Central Arkansas fishing report

By ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

NOTE: Employees and contractors with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission conducted herbicide applications to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir through September. The herbicides will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. 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 the lake until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake, restricting access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hindering native wildlife and fish populations. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.

(updated 10-28-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said clarity is murky. Water level is normal. The bream bite continues to be good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good on crappie minnows (pink, silver or medium) and on jigs (try both 1-inch and 2-inch and favor the white/chartreuse look). Black bass are good, with anglers using spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, topwater lures and jigs. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers, goldfish, dough bait, bass minnows and trotline minnows.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 10-28-2020) Angler Dennis Charles had no report.

Little Red River
(updated 10-28-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river is clear today “but we’ll have to wait and see how much rain we get today (Wednesday) and tomorrow. Generation has been on a twice a day schedule of one unit early in the morning and again late afternoon. Again, it’s best to check the schedule daily.”
Greg says there was a midge hatch Monday in the low water and the fish were rising. The midges were small (probably size 28 to 30) and hard to match. “This makes fishing tough but we were able to fish the deeper water with small midge pupa with some success. Also, small emergers worked fished just under the surface.”
The extreme low water caused by a couple of days of no generation makes the fishing difficult. The fish are very selective and spooky, so the presentation and fly selection become very important. Fishing falling, moving water after generation usually produces a better bite.

(updated 10-21-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the generation pattern for the Little Red River is unpredictable. “We are experiencing days without generation and days with significant generation. It’s highly recommended to check forecasted and real-time generation before planning a trip to the Red.”
For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends midges, hare’s ears and sowbugs. Hot pink and cotton candy 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 Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the brown trout bite is getting better on jerkbaits, maribou jigs and Trout Magnets. The river is normal and clear.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.49 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl).

(updated 10-28-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 458.50 feet msl, which is 3.54 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl, and falling. Water temp is cooling off fast, maybe too fast. Black bass are scattered from eating on top and roaming down to 70 feet, and being caught a variety of ways and on a variety of baits. Stay around the shad. Crappie are eating well. They can be caught trolling, casting, fishing straight up and down, on jigs,minnows and crankbaits. No report on walleyeCatfish are being brought in from trotlines from all over the lake and rivers on bream. The bigger bream, some are still shallow, some are out deeper; try flies, inline spinners, small crankbaits or crawlers. Hybrid and white bass are eating at will all day and night, you have to stay with the program and be there. Stay with the shad in 40-70 feet of water. Inline spinners, spoons, hair jigs, swimbaits and topwater baits are working.

(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that the lake temperature on the surface is in the low 70s with clear clarity. The level is a little low. Smallmouth bass are good at the lower end of the lake. They’re biting shaky heads, drop-shots, Carolina rigs and topwater lures both early in the day and late. Walleye have been good on drop-shotting nightcrawlers on the main lake humps and secondary points.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 10-28-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the lake clarity is “a little muddy” while the water level is normal. Bream reports continued to be poor this week. Crappie remain good, with most of the bite seen close to the shoreline. Try pink jigheads with your jig fishing, or try minnows. Black bass really fell off this week, and anglers reported poor results. Catfishing is still good. Use chicken liver, or bait your trotline with goldfish, nightcrawlers or chicken liver for best success.

Lake Overcup

NOTE: Employees and contractors with the AGFC conducted herbicide applications to Overcup through September. The herbicides cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. 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 lake water until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake and, if left uncontrolled, could restrict access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hinder native wildlife and fish populations.

(updated 10-28-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the crappie are biting a little better. They are biting on Tricolor jigs and on minnows. The water clarity is “fairly clear,” and the level is normal. Randy had no other reports.

Brewer Lake
No reports.

Lake Maumelle
(updated 10-28-2020) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland had no report.

Sunset Lake
(updated 10-28-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 10-28-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 10-28-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
No reports.

Lake Norrell
(updated 10-28-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Lake Winona

(updated 10-28-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) had no reports.

Arkansas River at Morrilton
(updated 10-28-2020) Charlie Hoke at Charlie’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)
No reports.

Little Maumelle River
(updated 10-28-2020) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said clarity is clear and the river is at a normal level. Crappie are still good, with minnows and jigs working. Black bass are good using crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish made an appearance, with reports of fair catches on chicken liver. No reports on on bream.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 42,231 cfs.

No reports.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)
On Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 30,028 cfs. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 30,483 cfs.

(updated 10-28-2020) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river flow is 18,000 cfs and about normal level and lightly stained. Black bass are good on lipless crankbaits and square bills along the jetties on the river in chartreuse and chrome colors and green pumpkin and orange finesse jigs at the end of the jetties. At the entrances to the backwaters. bass are good on spinnerbaits around the grass in the shallows. Crappie have been good on 1/16-ounce crappie tubes and jigs (white/chartreuse color).

(updated 10-28-2020) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reported that crappie are excellent around the Burns Park area. Target a depth of 4-5 feet off the rocks using minnows. Crappie are also good below Terry Lock and Dam. At that location, focus on 10-15 feet deep off the rocks with minnows. Stripers are good below the Murry Lock and Dam and the hydroelectric plant. They’re going after white Super Flukes. Black bass are fair. Anglers are catching them at a depth of 10-15 feet on shaky head worms.

Central Arkansas fishing report

By ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION

CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
NOTE: Employees and contractors with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission conducted herbicide applications to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir through September. The herbicides will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. 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 the lake until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake, restricting access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hindering native wildlife and fish populations. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.

