Regional Fishing Reports
News and notes from around the state
Arkansas Wildlife Editor
• DeGray Lake — As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 400.18 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips Guide Service (501-844-5418) says crappie are doing great on minnows under corks 10 feet deep on brushpiles. White bass can be found in roaming pods near the bottom in 20-plusfeet of water. Vertical-jig spoons and fill the livewell.
• White Oak Lake — Curtis Willingham of River Rat Bait (870-231-3831) says White Oak Lake is clear and normal. The river flowing in is low and murky. Crappie are good; Curtis is having success with medium shiners and pinks. Black bass are good on the shiners, too.
Catfishing is good; try stink bait or chicken liver.
He had no report on bream.
• Lake Atkins —Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said the water this week has been calm and clear. Water level is low. Bream are fair on worms and crickets.
Crappie are fair; use minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair; use worms. Catfish are biting well. Bait a yoyo with live bait such as black salties or small perch.
• Lake Catherine — For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 63 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace.
Lake Ouachita remains just under flood pool, which has enabled Entergy to greatly reduce flow from all area dams. Extremely fast flows and muddy conditions had been the norm for weeks as flash flooding earlier in the month caused high-water problems in the state. Entergy is now running a much safer flow below Carpenter Dam and lake conditions have returned to normal.
Rainbow trout fishing will return in mid-November when the AGFC’s stocking program begins again for the winter. Trout are normally in Lake Catherine the week before the Thanksgiving holiday or sometimes earlier depending on fish availability. The
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beginning of fall finds white bass and hybrid bass still living in the tailrace and feeding on shad.
Boaters trolling shallowrunning crankbaits that imitate minnows or crawfish have caught these fish in decent numbers this week. Size ranges from 1 to 2 pounds with some hybrid catches over 4 pounds. Topwater action has been observed in the early morning below the bridge. Walleye still remain in the tailrace and have been caught on minnows tightlined in deep water. The closer to the dam you fish, the more likely you are to catch walleye in the fall. The deepest areas consistently hold walleye that live and feed in the tailrace. A few catfish have been taken on stink baits around rock structure close to the dam.
No striper activity has been reported this week, but these predator fish migrate in and out of the area frequently. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should always wear a life jacket and must observe all park rules. Mask wearing and social distancing should be observed by everyone visiting the Carpenter Dam area.
— Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), had no reports, other than there have been few anglers and fishing has been slow.
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Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s water levels down a foot and water temps right around the 70degree mark. Bass fishing has been for the most part absolutely terrible over the last week. Fish have lockjaw for several reasons, which is causing a perfect storm for us anglers: 1) no wind, 2) no water(as in rainfall = no current) and 3) it's hot! The only way to fish right now is to revert back to the summer pattern of getting up well before sunrise and being on the lake as the sun comes up.
The water is cooler and more oxygen-rich at this hour. To go after these morning fish we recommend a black and blue football head jig with a black Bandito Bug (or Craw) trailer. Brighter jigs are not getting bit like the dark colors of this jig.
Another approach is to vertical- drop a small tube or Gitzit on a Ned rig head when fish are spotted below your boat. Most fish concentrations are at depths of 20-25 feet off points, especially in brushpiles and in creek channel guts (but remember, there is not much current right now except in the main channel.) If you insist on banging the bank, then a white Zoom Horny Toad will get strikes until the sun comes up.
Crappie have been equally as awful, except in the dim light of morning on small jigs and live minnows.
Bream are actually on fire right now and nic- eating fish are in the 20-25 feet range in coves and ditches and can be easily taken at most hours with crickets and worms below a slip cork. Catfish produced no report. “Good luck … you’ll need some. Go Greeson!”
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.45 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).
Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) says clarity is a little milky in the river. Surface temperature is 75-76 degrees.
Water level is low.The bream bite if fair but slowing down. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie are good; the bite is at 6-8 feet deep.
Minnows and jigs are working along with orangeheaded Road Runners and Beaver Bottom in various colors. Black bass are good. White Gitzit Buzzbaits continue work, along with War Eagle Spinnerbaits and worms.
Catfish are good below the dam. Perch, black salties and goldfish are your best bets to catch the cats.
Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are being caught on Bobby Garland Jigs in popsicle, shiney hiney, glimmer blue, bbq chicken, cajun crickets, blue ice, shimmer, monkey milk, crystal, bone, gumdrop, pennyback baby shad, slab slay’r and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows.
Catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Bream are being caught on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper. Black bass are hitting worms, lizards and Brush Hogs.
• Lake Ouachita — As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 577.85 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are still good. The topwater bite is picking up, and spotted bass are schooled up chasing baitfish. Try a small 3/8-ounce spoon in submerged schools and your favorite topwater in those same areas. Major creek mouths and up the rivers have had the best reports. Walleye are still fair. Spoons and bottom bouncers with small spinners tipped with a crawler are working best.
Stripers are fair to good.
These fish are being caught on live bait on the east part of the lake. Bream are fair with crickets or worms in 15-25 feet of water.
Crappie are fair. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 15-25 feet of water. Catfish are good and being caught with trotlines and jugs. Cut bait and live bait are working best.
Water temperature has been ranging 68-73 degrees and the clarity is clearing. Lake level, now at 577.89 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
• Bear Creek Lake — Tyler Ball, park ranger at Mississippi River State Park (870-295-4040), says anglers continue to have great success catching Crappie at Bear Creek Lake. Anglers report catching Crappie at depths of 2-3 feet with baits such as minnows and jigs. Majority of catches being caught off of jigs. Some anglers are reporting catching a few catfish as well in deeper water. Anglers report using baits such as stink bait and homemade baits.
Mississippi River State Park is still waiting on information from the Forest Service about when the construction of the spillway will be coordinated.
• Cook’s Lake — The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Cook’s Lake Conservation Education Center (870-241-3373) said that although the weather is perfect, the fish at Cooks Lake have had an extreme case of lockjaw, so really no change from the previous report. The beautiful fall weather makes a trip worthwhile, though. Black bass typically now are shallow and can be caught on spinnerbaits, jigs and tubes. Black and red flake or green pumpkin are always great colors to try in plastics. A chartreuse and white spinnerbait with a gold and orange blade should also do the trick. Some anglers had success last week but were pretty tight-lipped on lures and techniques.
Crappie are starting to be caught on jigs in hollow trees.