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More young smiles abound on Arkansas waters


Summer fishing means making memories

Arkansas Wildlife Editor Greyson Manning, the 4-year-old son of Justin Manning, caught this bream (left) on Lake Catherine last Sunday on a cricket. No doubt, he'll never forget it. The same can probably be said for Ellie Yaney (right), daughter of Brad Yaney, who caught this nice brown trout fishing out of Gaston's White River Resort.

Now that the weather has turned (fairly) comfortable for summer again, do you have a fishing photo to share with the readers of the Weekly Fishing Report? Send it in to [email protected] and we'll run it. Keep reading to get the latest reports from these two popular fishing destinations.

Lake Catherine

• Above Carpenter Dam — Slycked Back Fishing LLC in Hot Springs, builder of the toughest and most durable, all-Americanmade jigs and fishing products in Hot Springs, reports Lake Catherine’s water levels at full pool with regular generation that produces current in the morning and evenings. Water temps at the lower end of the lake

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near Remmel Dam continue to hover in the mid- to upper 80s. “Catherine is a tough nut to crack! There are no set patterns from one day to the next this time of year, so we will share what we can! Bass can be had in shaded shallow areas with topwater frogs, Whopper Ploppers and buzzbaits throughout the day, but especially in the evenings. White color patterns seem to work the best. Drop-shot and Ned rig fishing techniques are getting the lion’s share of fish caught as of late. Green pumpkin Trick Worms on the drop-shot and seedless watermelon patterns on the Ned rig will catch fish (especially spotted bass).

Most of these fish will not be good quality, but they do put plenty in the boat!

The offshore bite is the main way (for us at least) to catch quality fish. Using the Ned rig and drop-shot on main channel ends of submerged gravel bars and deep drop-offs has been our go-to. The other option to fish these areas is a swivel head jig rigged with a watermelon craw. This heavy bait does great at getting down in current while staying weedless. It’s an excellent choice for covering large rocky areas quickly.

Walleye are still being caught regularly and accidentally by bass anglers dragging Texas-rigged black and plum worms by dock pilings and off points.

Bream are good everywhere off deep rock faces and dock pilings in 15 feet with a water depth of 20 feet plus. Worms and crickets work best by far.

(Check them out on Facebook at Slycked Back Fishing LLC)

Below Carpenter Dam — For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 62 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace.

Entergy has posted a special generation schedule starting Friday, Aug. 6, that extends through Thursday, Aug. 12. Anyone planning on navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is urged to view these flow releases and plan accordingly. This schedule is posted weekly on the Entergy website for public viewing normally on Wednesday evening.

Now that Lake Ouachita has been lowered almost 5 feet below flood pool, weekly flows from area dams are at a level where fishing and boating are safe to continue. Rainbow trout fishing below Carpenter Dam is extremely slow as the season was marred by flooding. The past three years have been adversely affected by high water as trout despise muddy conditions. Summer water temperatures of late June and early July mark the end of the trout season on Lake Catherine until the AGFC’s stocking program begins again in mid-November.

Catfish have been caught below the bridge in the main channel and below the dam on cut bait and live minnows, as these fish have completed the end of their spawning cycle. The majority of fish caught have been in the 4- to 8-pound range. Blue catfish are the dominant species in the tailrace area. White bass have been observed breaking in the early morning hours chasing threadfin shad. Casting spinnerbaits and jigs in one-eighthounce weights has been the best presentation to catch these fish the past several weeks. Hybrid bass school alongside white bass and are being caught on the same techniques. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current has been productive catching white bass and hybrids, as well as walleye in the 3-pound class. Walleye thrive in the tailrace in the summer months as these fish prefer colder water temperatures than other area game fish.

The summer months will be dominated by these fish species with migration in and out of the tailrace a weekly event.

Always wear a life jacket when on the water and continue to follow park rules and regulations.

• Cotter Trout Dock — “Mornings on the White River at Cotter are blissful. Even when the forecast calls for a heat advisory, we're putting on light jackets for early morning departures. During August heat waves, the river often provides a cool mist that refreshes and renews. Add to that the possibility of catching a boatload of rainbows and you've got yourself a great day in the Arkansas Ozarks.”

Bull Shoals Lake continues to drop as the Army Corps of Engineers keeps a steady release of water through the dam, but it is still high at 679 feet msl elevation.

Average releases of 12,000 cfs, occasionally bumped up to 18,000, are being generating to reduce the lake level. When the water level remains fairly steady, whether high, low or in between, the trout are more likely to be active than if there is a constant change.

“So don't let the high water stop you from casting a line.

“The browns keep surpris-

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ing us with a steady bite even this late in the summer. Fresh crawdads and sculpins have received the most attention. This week has been another egg pattern/ shrimp success story.

A little salt on your shrimp firms it up some and keeps it on the hook longer; some garlic (powder or fresh minced) adds scent that seems to appeal to our local trout.

“So many visitors tell me they find a welcome peace on the river that keeps them coming back for more, and they're never disappointed. Hope to see you soon.”

• Berry Brothers Guide Service — Jerry Berry said that during the past week they had a few minor rain events that combined for a trace of rainfall in Cotter; hot, then cooler temperatures, and moderate winds.

The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 3.1 feet to land at 18.2 feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 15.8 feet below the top of flood pool.

Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.1 foot to rest at 0.4 foot below seasonal power pool and 14.4 feet below the top of flood pool.

Beaver Lake fell 1.1 feet to rest at 3.7 feet above seasonal power pool and 4.9 feet below the top of flood pool.

The White had no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell 1.7 feet to rest at 10.1 feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 14.1 feet below the top of flood pool.

The Norfork tailwater some wadable water at night.

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system.

The lakes are all still high due to spring and early summer rains. We can expect high levels of generation into the near future.

The hopper bite is in full swing. Bang the bank with a grasshopper. John says his favorite fly for this technique is a western pink lady in a size 8. Add a midge dropper to increase your catch.

With the higher flows, the fishing has slowed. The top spot has been 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 says his current favorite combination is a San Juan Worm with an egg dropper).

• Sportsman’s White River Resort — “It’s way too hot to fish, but the fishing is good.” They note that more rainbow trout were stocked on Wednesday.

Brown trout are doing well, too, with the browns biting shrimp. Rainbow fishing is really good, they say.

Clarity is improving. The river level is 30 feet high.

Four generators are running at night at the dam, and eight during the day.

Overall trout bite is good.

Use PowerBait, pink worms, bigger stick bait, Rooster Tails in light greens and browns, worms and shrimp.

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