(updated 10-21-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake has the normal Conway stain and is at normal level. Bream remain good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good, with anglers catching them using crappie minnows in pink, silver or medium-sized. They’re also using jigs that are 2½ inches and smaller, as well as hand-tied jigs. The black bass bite is still good. Plastic worms are a good bet for the deeper ones, topwater will also work, and anglers report success on buzzbaits, chatterbaits and jigs. Catfish are good. Go with nightcrawlers, goldfish, dough bait, bass minnows and trotline minnows.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 10-21-2020) Angler Dennis Charles had no report.

Little Red River
(updated 10-21-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the generation pattern for the Little Red River is unpredictable. “We are experiencing days without generation and days with significant generation. It’s highly recommended to check forecasted and real-time generation before planning a trip to the Red.”
For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends midges, hare’s ears and sowbugs. Hot pink and cotton candy 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 Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the brown trout bite is getting better on jerkbaits, maribou jigs and Trout Magnets. The river is normal and clear.

(updated 10-14-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear and low. Generation has been the afternoon, one-unit variety ranging 2-5 hours with the two-hour schedule being the most common. “Southwestern Power Administration has informed me that one unit is shut down for maintenance until some time in November, so any generation will be one unit until that time. Afternoon generation should be the rule unless cold temperatures call for the early morning schedule. It is always best to check the next day schedule before planning your trip. The app, USACE LITTLE ROCK, is available free for your cell phone. Check the SWPA Forecasts icon on this app for the schedule.”

Rainbows are taking small midge pupa and mayfly nymphs. There is a blue-wing olive hatch some afternoons and a few caddis are hatching. In deeper pools, micro jigs are taking rainbows and a few browns. The browns have not started moving much at this time.


Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.84 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 458.84 feet msl and falling, sitting 3.2 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. Crappie, again, are just coming in by the droves. More and more people are adapting to methods of catching instead of just fishing, as our resource is just very abundant at present. Crappie are 12-40 feet all over water column and biting jigs, minnows, crankbaits etc. Walleye are roaming eating all they can and at 12-40 feet. Catch them with crawlers, crankbaits or spoons. Catfish are roaming and feeding as well, and are being caught with trotlines and jugs, and while fishing for other species. Black bass are on top out to 70 feet eating a gauntlet of baits, all very healthy. Hybrid bass and white bass are eating at will in 25-75 feet of water and every once in a while on tip ends. Spoons, topwater baits, inline spinners, Largo Muskie Specials are the baits to use. Bream will eat crawlers, crickets and crankbaits real shallow.


(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that the lake temperature on the surface is in the low 70s with clear clarity. The level is a little low. Smallmouth bass are good at the lower end of the lake. They’re biting shaky heads, drop-shots, Carolina rigs and topwater lures both early in the day and late. Walleye have been good on drop-shotting nightcrawlers on the main lake humps and secondary points.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 10-21-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reports the clarity being a little dingy and the water level is low. Bream activity is slowing down and anglers said they had poor success. Crappie, though, have been good. The crappie are being caught close to the shoreline on minnows and jigs, particularly using pink jigheads. Black bass are good in the lake’s deeper areas. Try a spinnerbait or a plastic worm. Catfishing is good. Use chicken liver, and on trotlines you should bait with shad, goldfish, regular catfish bait or King’s Punch Bait.

(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reports that crappie are starting to pick up on Bobby Garland Jigs in popsicle, shiney hiney, glimmer blue, bbq chicken, cajun crickets, blue ice, shimmer, monkey milk, crystal, bone/chartreuse, gumdrop and pennyback shad, along with 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Black bass are hitting buzzbaits and minnows, worms, lizards and Brush Hogs. White bass are biting on popsicle, slab slanger, baby shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, and Cajun Spin and silver minnow. Bream can be caught on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.

Lake Overcup

NOTE: Employees and contractors with the AGFC conducted herbicide applications to Overcup through September. The herbicides cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. 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 lake water until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake and, if left uncontrolled, could restrict access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hinder native wildlife and fish populations.

(updated 10-21-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the clarity has improved and on Tuesday early afternoon it was clear. The lake is about a foot low. Crappie reports were fair; try minnows or tri-colored jigs. Black bass are fair, with best results in the shallows. A crankbait is working best. No reports on bream or catfish.

AGFC approves changes to fishing regulations

By RANDY ZELLERS/Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission unanimously voted at today’s regularly scheduled meeting to approve new changes to Arkansas’s regulations on recreational fishing, commercial fishing and aquaculture.

The recreational sportfishing regulations changes were announced to the Commission during its March meeting and were circulated in a public comment survey on the AGFC’s website beginning in March. The responses from that survey were then presented with official proposals during the Commission’s August Commission meeting.

Ben Batten, chief of the agency’s Fisheries Division, said 80 percent of the 46 regulations changes were clarifications, simplifications or reductions in current regulations. The other 20 percent were changes backed by scientific evidence or public input aimed at improving sportfish populations and angler experience.

