February 12, 2020
By ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats conducted 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 last year. 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 2-12-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is stained normally and the water level is normal. No surface temperature was reported. Bream are biting well on redworms and waxworms. Crappie are also good, and they’re being found in the shallows. Look around Willamena Cove, Palarm and in Adams Lake. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass are good. Anglers are having best success with white spinnerbaits, white crankbaits and white chatterbaits. Catfishing is good using cut shad or nightcrawlers.
Little Red River
(updated 2-12-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said, “I am tired of the rain! I am hearing that said a lot lately and I agree. A little sunshine would be a welcome sight. The lake is still almost 3 feet high with generation round-the-clock. The release continues to be slightly less than two full units. The flow changes during the day due to regulating the electrical grid. This will continue unless heavy rain causes flooding problems downstream. It will be best to check the daily forecast before planning a fishing trip.”
Greg says large nymphs, micro-jigs and streamers are the best bets on the higher water. The river was a little stained Wednesday morning but fishable. Heavy rain was expected Wednesday afternoon. “Please stay safe if on the river during the generation. Higher water with increased flows requires more attention to remain safe on the water.”
Greg adds about his free fly-fishing classes and ongoing registration: “This is your chance to learn to fly-fish or expand your knowledge of fly-fishing for free. We are having a great response to the class this year, so be sure to call and register. I am happy to say the free fly-fishing class will again be offered by First United Methodist Church in Heber Springs with the first class on Thursday, Feb. 20, beginning at 7 pm. The class will meet each Thursday for four consecutive weeks. Adults and older youths interested in learning to fly-fish or expand their knowledge of fly-fishing are welcome. Please call me at 501-690-9166 for additional information or to register for the class.”
(updated 2-12-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the Little Red River is receiving 24 hours of generation. The Greers Ferry Lake level is above normal seasonal pool due to recent rains, so longer periods of generation to lower the lake level are expected. If you choose to fish these conditions, you will want to use long leaders and weight. The key for both fly-fishing and Trout Magnet fishing during heavy generation is the ability to get and maintain a good presentation of the fly or Trout Magnet. Working shoreline with streamers is also an effective fly-fishing method during high-water conditions. Also for fly-fishing during high-water conditions, Lowell recommends San Juan worms, micro-jigs, egg patterns and streamers. Hot pink, cotton candy and white bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Be safe while enjoying the river. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Army 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 465.03 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
(updated 2-12-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake was at 464.89 feet msl on Tuesday, 2.85 feet above normal pool for this time of year of 462.04 feet msl and coming up more with the rain and forecasts of rain. “All species are in their wintertime haunts, even with the warm weather we have had – just the angle of sun and it’s time for them to move somewhat deeper following the shad, etc.,” Tommy says. Crappie can still be caught trolling or jigging in 18-35 feet of water. The river-spawning walleye will make another push uplake and further upriver to do their thing, and main lake walleye will bite in the lake deeper (28-40 feet) on jighead minnows and crankbaits trolled. Black bass can be caught dragging something – Alabama rigs or crankbaits, as well as hair jigs or spoons in real shallow water out to 60 feet. No reports on bream. Hybrid bass and white bass will eat spoons, inline spinners, E_Bar City Spinnerbaits, hair jigs, swimbaits and Alabama rigs in 30-60 feet. No reports on catfish.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 2-12-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water appears a little murky but is at a normal level. Anglers have been trying crappie fishing but the results have been poor. Catfish will bite the best of any fish now. There have been good reports. Try using chicken liver soaked in garlic and using bream, along with hot dogs also soaked in garlic. Nightcrawlers will draw in the cats, too. Nothing reported on bass or bream.
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 last year. 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 2-12-2020) Johnny “Catfish” Banks of Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said lake water level is high and muddy still. Surface temperature is around 47 degrees. Crappie are being caught on yo-yos at night (between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.). Catfish are being caught on jugs and yo-yos with minnows and shad. Johnny said, “Really hasn’t been a lot of people fishing. Hopefully it will be getting better soon.” Visit Johnny’s Facebook page (Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park) for any latest updates and photos.
(updated 2-12-2020) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303), said Brewer is clear and is at a high level, while the fish appear to be down deep. Crappie are at about 20 feet depth but the bite is good. A tri-color crappie tube has been the bait to use, along with minnows and jigs. Catfishing is good fishing on the bottom, as well, though you’ll find them more shallow if you’re fishing on the spillway. Chicken liver is their preference this week. No reports on bream or black bass. David took over ownership of this location last year and reminds everyone that all bait and, now, groceries are available at Dad’s Bait Shop.
(updated 2-5-2020) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland said water temperature is in the mid-40s. Largemouth bass are fair. Some can be found shallow around 8-12 feet biting a variety of lures. Try using crankbaits, spinnerbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Kentucky bass are slow. Some reports of them being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grass line at dusk and dawn. They can also be found in 18-22 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass are slow. Crappie are fair. Reports of them being found scattered in the river channel around 20-24 feet. Some can still be found scattered mixed in with the whites. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are slow, no reports this week. Give a try, though, using crickets and worms. Catfish are slow. Best to use chicken liver and crayfish.
(updated 2-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie fishing has been fair with pink minnows, No. 6 minnows and Bobby Garland Jigs in Monkey Milk and Ghost colors at night and early in the mornings. Bass have been hitting No. 6 and No. 12 minnows as well as jigs and crankbaits. Catfish are biting nightcrawlers and bait shrimp fished on the bottom. Bream fishing has been slow but some have been hitting crickets and worms.
Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 2-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie and bass have been biting No. 6 and No. 12 minnows. Catfish have been caught recently on minnows, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp. Bream fishing has been slow, but crickets or redworms will catch a few.
Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 2-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says off-and-on rain has made it hard to catch the river just right but when it’s right the fishing is good. Brooder minnows will get you bites from smallmouth, Kentucky and largemouth bass, as well as walleye. Crawdad-colored crankbaits will work, too. Crappie fishing can be good with No. 6 minnows or your favorite crappie jigs. Catfish will bite best at night on minnows, nightcrawlers or goldfish. Bream fishing is fair with crickets or redworms.
As far as hot spots elsewhere go, Lisa says she’s still hearing about Lake Hamilton; the crappie have been doing well on pink crappie minnows and No. 4 crappie minnows. And the walleye on the Saline River was good “but the river has went up and it’s fixing to do a lot of raining this week, so it’s going to be getting that much higher and mess it up.”
(updated 2-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been biting fair for some using No. 6 minnows and Bobby Garland Baby Shad Jigs. Bass fishing has been fair with minnows, crankbaits and jigs fished on bottom. Catfish have been biting fair on minnows, night crawlers and stink baits with blood added. Bream are biting slow and customers tell us red worms are the only thing they can get them to bite lately.
(updated 2-12-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says catfish have been biting at dusk for a couple of anglers using minnows and nightcrawlers. Bass are hitting live minnows, plastic worms and lizards and jigs. Crappie fishing has been fair with jigs and No. 12 minnows. Bream have been biting fair on crickets and redworms. “We’ve had a couple of reports of walleye being caught in the lake and below the spillway on brooder minnows.”