First posted on 08-21-2012
Lake and stream levels across much of Arkansas are very low, which means now is the time to explore your favorite fishing areas. Sound crazy? It’s not. With low water, anglers can see some of the structure they usually fish around, especially in stump-filled lakes, and perhaps identify new areas that look “fishy.” There’s a silver lining in every cloud, even when few clouds are producing rain.
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
For Family and Community Fishing Ponds, click: http://www.agfc.com/fishing/Pages/FishingProgramsFCF.aspx for a list of program ponds.
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is stained and low; some stumps are exposed. Bream fishing has been excellent with worms and crickets. Crappie fishing, however, is poor. Bass are fair; try top-water baits and frogs early and late in the day. Catfish have been excellent – worms and bream are working.
Little Red River
Lindsey’s Resort (501-302-3139) said the river is clear and low in the morning with some generation in the afternoon. Trout fishing has been good. Try wax worms, marshmallows and night crawlers. In the afternoon, switch to crank baits such as Shad Raps, Countdowns, Rogues and Trout Magnets. Also try fly-fishing in the morning with sowbugs, zebra midges, and Extra Crispies.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 455.2 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 461 msl).
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the surface temperature is 87-91 degrees. Hybrid and white bass will bite pretty well if the wind is blowing strongly or generation is going on. Try top-water baits, in-line spinners, spoons and swim baits (in-line spinners seem to be working best). Look for the bait and the fish will be close. Bass are eating out on deep, long points on the Arkansas Claw and Texas-rigged worms, Flukes and top-water baits working shallow, and a jighead worm working in the mid-depths. Walleye are suspended in 30-35 feet of water, eating crankbaits and night crawlers. Bream are shallow on beds and eating crickets, night crawlers and small crankbaits. The crappie action has slowed somewhat; try minnows on jigheads around brush in 15-35 feet of water. Catfishing is still going well all over the lake.
Cody S. Smith of http://www.fishgreersferry.com said the lake is falling slightly because of daily small releases by the Army Corps of Engineers. The bite on most all species is still sporadic with moderate success on recent trips. The dock bite is picking up and is really one of the more consistent patterns we have here right now. Drop-shots and spoons are the way to go for these fish. The deeper ledge bite is so hit-or-miss. Drops from 22 out to 35 feet are holding some schools of Kentucky bass and smallmouth, but they’re really not feeding aggressively. A slow drag with most soft plastics will produce but you have to really soak it in order to get a bite. The walleye bite has been dreadfully slow but should pick up toward the end of the month. I look for the last week or so of the month for the fishing to progressively get better into the fall.
Greers Ferry Tailwater
Just Fishing Guides said water releases have been once per day in the afternoon/evening for four-six hours at 3,000-5,000 cfs.
Harris Brake Lake
Harris Brake Lakeside Resort (501-889-2745) said lake water is clear and low. Bream reports have been good. They’ve been caught with worms and crickets. Crappie reports are good also; try jigs. Bass are good with plastic worms. Catfish reports are fair on goldfish, bream and stink bait.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the lake is about 1.5 to 2 feet low. Crappie are slow but they’re taking minnows, and Slab Slay’Rs and Stroll’Rs in white/salt and pepper, red/chartreuse shad and bone white, as well as PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Catfish are biting well on minnows, worms, goldfish, stink bait and chicken livers. Bass are biting well on tequila sunrise and dark-colored worms, as well as spinners, Rooster Tails and Flukes. Bream reports have been good; try fishing night crawlers, red worms, meal worms, crickets and rock hoppers in deep water. Redear are biting red worms fished on the bottom.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said water is low, clear and 92 degrees on the surface. Crappie have been very good for this time of year and considering the heat. Pumpkin seed/chartreuse has been best. Red/white and chartreuse jigs, and No. 6 medium minnows fishing very slowly around stumps and brush 6-8 feet deep in 8-10 feet of water have been working. Bream fishing is good near the shore on crickets and red worms. Catfish are fair on trotlines using cut bait and live bream. Bass are slow but some are being caught with spinners and buzz baits.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie have been biting well on minnows, Baby Shad, Stroll’Rs and Slab Slay’Rs in white, salt and pepper, red/chartreuse and bone white. Try PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Bream have been biting well on night crawlers, red worms, meal worms, crickets and rock hoppers. Bass can be taken with tequila sunrise and dark-color worms, spinners, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) said the lake is low and clear. Crappie have been good over brushpiles on black/chartreuse and white/chartreuse jigs. Bream are good around the bank; they’re going for crickets and grasshoppers. Catfish have been good on noodles and trotlines baited with live bream and liver. Bass are slow.