A few notable changes include:

  • Requiring boaters to remove drain plugs from vessels while being trailered to and from water bodies;
  • Requiring trotlines and limblines to be checked every 48 hours or removed when not in use;
  • Standardizing the number of free-fishing devices and yo-yos being used to 25 of each per person;
  • Increasing the possession limit on fish from two daily limits to three daily limits.
  • Removing rough fish gigging season dates an allow rough fish harvest by gig year-round;
  • Removing the requirement to possess an alligator gar permit to fish for alligator gar (a Trophy Alligator Gar Tag is still required to keep alligator gar longer than 36 inches);
  • Adding a 10-inch minimum length limit on crappie for Lake Dardanelle;
  • Allowing 10 additional spotted bass to the daily limits for Ouachita, DeGray and Greeson lakes;
  • Allowing twice the statewide limit of channel catfish on the Arkansas River, regardless of size, and
  • Allowing unlimited recreational harvest of channel catfish on Lake Erling.

Changes to Arkansas’s commercial fishing and aquaculture regulations also were passed today. Surveys were sent to licensed commercial anglers for their comments to proposals presented to the Commission at its March meeting as well. While most regulations proposals remained unchanged, a proposal to eliminate commercial fishing on the entirety of the Strawberry River was modified to allow it only on the 13-mile stretch of the river from its mouth to Arkansas Highway 25.

Additionally, the Commission unanimously voted to approve the proposed reworking of Arkansas’s aquaculture codes to benefit the integrity of Arkansas’s aquaculture industry while protecting our natural resources. Staff worked with aquaculture producers in focus groups as well as online surveys before their official proposal to the Commission in August.

A complete list of changes is available at agfc.com/en/education/calendar/commission-meetings/monthly-commission-meeting-2020-10. All regulations will go into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

Commissioners also heard the first reading of a proposed update to the Commission’s captive wildlife code to add 889 species of reptiles and amphibians to the unrestricted list and 49 species of reptiles and amphibians to the permitted list. The lists are available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jFh9oLlHpqLhImiPzTnFNCWC3v1LynJ5/view?usp=sharing and https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jIBlo8t0HiHWKgao3PJNHgoK-jc01cA8/view?usp=sharing.

In other business, the Commission:

  • Recognized Danielle Havens, Stacey Clark and Cpl. Shannon “Mac” Davis as recipients of this year’s annual Campbell Awards for their dedicated service to conservation and their communities.
  • Recognized Mike Harris with the AGFC’s George H. Dunklin Jr. Award for his work in conserving and promoting wetlands conservation and waterfowl management in Arkansas.
  • Recognized Noah Wyatt with the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative’s Firebird Award for his work in promoting northern bobwhite habitat on Arkansas’s landscape.
  • Recognized 18 employees representing 360 years of service to the natural resources of Arkansas.
  • Heard from Jeremy Wood, the AGFC’s Turkey Program Coordinator, with an update on the state’s turkey population and the 2020 turkey brood survey.
  • Granted a confiscated firearm to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to be used in ballistics tests for their forensics analysis needs.
  • Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with a total original cost of $38,422 and a net book value of $9,428.
  • Approved a budget increase of $1,000,000 to the AGFC’s fleet budget for capital vehicle purchases to replace vehicles necessary for conservation and enforcement work throughout the state.
  • Approved a budget increase of $300,000 to the AGFC’s capital equipment budget to replace heavy equipment needed for conservation and habitat work throughout the state.
  • Sold a surplus boat and trailer to Columbia County Rural Development Authority at fair market value to be used in the control of giant salvinia and other fisheries management concerns in Lake Columbia.
  • Granted three surplus vehicles to the University of Georgia to be used in research contracted with the AGFC on chronic wasting disease.
  • Revised a section to the AGFC’s vehicle policy to require any employee determined at fault of a vehicle accident in a Commission-owned vehicle to take a mandatory defensive driving class, regardless of the value of the damage caused in the accident.

A video of the meeting is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/ArkansasGameandFish.

Central Arkansas fishing report

CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir


NOTE: Employees and contractors with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission conducted herbicide applications to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir through September. The herbicides will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. 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 the lake until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake, restricting access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hindering native wildlife and fish populations. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.

(updated 10-7-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake still is showing the normal Conway stain and is at a normal level. Bream are good on redworms, crickets and hand-tied jigs. Crappie are ranging fair to good. Crappie minnows in either small- or medium-sized and also pink minnows are working well, along with jigs. The black bass continues to be good. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms, topwater baits, buzzbaits, worms and creature baits were also getting good response. Catfishing is good. Stink bait is still the go-to, but also try nightcrawlers, goldfish, dough bait and trotline minnows.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 10-7-2020) Angler Dennis Charles had no report.

Little Red River
(updated 10-7-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that trout are biting fairly well on maribou jigs, Trout Magnets, spoons and Rooster Tails in 5 feet of water.

(updated 10-7-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the Little Red River received unexpected generation the past few days due to the Army Corps of Engineers requiring use of the Greers Ferry Dam to regulate the power grid. The generation is a welcome surprise for this time of year. However, we are not expecting this generation pattern to continue much longer. Until then enjoy the good water flow that’s providing good drift and wade fishing opportunities. For fly-fishing, we recommend midges, pheasant tails, hare’s ears, sowbugs and streamers. Cotton candy colored 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 Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 9-30-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear and low with minimum generation in the afternoons. The last two days the schedule has been one unit for 2 hours beginning at 4 p.m. Rainbows are taking small flies in the 18-to-20-inch range with mayfly nymphs, emergers and midge pupa being good choices. Small tippet and good presentations are required in the low-water conditions. The river is the lowest it has been in some time, so use care when motoring. The rocks always win!

