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Nov. 27, 2019

Jim Harris

This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Nov. 27, 2019. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.

Central Arkansas

North Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas

Southeast Arkansas

Southwest Arkansas

South-Central Arkansas

West-Central Arkansas

East Arkansas

Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: https://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: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality


CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats will be conducting foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicide – which will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life such as fish – to treat alligatorweed on Lake Conway in 2019. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate for lawn or garden use with water from Lake Conway through March 1, 2020. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.

(updated 11-27-2019) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is at its normal stain and the level is now high. Bream are good on redworms or crickets. Crappie are good using minnows or jigs. Fish the stumps. Lots of good catches around the Highway 89 bridge, a usual hot spot. Black bass are good, but they are sitting close to the bottom. Use a spinnerbait. The catfish bite is excellent. Use cut bait, minnows or nightcrawlers.

Little Red River

(updated 11-27-2019) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river is low and slightly stained due to the rainfall Tuesday. “We missed any large amount of rain, so the one-hour generation tonight should help clear the river. The forecast is for rain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so the weekend is looking iffy at best. With the low generation, any large amount of rain will muddy the river. The amount of rainfall can be found on the release section of the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock app under the generation table.”
Rainbows are still taking the midge pupa, sow bugs and pheasant tail nymphs. A few brown trout are being caught but the major spawning activity is not happening as of today.
“Wishing you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving!”

(updated 11-27-2019) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said the Little Red River is receiving sporadic generation during the week with little to no generation on weekends. Fly patterns of midges, gold ribbed hares ear and pheasant tails can be productive. Consider white and hot pink bodies on chartreuse jigheads for Trout Magnet spin-fishing. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Army Corps of Engineers website for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website to see forecasted generation schedule.


Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 461.52 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 11-20-2019) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 460.29 feet msl and staying about steady, and even coming up just a bit. It is 1.75 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. The turnover is moving down the lake and finishing up. Do not waste your time fishing tannic-colored water as it will not be in condition to for the fish to bite much at all. Find clearer water and that is where the feeding will be going on. Crappie are still going good trolling and fishing straight up and down. Use small crankbaits, Roadrunners, minnows and jigs in 9-30 feet depth. Hybrid bass and white bass are going strong if conditions are right but it’s hard to stay with them as they are moving around a lot. If and when weather will get stable and turnover is done, 300-fish days will be common. Use spoons, inline spinners, swimbaits, a Texas Tornado or Alabama rigs in 25-60 feet. No report on walleye. The bite has picked back up with bream, partly with the uptick in weather temps. Try fishing a crawler or cricket in 18-28 feet. Catfish are still wanting to eat on jugs and lines. A lot are following other feeding fish and are eating scraps. Black bass are eating something drug around, on top, and in between. This is the time of year for a great bite on a highland reservoir. Lots of baits are working from super shallow out to 60 feet.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 11-27-2019) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the water clarity has cleared and the lake has returned to a normal level. Crappie are good on crappie minnows and jigs. They report that “tons” of small crappie are being caught, but also a few large crappie have been hooked. Black bass are fair on red plastic worms. Go with the “melon” color. Catfishing is good. Shiners and large goldfish are your best bets. A 6.5-pound catfish was caught this week. No reports on bream.

Lake Overcup

NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats will be conducting foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicide – which will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life such as fish – to treat alligatorweed on Lake Overcup in 2019. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate for lawn or garden use with water from Lake Overcup through March 1, 2020. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.

(updated 11-20-2019) Johnny “Catfish” Banks of Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is high by about 2 feet. Clarity is still murky. Water temperature is around 60 degrees. Bass are doing well around brushtops and structure around the banks, they are chasing shad as usual. Bream are slow, but anglers are still catching some on crickets and redworms around the shore. Catfish are being caught on jugs and trotline with bream and minnows. Crappie are doing well around brushtops and stump rows in about 8 feet of water. “Not catching a lot but we are catching some good ones, as we all know it changes from one day to the next,” Johnny says. “Come see us at Overcup Bait Shop off Highway 9 in Morrilton. Visit Johnny’s Facebook page (Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park) for any latest updates and photos.

Brewer Lake

(updated 11-20-2019) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303), says, “Winger is the best time to fill the freezer, boys.” David had good reports on crappie and bass from Brewer. The clarity is clear and the lake is at a normal level. Surface temperature on Tuesday early afternoon was 48 degrees. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets. Good catches of crappie were noted, with the fish being caught at 3-5 feet depth. Best bets were No. 6 crappie minnows or tri-color tubes. David said of the tubes, “They’re eating them like candy.” Black bass are good mostly in the evenings when they are found in the shallows. Catfishing is fair. Use chicken liver.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 11-27-2019) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland said had no recent reports.