Overcup Landing (501-354-9007) had no report this week.
Jolly Roger’s Marina filed no report this week.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said bream fishing is excellent with crickets and red worms. Crappie are fair; fish deep with minnows and jigs. Bass are good in deep water; use deep-diving crankbaits, football jigs and deep-diving jerk baits. Catfish are good on worms, chicken livers, chicken hearts and slicks.
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie reports include Baby Shad and Slab Slay’Rs in red/chartreuse, bone white, pearl and orange/chartreuse. Minnows and PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow are working, too. White bass can be found in the channel and river; try Rooster Tails in shad, white or salt and pepper. For bream, use night crawlers, red worms, meal worms, crickets and rock hoppers. Bass are hitting tequila sunrise and dark-color worms, spinners, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) said catfish fishing is good with worms, chicken livers and chicken hearts. No reports for other species.
Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the lake is clear and low. Catfish reports have been good. The best baits are blood and stink baits. No reports on bream, crappie or bass.
Saline River Access in Benton
Turbyfill’s Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the river is low and there was no fishing report this week.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
Charley’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said hot weather has put most boaters and fishermen in air conditioning. Catfish at night until early dawn. Use live bait, bream or shad, and drift with pole and jugs. Brean fishing is working well around shade; use crickets. Kentucky bass are biting well early in the morning until about 9 a.m. Use Horny Toads on grass and along secondary drop-offs. For largemouth bass, try jig-and-pigs in submerged wood. Also try Jitter Bugs flipped under limbs or other shady areas. White bass have been good early in the day off jetty tips. If you spot a shad school, use a CC spoon and move fast. Fish on top and jig after it drops.
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 fair on crickets and red worms. Crappie are fair; try jigs and minnows in deeper pools. Bass are good early in the morning with Zara Spooks and buzz baits. Catfish are good, too, with slicks, worms, chicken hearts and chicken livers.
Main River Channel: Bass fishing is good on the jetty points with shaky head worms, square-billed crank baits and Rat-L-Traps. Catfish are good in the channel with slicks, chicken hearts, chicken livers and worms. No reports about other species.
Palarm Creek: No report this week.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
Vince Miller from Fish ’N Stuff said the river is clear and low with a little bit of flow. Bream have been good with crickets. No report on crappie. Bass reports have been good with deep-diving crank baits and jigs. Fish around sandbar drop-offs and jetties in deep water. Catfish can be caught with worms and stink bait in deeper holes.
Hatchet Jack’s Sport Shop (501-758-4958) had this report from Burns Park and the main channel: Bass have been fair in deeper water off jetty points. Try shaky heads and square-billed crank baits. Catfish are good; use cut bait in the channel, or try slicks, worms, or chicken livers or hearts. No reports on bream or crappie.
Fourche Creek: No report this week.
Murray Lock and Dam: Fishing has been slow since there’s little flow. Catfish are fair with cut bait, slicks and worms. Sauger are hitting white Curly Tailed jigs. No reports on bream, crappie or bass.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no report this week.
McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no report this week.
Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) said the lake is clear and 4 feet low. Crappie fishing has been good; they’re taking minnows and jigs. Catfish reports have been good with a variety of baits. No report on bass or bream fishing.
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 with red worms and crickets is good. Crappie reports have been good; try red worms and minnows around docks. Bass reports have been good, too, especially early and late in the day, with a variety of top-water baits and Texas-rigged worms. Catfish have been good; try hot dogs and worms.
Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the river is clear and low. Trout fishing has been good. Try PowerBait and Power Worms. Brown trout are going for Lil’ Cleos, buoyant spoons, Rooster Tails and jigs early and late in the day. Zebra midges, Copper Johns and grasshoppers are getting mixed results for fly-fishermen. Plenty of wade fishing.
Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge(870-499-5185) had this report for Buffalo City to Red’s Landing: There are a lot of fish from Cartney Access to Matney Mountain Shoal and hardly anyone is fishing that area. Rapalas, Zig Jigs or your favorite bottom bait. The water levels fluctuate daily but if you will watch the computer-generated flow-projection report, you can pick your favorite water level and catch plenty of fish. The fish are not biting that well between Norfork and Red’s Landing, but you can limit out if you don’t get in a big hurry.
Just Fishing Guides said as of Wednesday, the river was very low and slowly falling. Ponca was at 1.45 feet, Pruitt was very low at 3.16 feet, Tyler Bend was low at 3.14 feet and Buffalo Point was low at 2.39 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 and floating involves too much dragging. If you’re willing to hike, you can reach long pools that hold 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, buzzbaits and spinners have worked well also.
Just Fishing Guides said the gauge at Kelley’s Slab was reading 9.37 feet Wednesday. Fishing has been very good; you just have to hike or drag a canoe or kayak to get to the fish. Top-water fishing is producing smallmouth up to 18+ inches for both fly and spin anglers. Concentrate on deeper runs and the upper end of pools with chunk rock and/or wood cover, and cover thoroughly with repeated, accurate casts with varied retrieve rates.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 649.7 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 654 msl).
Mike Worley’s Guide Service said the lake continues slowly falling. The water surface temperature has cooled a few degrees to about 85. We have had a break in the hot weather and the fishing has improved. Walleyes are biting jigging spoons in the early morning 28-36 feet down on gravel flats, with brushpiles and drop-offs holding the better fish. Trolling crank baits like Hot ’N Tots, deep-diving Rogues and Shad Raps on lead-core line along the edges of the gravel flats at about 30 feet has been catching some nice walleye and spotted bass. Night crawlers fished on bottom-bouncers are catching a nice mixed bag of walleyes, spotted bass and catfish. Largemouth bass are biting on jigs and soft plastics 10-30’ feet deep on rocky points and bluff ends.
Bull Shoals Tailwater
Just Fishing Guides said water releases have been all over the place, but heaviest in the afternoon and evening for 8-12 hours to 8,500 cfs. Hopper fishing is hit-or-miss but when they’re on, some nice browns are being taken. Generation was sporadic last week. During periods of generation, hopper patterns and streamers are working well. During periods of no generation, the fish are spooky and long leaders ending in 6X-7X with size 18 and smaller midge patterns are providing the most consistent action. Black, dark brown and gray colors are working best. Small scud and sow bug patterns in shades of olive, tan and gray are working at times as well.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 545.5 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 552 msl, April-September – 554 msl).
Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said stripers are off the points in the main lake near the dam. They are ranging from shallow to deep water; in some places they are holding at 165 feet, while in other areas they are being caught at 30 feet. I’m catching stripers on down lines in water from 28 to 165 feet. In deep water, follow the shad line, which is holding at 30 feet; stripers are staying inside the shad. My baits are set at 28 feet with 8-foot leaders and 2-ounce weight. The fish are biting really good so if you’re thinking of fishing Norfork, now is the time.
Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said that even with all the heat, most fish are biting very well. The best times to fish the lake are early in the mornings and in the evenings. After-dark fishing has its benefits, too. In my opinion, the best bites on the lake are for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass. White bass and hybrid bass bites are improving. Catfishing is picking up, the striped bass bite is hit-and-miss, and crappie are becoming very hard to find. There still is quite a bit of top-water action for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass early in the morning and some right at dusk. A Spook is still working, so have your favorite top-water bait ready for action. Areas where I am finding black bass are on main lake points closest to the mouth of major creeks and along the bluff lines. Find shad early in the morning and you will find feeding fish. As the sun comes up, bass start to go deeper. You will find them in 20-30 feet of water from the bottom, to suspended out in deep water, but still close to the shore. Look for areas where the channel swings into the shore. I have been catching bass on live bait, as well as vertical jigging with a spoon. I have found some very large schools of stripers out in deep water and also in shallow water at 30 feet. It seems that the shallow stripers are starting to move out to deeper water. I will start to concentrate my hunt to deeper water and I hope I will start to find feeding fish in these locations. It is becoming that time of the season when stripers start to move to 40-80 feet of water and they will usually be found on the bottom.