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.53 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 10-7-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.62 feet msl and falling with generation. It is 2.92 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet msl and, with the weather forecast, it looks like it will continue to fall. Fishing is on fire all over the lake as follows: Crappie are very abundantly eating lots during day and night at certain places under certain conditions on a variety of baits such as cranks, jigs, Road Runners and live bait from 12 to 30-40 feet. Black bass are on the surface down to 45 feet schooling, roaming and sitting on structure eating away; drag something like topwater baits and spoons at mid-depth, and moving baits are all working well. Catfish seem a little slow but are eating nonetheless with rod and reel; all types of lines have been baited with a gauntlet of baits. Bream are still active up real shallow out to 25 feet on crawlers, crickets, cranks, Road Runners and inline spinners. Walleye will eat crawlers, cranks and live bait from about 25-45 feet on certain type of structure all over the lake. Hybrid bass and white bass are chewing with or without wind right now at certain times throughout the day all over lake and rivers on spoons, inline spinners, basically any piece of metal you want to drop, and also a lot of topwater baits. Stay with the shad as usual for best results.

(updated 10-7-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the water remains a little low and clear. Smallmouth bass are good on a wobble head dragging on the bottom and on Carolina rigs dragging the bottom. Early in the day or later in the evening, they’re biting Whopper Ploppers and other topwater baits. Crappie are good in 15 feet of water using blue/white or natural-colored crappie jigs. Walleye were caught drop-shotting nightcrawlers in 10-15 feet of water on main lake points and secondary points.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 10-7-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water returned to being a little murky, while the level is normal. Bream reports dropped off somewhat with fair response on redworms and crickets. Crappie showed some improvement with anglers getting fair results. Try minnows or jigs. Black bass are fair with the action being best around the shoreline still. Plastic worms are getting the best action.. Catfishing also was fair this week. Chicken liver continues to work, while some are being caught on trotlines baited with shad, goldfish worms and small crappie.

(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reports that crappie are starting to pick up on Bobby Garland Jigs in popsicle, shiney hiney, glimmer blue, bbq chicken, cajun crickets, blue ice, shimmer, monkey milk, crystal, bone/chartreuse, gumdrop and pennyback shad, along with 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Black bass are hitting buzzbaits and minnows, worms, lizards and Brush Hogs. White bass are biting on popsicle, slab slanger, baby shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, and Cajun Spin and silver minnow. Bream can be caught on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.

Lake Overcup
NOTE: Employees and contractors with the AGFC conducted herbicide applications to Overcup through September. The herbicides cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. 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 lake water until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake and, if left uncontrolled, could restrict access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hinder native wildlife and fish populations.

(updated 10-7-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the lake is clearing up and remains high, though down quite a bit from last week, about 4-6 inches above normal. Crappie continue to improve, with good catches reported this week. Use minnows or jigs (white, pink and chartreuse). No reports on black bass or bream. The catfish bite fell off with just fair results this week. Your best bet if fishing them with nightcrawlers. Randy reported that the AGFC recently stocked 1,200 channel cats into Overcup.

Brewer Lake
No report.

Lake Maumelle
(updated 10-7-2020) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland says the water temperature is in the low 70s. Largemouth bass are good. Some can be found in shallow water or just outside the grass line biting a variety of lures. Try using swimbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Kentucky bass are fair. Reports of some being found 15-20 feet off drops and rocky banks. Try using jigs. White bass are slow. Reports of some anglers catching them while trolling. Try using minnows, Rooster Tails, jerkbaits and rattle-style baits. Crappie are fair. There have been reports of crappie moving out of deeper water and being found in 12-18 feet in shallow brush. Some can still be found scattered, mixed in with the white bass. Try using jigs and minnows. Bream are great. Bream can be found on windy points by drop-offs in 12-16 feet of water. Crickets, worms and beetle spins will all work for the excellent bite. Catfishing is good. Try using chicken liver, nightcrawlers or baitfish.

(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reports that crappie are being caught on Bobby Garland Jigs such as popsicle and slab slanger, as well as minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting slab slanger, baby shad, cajun spin and silver minnow in the jigs. Black bass are being caught on worms, lizards and Brush Hogs. Bream can be caught using crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.

Sunset Lake
(updated 9-30-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been excellent, especially off of fresh chicken livers. The lake was stocked Sept. 21, last Monday. “One of my customers has been catching some nice crappie there, too, off of crappie minnows. Bass have been fair off of spinnerbaits and minnows. Bream are good on crickets.

Bishop Park Ponds
(updated 9-30-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been reported doing well off of fresh chicken livers and stink bait. A few smaller crappie are being caught off of the crappie minnows. Bass have been hitting bass minnows and brooder minnows, as well as spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. A few bream have been caught off of redworms.

Saline River Access in Benton
(updated 9-30-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said a few walleye have been caught especially on brooder minnows. But she also has had a few reports of one or two being caught off of the 4-inch lizards. Catfish and bass have been both doing well off of brooder minnows as well. Bream have been doing well off of crickets as well as redworms.

Lake Bailey (Petit Jean State Park)
(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) says catfish are being caught on minnows and worms. Bream are biting crickets, worms and Rock Hopper. Black bass can be caught using worms, lizards and Brush Hogs.

Lake Norrell
(updated 9-30-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says crappie have been good on crappie minnows and Kalin’s Jigs. Bream have slowed down somewhat, but still a few are being caught off of crickets. Bass have been caught off of plastics and brooder minnows. Catfish have been fair on bait shrimp, nightcrawlers and bass minnows.