Sunset Lake

(updated 11-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few catfish are still being caught with bass minnows, nightcrawlers and Wild Cat Stink Bait. A few crappie been picked up off of pink crappie minnows and No. 6 crappie minnows. Bass have been hitting brooder minnows and topwater baits.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 11-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few crappie being caught off of No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Catfish still being caught, too, off of bass minnows, nightcrawlers. Bass are hitting the bigger minnows.

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 11-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says she hasn’t heard of any walleye being caught yet, “but I should be letting you know something on them after this weekend. The river is at the right level and the color is good, provided we don't have a lot of rain between now and then.” She says a few bass have been caught off of brooders. “Other than that I haven't heard much from there.”
Lisa has heard of some hot spots outside her immediate area from customers. Lake Atkins crappie been good off of No. 6 crappie minnows. Lake Hamilton, the No. 4 crappie minnows have been the key for the crappie there. Harris Brake also has some good crappie doing well on No. 6 crappie minnows and the No. 12 bass minnows.

Lake Norrell

(updated 11-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said the crappie – and they have been pretty decent ones – are being caught off of No. 6 crappie minnows out of the coves. Bass have been good on brooder minnows.

Lake Winona

(updated 11-20-2019) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been slow and far in between with No. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish are being caught off of goldfish and black salties as well as nightcrawlers.

Palarm Creek

No report.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 11-27-2019) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) said the water is murky and normal level. Catfish are hitting great on skipjack below the dam. Those were the only fish reports. But he said ducks are more plentiful in his area than he’s seen in the past 10 years, and it’s the place to be.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

No report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 11-20-2019) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and at a normal level. Bream reports have been good. The bream are in deep water but are biting redworms and crickets. Crappie reports were fair. Use minnows or jigs. Nothing reported on black bass, catfish or white bass.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 11-27-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) hears that black bass are biting well in this pool. Use black/blue jigs. Nothing else reported.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 11-27-2019) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) reports that the river clarity is stained. The water is level, while the flow as of Monday was 60,000 cfs. Crappie are being caught, with good reports, on blue/chartreuse jigs and red/chartreuse jigs. Black bass reports are fair. Crankbaits are working. Go with a crawfish-type crankbait, or try black/blue jigs or Rat-L-Traps. Catfishing is fair behind the jetties. Use cut bait or stink bait. No bream reports.

(updated 11-27-2019) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reports that crappie are good using black/chartreuse jigs or minnows. Fish around the rocky points. They’re being caught mostly around Burns Park and off the rock jetties on minnows at 6 feet deep. Catfishing is fair below the Murray dam at the hydroplant. Catfish are also fair below the Terry Lock and Dam. No other reports.

(updated 11-27-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no reports.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas-River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 11-27-2019) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is clear and the level is up a little above normal. Crappie remain good, but they began biting minnows this week over jigs. Black bass are good on minnows as well. Keep those minnows out for a good response from the catfish, too. Nothing reported on bream.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 11-27-2019) Herman’s Landing (870241-3731) is closed for hunting season. It reopens in February.


NORTH ARKANSAS

White River

(updated 11-27-2019) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) says the White River System continues to run moderately high, from Beaver Lake tailwater to downstream from Cotter all the way past Calico Rock. Expect generation to remain steady for the foreseeable future. Traffic on the river typically slows down around the holidays, so now is the time to visit and experience uninterrupted fishing and a real getaway from the fast lane holiday shopping/planning/running.
”We found some beautiful, healthy, brightly colored rainbows interested in bright pink bells on the silver Vibrax Blue Fox spinners. The quarter-ounce spinner proved more successful than a lighter weight with the dam releases at 5,500 to 6,000 cfs (about two units). Rainbow-colored stick baits (Rapala CD5s and 7s) and blue/silver spoons (1/4 oz.) were hits, too. Rule of thumb: Gold spinners and spoons will work best when the sky is clear and sunny; change to silver-colored baits when fishing under overcast skies. “Lots of action catching rainbows with white PowerBait. If the Army Corps of Engineers and Southwestern Power drop the level of generation (like they've done this week), change to pink or orange to speed up the catch.
“Enjoy a satisfying Thanksgiving. Add trout fishing to your holiday To-Do List -- serves as a stress-buster at this time of year.