Guide Steve Olomon of Steve’s Guide Service said the water temperature is in the upper 80s. Watch for bass busting baitfish early in the morning on points and back in the creeks in channel bends. Throw a Zara Spook in clear or white. Then look for them in 5-35 feet deep and use a Texas-rigged worm, drop-shot or a jig. Stripers are suspended down 30-60 feet. Look for them from within a few miles of the dam. There were some walleye finally getting a little active lately. Look for them down 25-35 feet, close to the bottom.
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 4-12 hours at 3,500-5,500 cfs. Generation has been off most mornings and starting in the afternoon in the heat of the day. Scuds, sow bug and midge patterns are producing best during periods of no generation. Streamers and hopper patterns should be added during periods of generation.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,112.7 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said striper fishing is expected to be fair in consideration of the cold fronts. You will have to check several spots throughout the day as the striper make their way toward winter haunts. The striper fishing will be fair with striper taken on live shad fished on lightly weighted balloon lines trolled 50-100 behind the boat and 20-30 feet deep. The stripers will be active most of the day with peaks around sunrise, sunset and during generation. When fishing upriver, avoid the brown water and look for the greener water. Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow, current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure; check the daily lake level and flow data link here. Live shad in the 4-8 inch range are the go-to for trophy stripers. Try free lining, as the fish will start hitting free lined baits regularly soon. On the mid and lower sections of the lake, check out points 4 and 5 and Lost Bridge South. In the Bit Clifty arm, fishing has been fair. Some stripers are being caught in the deep water near the road bed in Rocky Branch in front of the marina. As you get uplake, the stripers are picking up. Cedar Creek, Ford Creek and Goat Island at Larue are all good places, as is Copper Mine, Blackburn Creek, Beaver Shores, Monte-Ne and War Eagle. Be sure to check out Joe Creek in Horseshoe Bend. Most walleye are about 10-20 feet deep off points. The areas around the islands at Rocky Branch, Prairie Creek and near points 6, 5, 3, and 1 have all been producing walleye. Flat line troll with Hot-N-Tot’s, Rapala Tail Dancers, Shad Raps, Reef Runners or Ripstiks in natural blue or black back combos or chartreuse/orange and clown colors. Jigging spoons around brush and rock piles are also producing a few walleye.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake is clear and low. Bream have been biting fairly well on worms and crickets. Crappie have been caught with minnow or live shad, as well as by trolling Hot ’N Tots and Bandit 300s (or using them under the lights). Bass reports are good early in the day. Use top-water plugs around brush, and crank baits (D25s, No. 8 Fat Free Shad and No. 6 Strike Kings). Try Finesse worms in the afternoon and 10- to 12-inch worms after dark. Catfish have been fair on juglines and limblines with live bait, goldfish and bream.
Jason Piper of JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass have been biting best at night and early in the day. For night fishing, try Texas-rigging or shaky head-rigging 6-inch dark-colored lizards or 6- or 8-inch, ribbon-tail, dark-colored worms and fish them along sloping rock banks near the main lake. Early in the day, try using a popper top-water bait or a split-shot-rigged Finesse work along main lake points and adjacent pockets off of the main lake. Crappie fishing has been best early in the day. They can be found just off the bottom suspending around pole timber and brushpiles along main lake blufflines and in the mouths of adjacent small pockets along the blufflines. Small 1.5-inch tube jigs on 1/16th- or 1/32nd-ounce jigheads have been the best lure choices; minnows also have been effective if you can keep them alive. Another option is to slow troll Hot ’N Tot crank baits over main lake flats close to the break. Eden Bluff, Horseshoe Bend and upstream from Point 12 in the White River have been good places to fish. White bass fishing has been spotty early and late in the day as they have been chasing shad and hitting top-water over main lake flats. Slow trolling Hot ’N Tot crank baits over main lake flats close to the drop-off has been most effective. Horseshoe Bend, Rocky Branch Point 12 and Point 11 have been good for trolling. Catfishing has been hit-or-miss from the bank at night using chicken liver or stink bait. Arkansas Highway 12 and U.S. Highway 412 bridge access continue to be good options.