Lake Winona
(updated 9-30-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been good off of black salties, bait shrimp and bass minnows. Crappie have been hitting blue and white crappie jigs. Bass have been good off minnows, plastics and Zing Tails. Bream are fair on crickets and redworms.

Central Arkansas Fishing Report

By ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION

CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

NOTE: Employees and contractors with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have conducted herbicide applications to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir through September. The herbicides will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. 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 the lake until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake, restricting access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hindering native wildlife and fish populations. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.

(updated 9-30-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake has its normal Conway stain and is at a normal level. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are also good. Try crappie minnows or go with a jig in white/chartreuse or black chartreuse. Baby shad is another good bait. Black bass are good. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms, Gitzits, frogs, buzzbaits and tube jigs are all working. Catfishing is good. Stink bait continues to be the go-to, along with nightcrawlers, goldfish, dough bait and trotlines baited with bass minnows and those other mentioned offerings.

Lake Beaverfork

(updated 9-16-2020) Angler Dennis Charles reports that bass are excellent all hours of the day. Anglers are finding success using anything in the box. Bream are slow all over. Crappie are showing their fins along the grass lines. Catfish can be found all over; go to deep water for your best chances.

Little Red River

(updated 9-30-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear and low with minimum generation in the afternoons. The last two days the schedule has been one unit for 2 hours beginning at 4 p.m. Rainbows are taking small flies in the 18-to-20-inch range with mayfly nymphs, emergers and midge pupa being good choices. Small tippet and good presentations are required in the low-water conditions. The river is the lowest it has been in some time, so use care when motoring. The rocks always win!

(updated 9-30-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that trout are good on Rooster Tails, Buoyant Spoons, small maribou jigs and No. 5 countdowns.

(updated 9-30-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the Little Red River is receiving a couple hours of afternoon generation each day. This pattern provides wading opportunities on the upper river in the mornings and lower river in the afternoons. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends midges, pheasant tails, hare’s ears, sowbugs and streamers. Cotton candy colored 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 Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.

Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).
 

(updated 9-30-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry lake is at 459.87 feet msl, down from normal level of 462.54 feet msl by 2.67 feet. “I hope everyone learned something from the electronics tip and have used it this past week. Just keep using those. Practice makes perfect.” Tommy says black bass are schooling at every chance they can on top and down as well. Big groups from large to small chasing bait all over the lake. Loner fish and structure fish can be caught dragging something or moving baits, and lots of fish are shallow. Crappie are eating well day in, day out even with cold fronts. Troll crankbaits, jigs and/or use live bait. Walleye have not got in our boat, but some are being caught dragging something or on crankbaits or caught under schooling fish. Catfish are being caught but are a little slow some days, as they are in transition as well. Some are being caught under schooling fish. Bream and black salties are working well. Bream are doing their thing as the moon starts down; lots to be caught on a lot of different baits. Hybrid bass and white bass are eating on and off all day and night; use spoons, inline spinners, Largo Muskie baits, swimbaits and topwater plugs all over the lake. Just stay with shad; fish are close from 35-60 feet.


(updated 9-30-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the water is clear and a little low. Bass are fair on drop-shot in 15 feet of water. Also use Carolina rigs, and try a topwater bait early in the morning or late in the evening. Walleye are good. Drop-shotting and nightcrawlers is working on the main and secondary points in 15 feet of water
 

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 9-30-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water is clearing up. It’s at a normal level this week. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie have fallen off; this week had poor reports. Black bass are good around the shoreline. Use a plastic worm. Catfishing is good. Chicken liver is working nicely, and trotlines baited with shad, goldfish or worms are taking their share.

Lake Overcup

NOTE: Employees and contractors with the AGFC have conducted herbicide applications to Overcup through September. The herbicides cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. 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 lake water until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake and, if left uncontrolled, could restrict access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hinder native wildlife and fish populations.

(updated 9-30-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the lake is fairly clear and has taken a jump upward with the level 6-8 feet high. Crappie are fair and appear to be moving up. Fish with minnows or with black/chartreuse jigs. Black bass are fair on crankbaits. Catfishing is good; Randy reports that the AGFC recently stocked 1,200 channel cats into Overcup. Bream are slowing down and reports are poor.

Brewer Lake

(update 9-30-2020 ) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303) had no report.

‘Wings Over Arkansas’ takes flight for birdwatchers

By RANDY ZELLERS/Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

LITTLE ROCK – With the fall migration of many bird species beginning, birdwatching enthusiasts and educators are just as excited as the most avid waterfowl hunter, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a great way to bring more birders into the watchable wildlife ranks. After 20 years the AGFC’s Wings Over Arkansas program has been revamped and is ready to share the outdoors with more people than ever before.

The program rewards birdwatchers for the number of different species they document in their birdwatching adventures with special certificates of recognition and pins they can display as they move up in the ranks. 

Program materials include brochures, certificates, bird lists and a newly redesigned Backyard Birds pocket guide.

“There are six levels of advancement to the program,” Kirsten Bartlow, Watchable Wildlife Program coordinator for the AGFC, said. “You start at 25 species with the Carolina chickadee level, and top out at the swallow-tailed kite level when you record 300 separate species sightings.”

Participants in this free program receive an Arkansas Bird checklist as well as a free Arkansas Backyard Birds pocket guide to help them identify common species in The Natural State.

“We also have a brochure filled with handy information to help you get started, including links to popular websites and apps to make your birding efforts more rewarding,” Bartlow said. “Smartphones were not as prevalent as they are today when the program was last updated, so we’re excited about telling people about all these resources at their fingertips.”