(updated 11-27-2019) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) the Corps of Engineers has been running 3 generators and the river is falling out. The water is clear. Anglers have been catching all rainbows. Two anglers caught 60 rainbows. Overall, the bite is good. Shrimp and Power Worms work best, along with stick baits and long white worms.

(updated 11-27-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-4352169) said that during the past week, they had yet another major rain event (almost 2 inches in Cotter), cold temperatures (to include winter weather advisories) and moderate to heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose 2.5 feet to rest at 11.9 feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet msl. This is 24.1 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 2.7 feet to rest at seasonal power pool and 14 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 0.4 foot to rest at 8.4 feet above seasonal power pool and 1.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The White River had moderate generation with some limited wadable water. Norfork Lake rose 1.3 feet to rest at 5.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 21.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had moderate generation with limited and unreliable wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to heavy rains over the last few weeks, all of the lakes in the White River System are now over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the near future.
The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed until Jan. 31, 2020, to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The state park is seasonal catch-and-release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. This section will reopen to fishing Feb. 1.
The White has fished well. The hot spot has been the Wildcat Shoals. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (John’s current favorite combination is a cerise high water San Juan worm with an egg pattern suspended below it). Use long leaders and plenty of lead to get your flies down.
Norfork Lake rose 1.3 feet to rest at 5.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 21.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had moderate generation with limited and unreliable wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to heavy rains over the last few weeks, all of the lakes in the White River System are now over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the near future.

The Norfork has been fishing better on the moderate flows. The dissolved oxygen level is slightly improved. Navigate this stream with caution as there has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole due to flooding over the past two years. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small ruby midge (size 18) suspended 18 inches below a red fox squirrel and copper. The fishing is better in the morning.
Dry Run Creek is fishing better. The browns have begun making their annual migration up stream. With school back in session it will be less crowded during the week. The weekends can be pretty busy. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12), various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10) and mop flies.
Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soles that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 671.60 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-27-2019) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock had no report. Check out Del’s YouTube page (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for his latest video reports and tips on catching the fish.

Norfork Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 559.55 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 552.00 feet msl; April-Sept., 555.75 feet msl).

(updated 11-13-2019) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has been good to me the last week, but things will be changing with the polar blast we are currently getting. The cold frigid weather will push the bait out of the creeks. They will head to more comfortable water temperatures in the main lake and yes, the fish will follow. The bite has been good for all species and will continue to get better and better as the fish start to feed heavily for the upcoming winter months. Start looking at the large flats in 30-50 feet of water for bait and fish of all species in the coming days, as the water continues to cool rapidly.
A couple different types of areas have been holding striped and hybrid bass. The best areas for striped and hybrid bass at this time, have been back in the major creeks or up river. Bennett’s, Big Creek and upriver from Calamity to the Udall areas have been great places to find striped and hybrid bass. The bait has been very thick in all these areas and the fish have been feeding. Fishing with live bait, such as shiners, thread fin and gizzard shad has been producing the largest number of fish, but artificial baits have also been catching fish. You will find stripers in these creek type areas in 20-40 feet of water and they will be at all depths. The second type of area where I have been finding stripers and hybrids, as well as, white bass is on large flats. You will need to do some searching with your electronics until you find bait. The fish will be nearby. I have found large schools of fish and you can have a blast vertical jigging with a spoon, as long as you can stay on the feeding fish. Most of the fish I’ve found on the flats have been in 30-45 feet of water. The fish may be suspended, but the best bite is when you find them feeding on the bottom. The flats fishing should get much better as the bait starts to move out of the shallow water of the creeks.
The crappie bite continues to be good. On Sunday (Nov. 10) I decided to check out a brushpile that was near the flat where I had been fishing. It was a main lake point that has brush in very shallow water and out to about 30 feet of water. I started to jig with a quarter-ounce green with florescent green back spoon. I moved across the point and when I got to 10 feet of water the bite just exploded. The fish were 5-10 feet down, in the very shallow water out to about 20 feet of water. I landed 14 fish in less than 20 minutes. This really is not the norm, but when you find fish this active it is a blast. Typically, the crappie have been on 25-35 feet deep brush and have been suspended 10-20 feet down over the top of the brush. Live bait, small grubs tipped with a crappie minnow or a small spoon have all been working.
The bass bite has also been good. Bass seem to be everywhere, in shallow water, as well as deep water. During the late fall I look for feeding bass in 30-45 feet of water on large flats. Once you find the school of fish, drop a ¾ ounce spoon on them and you will catch one after another. I typically do not find feeding bass until midmorning, after the sun gets high in the sky. The best locations on the flats are under water ledges or underwater points on the flats. Drop-shot rigs will also work very well on these deep fish. The bass are in shallow water as well. Plastic worms, crawdads, lizards, etc. are working well for the shallow fish. Cast your bait up to the shoreline and work it back slowly. Bass are hanging in the sunken buck brush along the shallow shoreline or along the deep bluff lines on the drops and ledges. Crank baits, buzz baits and spinner baits are also working well depending on the wind. As the water continues to cool the jerk bait bite will start to work. This should happen soon.
Walleye and catfish are also feeding on the flats in the 30-45 feet of water. Jigging a spoon will catch you some nice fish of all species.
Norfork Lake surface water temperature is falling. The surface water temperature is in the upper fifties and should drop a few more degrees over the next several days with the cold air temperature that we are currently having. The lake level is on a slow rise and currently sits at 558.03 feet MSL. The water on most of the lake is stained, but will begin to clear again as the water level stabilizes. A few more very cold days are forecast for our area, but warmer fall type weather is on its way back the latter part of this week. “Happy fishing and see you on the lake.”

