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Hot Spots: Crappie Pick Up Everywhere in Arkansas

Hot Spots: Crappie Pick Up Everywhere in Arkansas


Fishing still good in the Natural State as cold weather arrives

From the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission How about that nice crappie in the photo on the right. Capt. Darryl Morris, who guides for his Family Fishing Trips service, sent us the photo: a healthy 16inch black crappie caught on Lake Hamilton on Tuesday of this week but a visitor from South Louisiana who was taking in much of what Hot Springs has to offer.

On the photo below it, an angler had a great haul of crappie from Lake Atkins this week. Lisa Spencer of Benton, operator of Lisa’s Bait Shop, sent us that photo and told us that customers are stopping by her place on the way to Atkins with their No.

6 crappie minnows. And, if they aren’t going there, then they’re heading to Lake Hamilton, where Darryl and his guests are, and they’re using No. 4 crappie minnows, which have the fish turned on. Yet another destination for a good crappie bite, Lisa says, is Harris Brake Lake. Make sure to bring No. 6 crappie minnows and the No. 12 bass minnows.


Jason Lenderman, who’s been working double duty for us giving reports from both Lake Greeson and now from Lake Ouachita, says the crappie have been fair to good at Ouachita around 20-25 feet; fish slow and use a Bobby Garland plastic on a 1/16-ounce head.

And, while it’s not crappie, we still need to mention that the AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program has stocked is ponds with dinner-size trout all around the state.

The stocking of trout starts when the temperature drops (Mother Nature kind of pulled a fast one on them, but the actual water temps probably won’t get up much before the next cold wave), and the stockings will continue through February at those. Visit and find a community pond near your.

And since we’ve moved off the rails from crappie to trout, let’s just complete the journey by talking about the smallmouth bite up on the Spring River.

Guide Mark Crawford sent us the nice photo on the right with the smallmouth bite going well there.

There are plenty of other good crappie, trout and bass reports around the state.


• White Bass, Black Bass Active — A cold front followed by a little warming, all the way up to 70 degrees in some spots in the state, had the fish confused and active. Just when they, and most anglers, had figured winter was upon us, it wasn’t. It was almost springtime again, or at least nice few days for a real Arkansas fall.

Subsequently, many of our reporters out in the field told us of good to excellent catches of crappie and bass. Even the bream started biting again in some spots.

Guide Mike Siefert has had the camera out a lot lately down at Miillwood Lake, and he sent us this week’s photo of a youngster out with an adult angler who Mike took out on Millwood, and the white bass were jumping on the lures. Largemouth and spotted (Kentucky) bass also continue to be exceptionally active at Millwood. There’s plenty more going on out there. Sure, waterfowl season’s about to start up, and just when we were happy to see this “real fall” weather arrive, the forecasters are calling for rain.

Oh well, get out there and enjoy the fishing while you can.


• Forage for Lake Columbia — Anglers in southwest Arkansas might want to be checking out Lake Columbia over the next several months. The outstanding bass lake received a stocking of nearly 75,000 adult threadfin shad in early November from the AGFC Fisheries Division. These fish will not only provide immediate forage opportunities for predatory species, but they will also reproduce to provide even more food next spring.

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