Bartlow worked with Karen Rowe, the AGFC’s Nongame Migratory Bird Program coordinator, to refine the list for the program and help beginning birders with the species they are most likely to encounter.

“It is not a complete list of every bird ever confirmed in Arkansas,” Rowe said. “We removed those species that had 10 or less recorded occurrences in the state to cut down on confusion for beginning birders. The complete list is curated by the Arkansas Audubon Society, and we include a link to it in the program documents for interested people.”

According to Bartlow, the program is great entertainment for people from all walks of life. Educators can also adapt the materials to their classroom studies to help engage with students who may be learning on virtual platforms. Bartlow has seen great success introducing everyone from school-aged children to retired individuals at assisted-living communities to the outdoors with the help of the program.

“Everyone can enjoy birdwatching,” Bartlow said. “Whether you get out and visit parks and remote areas, or just want to sit by a window and watch a bird feeder, you can find many species of birds to participate in the program.”

Bartlow says the new Arkansas Backyard Birds pocket guide is filled with new, colorful images of the most common species found in Arkansas and interesting tidbits about their behavior and habits. 

“The pocket guide, brochures and publications were all given a fresh new look by AGFC Graphic Artist Kristen Hodges, so even if you’ve participated in the program before, you may want to order a new book just to see the new look,” Bartlow said. 

Visit www.agfc.com/wingsoverar for more information on the program and downloadable materials, or you may call 501-223-6352 to request free printed guidebooks and brochures to get started.

Alligator harvest sets state mark

Image courtesy of Travis Bearden via TMZ.com

By JIM HARRIS/Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine

MONTICELLO – Arkansas hunters harvested more alligators than ever before in the 2020 alligator season, which was held the third and fourth weekends in September in three hunting zones in the lower half of the state. Included in that harvest was the longest alligator taken since the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began setting an annual alligator hunting season.

Collectively, 170 alligators were taken in the state on both public and private land. The previous record for alligator harvest was the 98 taken in the 2017 season, according to Mark Barbee, an AGFC wildlife regional supervisor in southeast Arkansas and coordinator of the alligator hunt.

“This has been our first season going to a quota system for our private land hunting and it went great,” Barbee said. “People followed the protocol. Everybody did what was asked to make it a successful hunt. You couldn’t have asked for better weekends to hunt either with the weather. The nights were cool and the days did not get too hot. So, the season went great and the weather was perfect for it as well.”

Image courtesy of Travis Bearden via TMZ.com

An alligator believed to be the longest ever harvested in Arkansas – and definitely the longest since the state has had an alligator season – was taken on Merrisach Lake near Arkansas Post last weekend. The AGFC does not maintain an official state record on alligators but has recorded data on length since beginning the annual alligator harvest in 2007.

Travis Bearden, Gary Bearden, Cody Bearden and Tommy Kelley took an alligator that measured a half-inch shy of 14 feet and weighed 800 pounds. The length and weight were verified by AGFC personnel. The Bearden clan – Travis with his dad and one of his brothers – and Kelley were hunting from a boat and spotted the gator in the water of one of Merrisach’s coves.

Travis Bearden said, “We had gone there the week before. I went with my other brother and some other friends but we didn’t get one. I don’t know if the cold front had messed with them or what. My other brother had gone back to Florida. I had invited them all back, but going out two weekends in a row with everybody having family is tough for folks. They were definitely bummed they couldn’t make it again.”

Kelley was back, though, along with Travis’ dad and another brother. “Our expectations weren’t real high. But we were only out there two hours before we saw him and were able to get close enough to harpoon him. We had no idea how big it was. You can see their eyes but you can’t see their whole body under the water.”

Then, the fun really began. The alligator “was pulling us around like we had a motor on the boat. We didn’t get it to the boat until 11 o’clock before we could shoot it.”

Bearden had been on a hunt with friend John Spradlin to take an alligator that was 10 feet, 2 inches in 2015. He said, “Once you get one, all the wait is worth it. It can be grueling waiting it out, though.

“Just having them, my dad and brother, with me was special,” he said. “It was my dad’s first alligator. We camped at Merrisach and a lot of bowhunters were there. My dad was walking around telling story after story to stranger after stranger. When another person came up, he’d tell them about it.”

Alligator hunting is by permit only in Arkansas. The AGFC issued 38 public hunting permits, with hunting allowed only on designated areas of the Dr. Lester Sitzes III Bois D’Arc WMA, Sulphur River WMA, Little River below Millwood Lake, Millwood Lake, Lake Erling and the Lower Arkansas River Wetland Complex. All other public areas are closed to alligator hunting.

The AGFC created more opportunity for hunters pursuing alligators on private land this year. Hunters who own or had permission to hunt on private lands within the three Alligator Management Zones were able to hunt through a quota-based system similar to private land elk hunting and bear hunting in Arkansas. They were required to obtain a permit through the AGFC’s online licensing system. Harvested gators had to be reported as soon as possible to the AGFC.

“We don’t want to go over the quota, but with the call-in system, it is like with the bears,” Barbee said. “People called in each day to see it was open, they were told the zones were still open for that day and they went out hunting. To  my knowledge, there were no violations of the harvest.”