(updated 11-27-2019) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had no report.

Norfork Tailwater

(updated 11-27-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake rose 1.3 feet to rest at 5.5 feet above seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet msl and 21.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The Norfork had moderate generation with limited and unreliable wadable water. Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to heavy rains over the last few weeks, all of the lakes in the White River System are now over the top of power pool. Expect heavy generation for the near future.
The Norfork has been fishing better on the moderate flows. The dissolved oxygen level is slightly improved. Navigate this stream with caution as there has been major gravel recruitment at the bottom of Mill Pond and the dock hole due to flooding over the past two years. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the Green Butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small ruby midge (size 18) suspended 18 inches below a red fox squirrel and copper. The fishing is better in the morning.
Dry Run Creek is fishing better. The browns have begun making their annual migration up stream. With school back in session it will be less crowded during the week. The weekends can be pretty busy. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12), various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10) and mop flies.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek

(updated 11-27-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are a bit high and off-color. The smallmouths are less active. John’s favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

Beaver Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,128.96 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-27-2019) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) says Beaver Lake is still high “with no relief in sight. We are expecting another round of heavy rain Thanksgiving weekend. I have been out almost every day trying to fine tune my new Garmin Panoptix Livescope. All I can say that is it’s the finest electronic device I have every used. The hype is real on this . If you vertical-fish or spider rig, this is the tool you need. I have watched fish hit my jig numerous times this week. I have never seen anything comparable. Talk about a piece of equipment that will do so many things to put more fish in the boat and, no, I am not being paid by Garmin. It is pricey but, oh man, is it worth every penny!”
John adds, “On to reports. There is big debris from Hickory up river into War Eagle and White River arms. Stripers are up near Natural Walk and lots of white bass are in the area. I watched huge shad balls being busted by 10- to 25-pound stripers coming up and out of the water. It only happens from 2:30 till dark. Crappie are fair on brush and are suspended in 17 feet of water in all major arms. Walleye seem to have slowed down some. Bass are being caught on clear end of Rambo and Big Clifty areas.
“Have a Happy Thanksgiving and be safe on the lake.”

(updated 11-27-2019) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the lake is clear in the mid-lake while normal stain elsewhere. The surface temperature Monday midmorning was 50 degrees. The level is still up several feet above normal. Crappie are good. They’re biting artificial baits, minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair on crankbaits and Alabama rigs, as well as jerkbaits. Walleye are being caught by anglers trolling crankbaits. No reports on catfish or bream.

Beaver Tailwater

(updated 11-20-2019) Guide Austin Kennedy (470-244-0039) said, “Sorry for not reporting the past couple weeks. I was either not fishing due to weather and I also caught pneumonia and was down for two weeks. With that being said, the tailwater is still a little high, but the trout fishing has been good. Most trout caught have been caught with light terminal tackle and various PowerBaits. Also, various spoons and trout jigs have done nicely, too. This week’s hot spot has been between Spider Creek and U.S Highway 62 bridge. The best time to fish has been early morning, if you can bare the cold. Not much further to report. I hope you’re able to get out and catch some fish!”

Lake Fayetteville

(updated 11-27-2019) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) says the clarity is stained. Water level is normal. Surface temperature is 49 degrees. Crappie are being found at about 8 feet depth of water. The bite is good on small jigs. Black bass are good and are hitting spinnerbaits and square-bill crankbaits. No reports on bream and catfish.