Just Fishing Guides said water releases have been once per day in the afternoon for two-six hours at 3,000-4,500 cfs. Low, clear water conditions are still prevalent below Beaver Dam. Long leaders ending in 6X-7X with size 18 and smaller midge patterns are providing the most consistent action. Dark colors, including black, wine and dark brown, are working best now.
Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat said low water levels on the lake are beginning to show its secrets. Places that have produced fish are revealing their forms. Largemouth bass have been biting a variety of baits. The Zoom Horny Toad seems to get the most strikes, but Zoom worms in red shad are catching the biggest. Two fishermen weighed in a 7-pound, 15 -ounce largemouth bass at 6:45 p.m., Aug. 7, caught off Preachers Point. The lunker bit the football head bass jig. Mann’s Jelly Worms also are good—grape or black grape seem to work best. Work the Sammy early and late for some super top-water action. Bluegill and redear have been caught 5 feet deep on red worms. Anchor down and be patient. Two kayakers told of some nice crappie they caught with white and chartreuse tube jigs fished at 12 feet. Catfish have been avoiding bait; no good news on them this week. Take advantage of the low water and bank fish. Lots of shoreline is opened up to fish now. Boaters will be surprised at what they can see now.
Just Fishing Guides said a little rain lifted the river gauge near Grandview to 2.28 feet Wednesday, still very low. With no considerable rain in several months, the levels are extremely low. If you’re willing to drag a canoe or kayak, or hike, you can reach some deeper runs and pools that are holding good numbers of fish. If you can find water, wading while fishing for smallmouth and bream is a nice way to beat the heat. Top-water baits are still producing good numbers and good-quality fish as well. Poppers, slider/divers, hoppers, damsel and dragon fly patterns are all producing consistent action. Spin-fishers are doing well with top-waters. Tiny Torpedoes and buzz baits are top producers. Four-inch lizards, 3-inch tubes and 3- and 4-inch Brush Hogs in watermelon, green pumpkin and black, as well as Flukes in white, watermelon and baby bass colors, are consistent producers. Rebel Crawdads and 3- and 4-inch suspending stick baits should be in your arsenal also.
Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said the water is a foot low and murky. No reports from anglers this week.
Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the lake was clear in some areas and stained in others. Surface water temperature is 84 degrees. The lake is 2 feet low. Crappie reports are fair; try jigs. Bass are good early and late in the day. Use spinners, crank baits and plastic worms. Catfish reports are good; try chicken livers, shad and goldfish. No report on bream fishing.
Upper White River (Twin Bridges area)
Just Fishing Guides said warmwater streams and rivers have been fishing very well lately with both quantity and quality fish being caught. Fly-fishing has been good with baitfish patterns, Boogle Bugs in white, TeQueely Streamers, woolly buggers, Clouser minnows. The top-water bite with flies is really going gangbusters. Spotted bass are holding near woody debris. Smallmouth 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. 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.
War Eagle Creek
Just Fishing Guides said the level at the Hindsville gauge as of Wednesday improved to 0.67 and 8.7 cfs, still extremely low. 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, buzz baits and spinners have worked well also.
Lake Poinsett State Park had no report this week.
Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the lake is clear and 3 feet low. Bream reports are fair; try crickets. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bass reports are fair; try using jigs, especially at night. No report on catfish.
Justin Huss at Lake Frierson State Park said the lake is about 5-6 feet low and muddy. Access on the north end of the lake is difficult. Boaters should use extra caution when navigating on the lake. Channel and blue catfish have been good on night crawlers, chicken livers and stink bait. Flathead catfish have been fair on jugs baited with goldfish and shad. A few bass have been caught on soft plastics, and a few saugeye have been caught on crankbaits. Bream fishing has been fair; try small grubs and pieces of night crawlers or red worms 1-2 feet deep under floats. No report this week on crappie.
Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water is running at 253 cfs and it’s clear. Mayfly emergers, guppies and Y2ks have been the hot flies this week. With clear water, a 5X leader will help with spooky trout. Low water gives great opportunities for wading to stretches normally hard to get to. Fish the green water. Salad shrimp and hot pink, and candy corn Trout Magnets have been the best spin-fishing baits.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.2 feet msl (flood pool – 373 msl).
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said crappie are biting well in open water and in the river on minnows, Baby Shad, Slab Slay’Rs and Stroll’Rs in white /salt and pepper, red/chartreuse and bone white shad, as well as PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Bream are biting well in the river on night crawlers, red worms, meal worms, crickets and rock hoppers. Bass are hitting tequila sunrise and dark-colored worms, as well as spinners, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Lake Bailey (Petit Jean Mountain)
Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said bream reports have been good, especially with night crawlers, red worms, meal worms, crickets and rock hoppers. Catfish are biting well on red worms, night crawlers, minnows, goldfish, stink bait and chicken livers. Bass are going for dark-color worms, spinners, 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 can be caught with minnows, white/salt and pepper, and red/chartreuse shad. Also try PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in green or yellow. Catfish can be caught with stink bait, chicken livers, goldfish and minnows. Bass are going for tequila sunrise or dark-color worms, spinners, Rooster Tails and Flukes.
Bill’s Bait Shop (479-637-7419) said the lake is clear and a little low. Bream have been fair on crickets. Bass are good; try spinners, crank baits and plastic worms. Catfish are fair on perch and chicken livers. Crappie reports have been poor.
Regina Olson at Spadra Marina filed no report this week.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 379.2 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. When this level is reached, 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 571.6 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort says largemouth bass are still fair on crank baits and big Texas-rigged worms. Try fishing near brush in water 25-30 feet deep. Still getting some top-water reports, as well. Walleye have slowed a bit but are still good. These fish are being caught on jigging spoons near humps and main lake points with brush. Trolling deep-diving crank baits has been very effective in the 20- to 28-foot range. Stripers are still fair to good and are 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 near Brady Mountain and the spillway. Bream are still good and being caught on crickets or worms 20-25 feet deep. Crappie are slow 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. Surface water temperature is about 87 degrees and the lake is clear.
Larry Hurley from Poorman’s Guide Service filed no report.
To read about black and white crappie, and habitat installed in the lake, visit Family Fishing Trips.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit http://www.entergy.com/hydro.
Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, says the water temperature directly below Carpenter Dam is holding at 63 degrees and rises to 76 degrees below the bridge. Generation periods between four and five hours daily have helped keep tailrace temperatures from becoming dangerously hot in the drought and excessive heat of this summer. Moss growth is heavy in all areas and has hampered fishermen presenting baits on the bottom. Rainbow trout remain very slow, with the majority of fish caught or migrated away from the dam. August always marks the end of the trout season, but any good-quality fishing for rainbows stopped in late June this year. The trout that remain in the area are extremely wary and difficult to catch. Live minnows or red worms fished over deep pockets of water around the dam give anglers a chance to hook-up with holdover trout. Walleye are around the bridge to the dam in fair numbers, feeding on shad and seeking cooler water. These fish move into the tailrace in the summer and remain active chasing shad schools. Although February is the primary time to fish for walleye during the spawn, July and August provide fishermen an opportunity to catch good numbers of fish. Carolina rigs tipped with minnows or night crawlers work best used over deep water and in times of current flow. White bass are often mixed in these areas and are being caught, as well, but in much lower numbers. Bluegills continue to spawn and are hitting red worms and crickets fished under a bobber in 5-8 feet of water. Slack-water periods are best for these spawners. Hybrid and striper activity is good at times but completely absent much of the week. When large schools of threadfin shad are in the tailrace, these predator fish are feeding and available to be caught. Fishermen must be aware of this scenario and time their efforts accordingly. Gizzard or brood shad cast under a balloon rig below the bridge in the main channel is an excellent technique to catch large stripers that are resting and looking for an easy meal. Generation brings these fish close to the dam in search of prey and oxygenated waters. Anyone visiting Carpenter Dam must always follow all boating regulations and be aware of park rules.
Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) filed no report this week.
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