In Management Zone 1, in southwestern Arkansas, 72 total alligators were harvested. Eight were taken on public land and 64 were harvested on private land. In Zone 2 in the middle south portion of the state (there are no public permits issued), three alligators were taken. In Management Zone 3, which includes Merrisach Lake and all of southeast Arkansas, 95 total alligators were harvested, with nine of those being taken on public land. The harvest on private land was six more total than the planned quota for the zones. 

“We had planned on a total harvest limit of 164 gators for public and private land,” Barbee said. “We harvested 170. So we’re looking at six animals over. That’s acceptable.”
Zone 3 reached its quota on Saturday night of the first weekend. Zone 1’s quota was not reached until Saturday of the second weekend.

He added, “I’ve talked to a lot of hunters this year, and all were supportive of the quota system. It worked out well for everybody.”

Fishing Report: Central Arkansas

March 4, 2020

By ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION

Little Red River

(updated 3-4-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the Little Red River is receiving 18-20 hours of daily 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. 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. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends San Juan worms, micro-jigs, egg patterns and streamers during high-water conditions. 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.

(updated 3-4-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the Army Corps of Engineers has told him that there be slight increases in the number of hours of two-unit generation as long as the level of the White River at Georgetown will permit the increase in flow on the Little Red. Wednesday’s forecast is for 21 hours of generation. The flow is about 6,200 cfs. This means high water for at least the next 10 days unless the lower river levels cause a reduced amount of generation. Check the Southwestern Power Admistation forecast before planning a trip. “If you plan on fishing the high water, please be safe. Small craft are dangerous during these flows,” Greg said.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 465.07 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 3-4-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 465.13 feet msl, 3.09 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. As long as they are generating, it’s staying about the same; when they stop it starts rising, as there is a lot of water in the ground. The water temp varies and this time of year just a degree or 2 will make a big difference in catching or just fishing. Bream up the rivers are shallow and eating not so much in lake; use crawlers, beetle spins or small crankbaits. Some crappie are in the bushes, while some are not and are out still floating around in deep water; try a jig or jigs with minnows. Catfish are eating as there is word of a 60-pound fish being caught; even people trolling for other species have caught some cats. Walleye are eating upriver on some days, males mostly. The lake walleye are not doing much as a lot of fish are still traveling at present. Up the rivers, try live bait, crankbaits, Rogues, Flukes and jighead worms. Black bass catching is all over water column, changing every hour according to weather. Use a variety of baits. Hybrid and white bass are upriver shallow and some in the lake deep – pick your poison as live bait, spoons, swimbaits, inline spinners and grubs are working.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 3-4-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the water is clear. The water level is a little high. Overall fishing continues to be down but some catches were reported. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Black bass reports also were fair. Nothing reported on catfish or bream.

Lake Overcup

(updated 3-4-2020) 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 good with surface temperature around 57 degrees. Bream are slow but should start picking up with this warmer weather. Bass are chasing shad but not many people are fishing lately. Catfish should start picking up with people starting to fish again maybe I can tell more. Crappie are starting to pick up in 4-7 feet of water. A lot of males are being caught on rods and reels using minnows the last few days. Two anglers had 10 crappie Saturday afternoon that was well over 18 pounds.
Johnny also said, “Just a heads up, the Central Arkansas Crappie Association is having a tournament this weekend.”
Crappie are being caught on yoyo’s at night lately.
Visit Johnny’s Facebook page (Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park) for any latest updates and photos.

Brewer Lake

(updated 3-4-2020) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303), said the lake clarity is clear and the water is “just a little high.” Surface temperature is ranging 56-57 degrees. Bream reports were fair. Use redworms or crickets. Crappie remain good. They are still found about 10 feet deep in the channels; they appear to be moving more. They’re also bunching up around brushpiles about 5-6 feet deep. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass improved to good this week; they also are moving more like the crappie. They can be found in the shallows. Anglers are catching them off the docks with minnows, including a 5-pounder hooked. Catfishing is good as they are coming up off the bottom. Use chicken liver or shrimp.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 3-4-2020) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland says water temperature is in the mid to upper 50s. Largemouth bass are good. Some can be found shallow outside of the grass around 8-12 feet biting a variety of lures. Try using crankbaits, spinnerbaits, drop-shots and swimbaits. Indicative of the good bass bite were the results from the Lake Maumelle Bass League’s tournament last Saturday, where Mike Hammett and Eric Wallace had a five-bass stringer of 19.56 pounds with the Big Bass of 6.89 pounds. Cody Bryant and Jerry Bryant were right behind the winners with 17.38 pounds.
Kentucky bass, however, are slow. Some reports have them being found in 10-15 feet of water outside the grass line. They can also be found in 18-22 feet off drops and rocky banks. White bass are good. Some reports this week of the white bass being found staging around underwater bridges and some can still be found in the channel. Try using Rooster Tails and spoons. Crappie are good. Reports of them being found scattered in the river channel around 20-24 feet deep. Also some reports this week of them starting to move out of deeper water. Try using jigs and minnows. No reports on bream this week, and they’ve been slow, but try them with crickets and worms. Catfish are fair; use chicken liver and crayfish.

High scores highlight archery regional tournaments

February 12, 2020

By RANDY ZELLERS/AGFC ASSISTANT CHIEF OF COMMUNICATIONS

Arkansas National Archery in the Schools tournament

LITTLE ROCK – Impressive team and individual scores highlighted a Saturday of statewide regional competition of the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program, sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Two teams from each of 12 regional events across three age groups qualified for the ANASP State Tournament, which will be held at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs March 6-7. In addition, 12 more at-large teams were selected from each of the three divisions and will compete in Hot Springs.