Lake Fort Smith

(updated 11-27-2019) Ralph Donnangelo, superintendent at Lake Fort Smith State Park, had no report.

Lake Sequoyah

(updated 11-27-2019) Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) reports the lake still clear but is still also a little high. Crappie reports continue to be fair. The crappie seem to be in deeper water. Jigs and minnows are working. Bream are poor. Use redworms for your best chance at a nibble. Black bass reports were poor. Channel catfish continue to bite well on chicken liver or minnows.


NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

Crown Lake

(updated 11-27-2019) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water is clear and the lake is still down about 1 foot below normal. Crappie are “pretty deep” now and the fishing for them is fair. Use minnows. Black bass are fair, with best response coming on diving baits. No reports on bream or catfish. “It’s pretty slow,” they say.

Lake Charles

(updated 11-27-2019) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park said the lake is still high and murky, and the surface temperature Sunday afternoon was a 39 degrees. The only fish biting appear to be crappie. Reports of a few crappie being caught from the pier on jigs. No other reports.

Lake Poinsett

(updated 11-27-2019) Lake Poinsett is closed until next year as repairs continue on the habitat. The Lake Pointsett State Park Visitors Center sells bait still, and the shop is in proximity to many other fishing destinations in northeast Arkansas. Ome Coleman at the Lake Poinsett State Park says, “We are still selling plenty of minnows. Although the lake is still gone, we are still here to supply your fishing supply needs.”

Spring River

(updated 11-20-2019) Mark Crawford of Spring River Flies and Guides says water levels are running at 320 cfs at the spring and water clarity is clear. “The river is looking great. The leaves are finally done falling for the most part. The trout have been biting great on olive and brown Woollies. Minnow patterns can work really well some days. If there is a hatch coming off the water, bead-head nymphs will work well,” Mark says.
Smallmouth have been hitting well on sculpin and minnow patterns. Find big rocks in fast-moving water and the bass have been hiding around them waiting to ambush your fly. Last week a really nice brown trout was landed on a Woolly. “Brown trout and smallmouth bass on the Spring River both like hitting flies on a sink tip with a steady retrieve from a downstream cast. Vary your retrieve speed to find the most productive presentation,” he says. Hot pink, white and Florida orange Trout Magnets have been hot. Always set the float to get the Trout Magnet just off the bottom of the river.

(updated 11-27-2019) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the Spring River is a bit high and off-color. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork rivers. Canoe season is officially over. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive Woolly Buggers with a bit of flash (size 10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (size 10) and Y2Ks (size 10).

Walcott Lake

(updated 11-27-2019) Walcott Lake (Crowley’s Ridge State Park) had no reports.

White River

(updated 11-27-2019) Triangle Sports (870-793-7122) says the river is a little muddy. It’s also a little down lately. Catfish reports are good. They are favoring Sonny’s and the Triple S. Trout catches are good on a red crankbait. No other reports.
 


SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS

Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)

(updated 11-27-2019) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team said water temperatures are in the low 50s, visibility is up to 1.5 feet in Lake Langhofer and less than 6 inches around tributaries and the main river channel. Black bass are fair, but the bite is slowing daily. Once the water temperature drops into the 40s, the river at Pine Bluff becomes pretty poor for black bass. You can still get bites slowly working shad or crawfish-colored crankbaits and shad-colored jerkbaits along steeper rock banks within Lake Langhofer. Remember to use crankbaits with tighter actions during the cold months. Dark-colored jigs around wood and those same steep rock banks are effective if there is little to no wind. The fish are healthy when you get bites, but it can take a while to get them this time of year.

Arkansas River (Pool 2)

No reports.

Cane Creek Lake

(updated 11-27-2019) Austin Davidson, park interpreter at Cane Creek State Park, says fishing at Cane Creek State Park is finally making a comeback after a season of unfavorable weather. With cooler weather setting in, the crappie are the No. 1 fish on anglers’ minds at the moment. Both shiners and Rosy Red minnows are catching fish. Electric Chicken colored jigs aren’t doing too shabby, either. Bass are beginning to move into a winter pattern, chasing the schooling shad all across the lake. Fish with a square-bill crankbait and bounce it off of as much structure as you can. Catfish are a constant, as always, and are biting on chicken liver. If you’re catfishing with a rod and reel, try running a Rosy Red minnow in water about 5 foot deep. Catfish are taking advantage of all these schooling shad as well, and live fish will definitely catch their attention. Make sure to stop in at the Cane Creek State Park Visitor Center for more details and tips.

