of water have taken trout in the 17-inch range this month. Fly-fishermen using wet flies in the late evening have caught small numbers of rainbows. San Juan Worms in red and egg patterns in white or orange fished in 20 feet of water managed to draw strikes from finicky trout. Trout stocking begins again in November. Walleye continue to be caught in the late evening while the turbines are running. Carolina rigs tipped with minnow or night crawlers work best, but jerk baits and small jigs have also accounted for walleye in the 3- to 5-pound range. These fish are present below the dam in good numbers in February for the spawn but regularly migrate into the tailrace in search of shad and cooler water. White bass are also being caught over shoals and around rock structure on crankbaits, minnows, and eighth-ounce jigs. June was a better month for catching numbers of white bass, but July also offers opportunities for these fish to be taken. Striper activity has been observed below the bridge in the main channel during periods of generation. These large predators search for shad in current and prefer cooler, more oxygenated waters below dams. Brood or gizzard shad fished under a balloon rig can cover more area and give anglers the best chance to hook a big striper. C-10 Redfins and large soft-plastic baits can be cast into feeding stripers with heart-stopping strikes often the result.
Bear Creek Lake
Mississippi River State Park said the water is low but clear. Bream are good on black beetles and crickets early in the morning and just before the sun goes down. Crappie are fair on jigs. Catfish are fair on stink bait. Bass are good around limbs in about 2 feet of water in coves on plastic worms.
Storm Creek Lake
Mississippi River State Park said the water is stained and low. Bream are fair on crickets. Bass are fair on soft plastic baits. Catfish are fair on chicken liver.
Triangle Sports (870-793-7122)filed no report this week.
Maddox Bay Landing said the water is clear and the level is running low. Bream are biting well on crickets. Crappie fishing is fair on minnows. Bass fishing is good with crankbaits. Catfish fishing is fair with worms.
Local angler Clyde Gregory said the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are biting well on crickets in the lily pads. Crappie are biting well using minnows and jigs in the lily pads. Bass are biting fair using plastic worms and CC Spoons in the lily pads. Catfish are biting well using cut bait and night crawlers on limblines and yo-yos around cypress trees.