The elementary and middle school divisions have Friday, March 6, to themselves in Hot Springs, while the senior division will determine its state champion Saturday, March 7. Admission to the event for spectators is free, but the school whose supporters bring the most canned food items will win cash for their team to purchase equipment and other team items. The prize has been donated by the AGFC Commissioners. The canned food drive at the State Tournament is being held to support Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

“There were some really high scores from across the state,” Curtis Gray, the AGFC’s coordinator of ANASP, said of the regional tournaments. “All of the tournaments went off without a hitch and we are now marching towards the State Tournament.”

A total of 3,731 girls and boys competed across the state in the three age groupings. Region 4, staged in Cave City, drew a high of 433 competitors.

“There were really good attendance at all of the regionals across the state with the exceptional weather we had this past weekend,” Gray said. “All of the schools are reporting that they were able to raise more than sufficient funds to support their archery programs and other student organizations on their respective campuses through hosting these tournaments.”

The most excitement among the Senior Division teams may have come at Harrison in Region 2, where Alpena’s boys and girls ran up a weekend best 3,341 points to win over Bergman, which had 3,284 points – enough to win most other regions. Valley Springs missed out on the top two spots by ending 12 points shy of Bergman, but Valley Springs landed an at-large berth with its score of 3,272. In another senior regional thriller, Valley View won Region 4 in Cave City by a mere 7 points over Greene County Tech, 3,239-3,232.

Team scores were determined by totaling the top four girls team member scores, the top four boys team member scores and up to four other boys or girls scores for the team.

Other Senior Division region winners and runner-ups, and their points, were: 1–Arkansas Arts Academy (3,063), Bentonville (2,959); 3–Batesville Pioneers (3,191), Hillcrest (3,002); 5–Charleston (3,077), Waldron (3,064); 6 –VHS Eagles (3,090), Pangburn (2,987); 7–Bryant Hornets (3,301), Oden Timberwolves (2,959); 8–Cabot (3,320), Homeschoolers on Target (3,009); 9–Acorn Tigers (3,257), Murfreesboro Rattlers (3,154); 10–Glen Rose (3,115), Robin’s Hoodlums (3,056); 11–El Dorado Wildcats (3,245), Taylor (3,109); 12–Hamburg (2,933), Drew Central (2,715).

Brady Webb of Acorn scored a 295 with 25 bulls-eyes to lead all senior boys scoring on Saturday. Kaleb Tramel of Pottsville and Jacob Jones of Greene County Tech both totaled 292 at their respective regionals, with Tramel getting one more bulls-eye, 23-22.

Emilee Evers of Bergman amassed 293 points, including 23 bulls-eyes, to lead all senior girls scoring. Allie Strother of Oden amassed 292 points, including 23 bulls-eyes, and Emma Everett of Cabot totaled 290 points with 21 bulls-eyes.

Bullseye at Regional Tournament

Middle school regional winners were: Washington Junior High, Bergman, Batesville, Greene County Tech, Charleston, Pangburn, Bryant, Des Arc, Eagle Eye Archery, Murfreesboro Rattlers, Glen Rose, El Dorado Barton and Hamburg. Finishing in second in their regions were: Woodland Junior High, Alpena, Hillcrest, Valley View, Pottsville, Patriots Archery, Bryant Blue, Cabot North, Wickes, Region 10 Straight Shooters, Washington Middle and Blue Steel.

Hill Farm Elementary of Bryant, which has dominated the Elementary Division at the ANASP State Tournament, cruised on to Hot Springs again in winning Region 7 in Mt. Ida. Other elementary qualifiers for the State Tournament were Bentonville Old High Elementary, Arkansas Arts Academy, Bergman, Omaha, Eagle Mountain Magnet, Southside Batesville Southerners, Valley View Intermediate, Cross County Archers, Charleston, Pottsville Apaches, Hornet Archery, Davis Elementary Knocked and Loaded, PFE Archers, Carlisle, Murfreesboro Rattlers Archery, Vandervoort Sharp Shooters, Glen Rose, Mockingjays, Taylor, Emerson, Hamburg and Monticello Blue Steel.

At-large Elementary Division qualifiers (and points in the regional) were Greene County Tech (2,751), Valley Springs (2,725), Sulphur Rock (2,676), Cedar Ridge (2,657), Collegeville (2,656), Hillcrest (2,608), Searcy County (2,602), Salem (2,576), Maynard (2,557), Springhill (2,465), Parker’s Chapel (2,415) and Jasper (2,401).

Middle school at-large qualifiers were Valley Springs (3,131), Omaha (3,105), Maumelle (3,096), Taylor (3,076), Emerson (3,027), Cabot Junior South (3,024), Acorn (3,014), Southside (2,987), Cross County (2,985), Waldron (2921), Carlisle (2,908) and Searcy County (2,889).

Senior High Division teams earning an at-large berth were Valley Springs (3,272), De Queen (3,139), Pottsville (3,042), Brookland (3,000), Omaha (2,997), Southside (2,987), Cross County (2,965), Perryville (2,958) Jasper (2,955), Blevins (2,952), Fordyce (2,951) and Little Rock Christian Academy (2,947).

Central Arkansas Fishing Report

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 breamHybrid 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.

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 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.

Brewer Lake

(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.

Lake Maumelle

(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.

Sunset Lake

(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 smallmouthKentucky 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.”

Lake Norrell

(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.

Lake Winona

(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.”