Lake Chicot

(updated 11-20-2019) Brian Whitson, park interpreter at Lake Chicot State Park (870-265-5480), says the lake level is still low from the drawdown, which has made several boat ramps inaccessible. Getting access from the shoreline is possible, but be prepared to walk out a little way through the mud and vegetation. For those who are working around this the fishing should be picking back up with warmer temperatures predicted for the week. This is a chance of rain Friday though, but the warmer temperatures should help improve the fishing on Lake Chicot, at least temporarily.

Lake Monticello

(updated 11-27-2019) The lake is undergoing a drawdown so that the dam can be repaired and the fish habitat rebuilt. There are no limits on game fish during the drawdown. Some nice fish reportedly were still being caught in late September, though the lake is noticeably way down now.
 


SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS

Millwood Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 260.28 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl).

(updated 11-27-2019) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said as of Monday, Millwood Lake is about a foot above normal conservation pool, near 260.2 feet msl; the discharge around 6,500 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The tailwater below the dam and gates as of Monday as around 235 feet msl with good discharge at the gates and dam. Check the most recent lake level of Millwood Lake on the guide service’s website linked above, or at the Army Corps of Engineers website, for updated gate release changes and inflow rates with rising and falling lake levels, especially during drawdown conditions. Surface temps as of Monday, ranged 55-62 degrees; Mike said, “We expect that to drop rapidly over the coming week if the cold fronts slam us again.” Continue to use caution in navigation on Little River and Millwood watching for stumps, random broken or floating timber with high flow rates in Little River in effect. Clarity continues improving in the oxbows with the river receding. Little River is muddy with rapid current, and worse further upriver with random broken timber and logs and debris.
Mike says, “The Dog Days of summer are doing their absolute best to hang on another couple weeks on Millwood and the mayhem continues this week! Bass are still biting with a frenzy and the largemouth, white bass and Kentucky bass continue fall frenzy feeding aggressively and biting almost any crankbait or Rat-L-Trap you can throw at them as fast as you can throw it!” He says nice fat, chunky largemouth bass continue chasing and busting shad with cooler temps during early morning, and the overall surface activity improved in the pads and on shallow flats adjacent to creek channel swings. Bass continue moving in an out of lily pad stands chasing shad and blowing up with abandon on Bass Assassin Shads, Chrome Johnson Spoons with a 3-inch grub in pearl, white or snowstorm trailer. This shallow lily pad bite can break into a frenzy in several different areas at the same time. When bass begin chasing and breaking on shad into the lily pads, it can be mayhem – and is! Square-bill crankbaits like the Echo 1.75 in shad patterns and Ghost Minnow, Rat-L-Traps and Bomber Fat Free Fry, Shad and Fat Free Guppy continue catching these schooled-up bass. Anywhere a creek channel is close by to the deeper creek bends with lily pads, that’s where good chunky bass are waiting and willing to blow up.
The crappie in the river have scattered over the past couple weeks with the increased current and muddy inflow in Little River, but in the back of the oxbow lakes along Little River the crappie are recovering and biting jigs and minnows near standing timber where water clarity is much better. Blue/white, white/chartreuse or blue/chartreuse jigs and minnows were getting bit again over the past week, vertical-jigging near standing timber in Horseshoe. Catfish improved over the past week with the increased current in Little River. Yo-yos, jug lines and noodles have been working in oxbows like Horseshoe on Little River and White Cliffs Campground. It’s best in the afternoon using blood bait, punch baits or chicken livers.

Lake Columbia

(updated 11-27-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) has heard no reports.

Lake Greeson Tailwater

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

Lake Greeson

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 538.49 feet msl (normal pool: 548.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-20-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is almost 11 feet below full pool of 548 feet, which is normal for this time of year. Water temps are around 60 and dropping with this cold weather. The Bass are in their fall patterns. They can honestly be caught anywhere from 1 foot deep to 30 feet deep right now. If you find the shad you will find the bass. Bandit 200 crankbaits in shad colors are working on rocky points and flats really well. Booyah Hard Knockers in Chrome/Blue are also working well in these areas. Carolina rigged Yum finesse worms or Christie Craws are also working well. Cotton Cordell and War Eagle spoons are good along creek channel drops as well. Crappie have been good lately. They can be caught in brush 15-25 feet deep on minnows and Bobby Garland jigs.

DeGray Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 401.29 feet msl (normal pool: 408.00 feet msl).

No reports.

De Queen Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 437.78 feet msl (normal pool: 437.00 feet msl).

Dierks Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 526.15 feet msl (normal pool: 526.00 feet msl).


SOUTH-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

White Oak Lake

No reports.

Felsenthal

(updated 11-27-2019) Sportsman’s One Stop in El Dorado (870-863-7248) had no new reports.
 


WEST-CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Lake Atkins

(updated 11-27-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says the clarity is clear and the lake level is normal. Bream reports are fair. Use worms. Crappie are excellent and are in 6-8 feet depth. Use minnows or jigs and work them in the coves or along the shoreline. Black bass and catfish reports have been poor.

Lake Catherine

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

(updated 11-27-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park had no report.

Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)

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

(updated 11-27-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports the water temperature is 52 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. The winter drawdown is now complete for both lakes Hamilton and Catherine. Each lake was lowered 3 feet and this level will remain in place until March 1. Rainbow trout are now thriving in Lake Catherine. These fish were stocked in the tailrace on Nov. 6 and can be caught from boat or bank. PowerBaits in white or yellow presented under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater are an excellent way to catch trout early in the season. Fly-fishermen can wade to areas that hold good numbers of fish and record limits of trout by casting Woolly Buggers, micro-jigs and egg patterns. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current that imitate shad or crawfish will work well in times of slack water or flow. The December trout stocking will be close to 3,000 fish and will greatly enhance trout numbers, giving anglers better opportunities for success. November still holds numbers of white bass although the size is smaller than in a normal year. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and jig presentations will all draw strikes from these temperate bass from the dam to the bridge as they feed on shad moving in and out of the tailrace. Hybrid bass also run alongside these fish and will feed on the same prey items. Stripers have been observed feeding below the bridge in the late evening. Balloon rigs with gizzard shad give anglers a good chance to hook a big striper, but artificial lures such as Super Spooks and Alabama rigs should not be overlooked. Strong rods and lines are recommended for these predator fish, which possess great power and are often in the 20- to 40-pound range. Blue catfish in the 4- to 6-pound range have been caught next to the dam on live minnows and stink baits. Anyone navigating Lake Catherine should always wear a life jacket and be aware of the generation schedules. All park rules and regulations must be followed in the Carpenter Dam tailrace.

Lake Dardanelle

(updated 11-27-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495) said that mostly clear skies and cool temperatures bookended a cold front this past week. The weather folks have a busy forecast for this report. A smaller cold front was expected to arrive Tuesday, leaving sunshine and dry, colder temperatures Wednesday. Another system is forecasted to arrive Thursday bringing widespread rain on Friday. Then, on Saturday, another cold front will arrive with strong, gusty winds. Heavy showers and thunderstorms with rainfall totals of 2-3 inches are possible by the end of the day. Visibility is limited to only a few feet. Surface temperature is 54 degrees.
As of Tuesday (Nov. 26) the Ozark Lock & Dam 12 tailwater has fallen about 5 feet since last week to 340 feet msl. Ozark tailwater release rose briefly over the past weekend but has fallen back to 30,000 cfs. There has been no power generation at Ozark. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park has held near 339 feet msl. The Dardanelle tailwater has fallen from 12 feet to near 8 feet. Tailwater release there fell also rose briefly but has fallen back to about 28,000 cfs. The powerhouse has been generating all day. Near Cabin Creek, Corps of Engineers floating plant continue to work at river mile 222, and a contract dredge is expected to work at river mile 222. The Corps of Engineers has issued navigation instructions for areas in pool 10. Near the river bend at Shoal Bay, between river miles 221.7 and 222.5, run the red line of the currently buoyed temporary channel. Around the river bend at Cane Creek, between river miles 232.5 and 233.5, run the red line. At O’Kane, between river miles 248.0 and 250.0, run the green line. Visit
https://www.swl.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Releases/Article/1985098/mkarns-nav-notice-swl-19-81-pool-10-change-in-water-elevation-and-sailing-instr/ for the latest updates and news.
Anglers, please use caution when on the water. Many channel markers have drifted and there are many submerged hazards as a result of flooding. The Lake Dardanelle State Park tournament season has entered the off-season. There are no reports from anglers. For tournament scheduling and updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516.

(updated 11-20-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said river conditions are poor, very dirty. Water temperature is in the 40s warming to the 50s. Creeks are beginning to clear, which should improve the river dramatically. Largemouth bass have been excellent, with spinnerbaits, swimbaits, jerkbaits, Alabama rigs, jigs and plastic craw baits working great in the dirty water. Crappie have been good. Minnow and jigs had been working well in brushpiles and treetops at 5-8 feet deep. Best colors have been Monkey Milk, Electric Chicken, pink, chartreuse, chartreuse/black. White bass and striped bass have been good on spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and swimbaits. Channel catfish have been good in the creeks on worms and blood bait. Blue catfish has been good on cut shad, crawfish and cut perch. Flatheads have been good on live perch and live skipjack.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 11-27-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the crappie are moving into their winter patterns on cover where there is deep water nearby. Crappie have been harvested on both jigs and minnows fished 12 feet and as deep as 20 feet.

(updated 11-27-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports that the lake has dropped to winter pool, and with rain and more incoming, the water clarity is just fair but murky up the creek channels. Water temps still continue to linger in the low to mid-50s throughout the lake. It’s very hit-and-miss right now for all species. It seems the conditions are changing drastically every other day but bass can be caught on jigs, spoons and drop-shot rigs tipped with green worms off main points and at the creek channel mouths. Crappie should be outstanding before cold fronts push through, but no promising report as of lately. Stick with minnows and white jigs. There has been some action reported on walleye up the river channel by trollers using crankbaits and spoons. Catfish have been fair but slowing in the creek channels and feeder creeks. Good luck out there, and go Greeson!

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 343.21 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-27-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) says the lake is clear and the temperature is fluctuating between 58-59 degrees. The water is falling and the lake is at a low level now. Bream are good around Porter Creek on redworms. Crappie are excellent and being caught in 15 feet of water at the 12-foot depth. “They are jumping in the boat,” they say in reference to some smaller crappie. Larger crappie are being found in 6 feet of water and biting at 4 feet depth. Black bass are good. Use a quarter-ounce white colored spinnerbait, and also go with black buzzbaits early along the shoreline. Catfishing is good. Get some of the shad out in the lake and fish with that fresh shad on jigs and trotlines.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 572.51 feet msl (normal pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 11-27-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are good. Vertically jigging a CC Spoon near structure in major creeks or fishing a drop-shot or shaky head near brush have had success. Walleye are fair. Three-quarter-ounce CC Spoons jigged vertically and nightcrawlers on drop-shot rigs are still producing. Stripers are good. These fish are being caught on live bait or big hair jigs. No report on bream. Crappie are fair to good. Try a small jig near brush in 20-30 feet of water. Catfish are fair and anglers are having luck with rod-and-reel using live nightcrawlers or hot dogs around brushpiles. The water is stained and the surface temperature is ranging 58-62 degrees. The lake level Tuesday was 572.40 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822 for more information.

(updated 11-20-2019) Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service (870-490-0804) said the lake level is about 6.5 feet below full pool and has held pretty steady this week. Water temps are around 60 and will get lower with the cold weather we are having. Bass have been very good lately using a variety of methods. Drop shots or shaky heads with Yum Finesse Worms (watermelon/green pumpkin) are working really well around brush 20 feet deep. Half ounce Cotton Cordell and War Eagle spoons are also working well in the same areas. You never know what you might catch when dropping those spoons. Crappie have been fair to good around 20-25 foot brush using Bobby Garland plastics on 1/16 ounce heads. Slow is the key.

Blue Mountain Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 384.69 feet msl (normal pool: 384.00 feet msl).

No report.
 


EAST ARKANSAS

Horseshoe Lake

(updated 11-27-2019) Professional fishing guide Ronnie Tice (901-687-6800) said the is “super clear” this week. The level is normal, but anglers have been dealing with windy conditions. Bream reports were good. They are found shallow, and Ronnie says it’s unusual now to see the bream biting. Find them around brushpiles with worms or crickets. Crappie reports are poor. The water is so clear, he says, that it’s holding up the bite. Also, the bite is poor because of the windy conditions, and when it’s not windy they are in deep water. Best chance of catching any crappie is trolling in 30 feet depth. Black bass also have not been good because of the wind, he said. Poor reports on bass. Catfishing is good on worms. Check out Ronnie’s Facebook page for more up-to-date reports and photos of his and his clients’ catches.

Bear Creek Lake/Storm Creek Lake

No reports.

Cook’s Lake

(updated 11-27-2019) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) says the fishing season is over at Cook’s Lake. “Fishing was very slow this year but that is the cards we were dealt,” he said. Fishing is closed until spring 2020 so that the lake can serve as a waterfowl rest area. Check back in late February for the spring plans and reopening for fishing. For information, please contact the center at 870-241-3373.