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.

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.

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.”

Weekly Fishing Report for central Arkansas

February 7, 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 2-5-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake continues to maintain its normal Lake Conway stained and is back to a normal level as of Tuesday morning. Bream are good on redworms, crickets and artificial baits. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and white chatterbaits. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers, dough bait and big minnows.

Little Red River

(updated 2-5-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said heavy generation schedule is expected on the Little Red River due to recent rains. For fly fishing, we recommend san juan worms, micro jigs, egg pattern and streamers during high water conditions. Hot pink, cotton candy and white colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads 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 Army Corps of Engineers website for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 2-5-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said that after four days of 12-hour, two-unit generation, it is now two units at a reduced rate running 24 hours from Greers Ferry Lake dam. The flow will fluctuate slightly during the day due to the fact that they are regulating the electrical grid with Greers Ferry. This will probably continue through this weekend and, depending on the amount of rainfall, most of next week. With the rainfall and colder temperatures, one should check each day before planning your fishing trip. The lake is still about 2 feet above normal and rising. Please stay safe if you’re on the river during the generation. Higher water with increased flows requires more attention to remain safe on the water.
Notice: Greg’s free fly-fishing class will again be offered at First United Methodist Church in Heber Springs this year. The first class will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20. The class will consist of four consecutive Thursday nights at the same time each Thursday. There is no charge for this class but you need to call and register so we can know how many persons will be attending. This class is for beginners and anyone wishing to expand their knowledge of fly-fishing. Please call 501-690-9166 to register for the class. “If I’m on the river, please leave a message and I will return your call,” Greg says.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 464.36 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 2-5-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 464.16 feet msl, 2.12 feet above normal pool for this time of year of 462.04 feet msl and coming up more with the rain and forecasts rain. All species are in their wintertime haunts; even with the warm weather we have had, just angle of sun and time for them to move somewhat deeper following the shad, etc. Crappie can still be caught trolling or jigging in 18-35 feet of water. With walleye, the river spawners will make another push uplake and further upriver to do their thing, and lake fish will bite in 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 out to 60 feet. No report on breamHybrid and white bass will eat spoons, inline spinners, E_Bar City Spinbaits, hair jigs, swimbaits and Alabama rigs in 30-60 feet. No report on catfish.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 2-5-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says fishing picked up a little in the past week. The water as of Tuesday was a little murky but at a normal level. Crappie fishing is poor, and there have been no bass reports. But anglers report catching big white bass. The results have been good, but no lures were mentioned. Catfishing is good with chicken liver or nightcrawlers.

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 1-29-2020) Johnny “Catfish” Banks of Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) had no report. Visit Johnny’s Facebook page (Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park) for any latest updates and photos.

Brewer Lake

(updated 2-5-2020) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303), said water is high and the surface temperature Tuesday morning was 58 degrees. Crappie are good on No. 6 minnows and pink minnows, along with tri-color crappie tubes and Bobby Garland Baby Shad. Black bass are good on minnows and Tequila Sunrise worms. Catfish are good. The bites are on the bottom using chicken liver and black salties. David says 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 2-5-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been doing well early in the mornings off of pink crappie minnows and size 4 crappie minnows . Fish around the dock and also closer to the little island out there. Bass have been biting on the brooder minnows and also small jigs like beetle spins and spinnerbaits (black at night and white and pink during the day). With the warmer temperatures the bream have been going after the crickets and redworms pretty well. Catfish are being caught off of nightcrawlers and No. 12 bass minnows. You can find the regulations for this lake in the new AGFC Fishing Guidebook on page 70 at the top of the page (which we have if you need one!).

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 2-5-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie are being caught on No. 6 crappie minnows. Catfish doing good on No. 12 bass minnows, nightcrawlers and cut bait. Bass are fair on brooder minnows and No. 12 bass minnows. Bream being taken on crickets as well as on redworms and brown Rock Hoppers .

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 2-5-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says with the access to the river under the I-30 bridge past Sunset Lake being closed due to the construction, it has made it hard for some to get up to the spillway. For now putting in at Lyle Park access and going down to it would be an option. Catfish have been doing pretty well there at the spillway with minnows on the bottom. If you want the walleye, use the brooders just with a small split shot and let them go; don’t fish them on bottom unless you want a catfish. “A couple of guys have done good on the walleye there with brooders. Some getting a few and others getting almost their limit.”
Lisa adds “My husband went early Sunday morning. He caught four walleye, missed three others, then caught a nice Kentucky. He said once it got sunlight the fish cut off, he didn’t have another bite. Which is 6 per person. You can find the regulations for the river in the new AGFC Fishing Guidebook on page 78 at the top of the page.”
Crappie are doing well on No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Bass have been doing well off of brooder minnows too.

Some of Lisa’s customers indicate to her that Lake Hamilton crappie are doing well on the brush using the pink crappie minnows.

Lake Norrell

(updated 2-5-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said she’s heard good reports of some slab crappie being caught up in the coves using No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Black bass are being caught around the docks with No. 12 bass minnows and brooder minnows as well as spinnerbaits and Zing Tails – Firetiger color has been good. Catfish are good on cut bait, goldfish and nightcrawlers. As few bream are being caught off of crickets fishing on bottom.

Lake Winona

(updated 2-5-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says catfish are doing fair on bait shrimp, nightcrawlers and goldfish. Crappie are good on No. 6 crappie minnows and No. 12 bass minnows. A few walleye have been caught off of brooder minnows & bass minnows. Bream are fair on crickets. Black bass have been caught off of minnows as well, lots of small bass.

Weekly Fishing Report: Central Arkansas

January 29, 2020

By ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION

CENTRAL ARKANSAS

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 1-29-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake remains at its normal Lake Conway stained and has dropped of late, now at low level. Bream are good on redworms, crickets, jigs and nightcrawlers. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Black bass are good using spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers, dough bait and minnows.

Little Red River

(updated 1-29-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said Wednesday 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. 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 the bank with streamers is also an effective fly-fishing method during high water conditions. For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends San Juan worms, micro-jigs, egg pattern 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 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 1-29-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river is clear with two units running at a reduced amount round-the-clock. The flow is between 3,400 and 4,100 cfs, this amounts to approximately one-unit generation 24/7. “I have been informed that this will be the pattern through at least Monday, at which time they will probably go back to the two full-unit generation for 12-hour periods. Fishing has been limited with rainbows taking micro-jigs, large hare’s ear nymphs and sowbugs.
“Please stay safe, if on the river during the generation. Higher water with increased flows requires more attention to remain safe on the water.”
Notice: Greg’s free fly-fishing class will again be offered at First United Methodist Church in Heber Springs this year. The first class will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20. The class will consist of four consecutive Thursday nights at the same time each Thursday. There is no charge for this class but you need to call and register so we can know how many persons will be attending. This class is for beginners and anyone wishing to expand their knowledge of fly-fishing. Please call 501-690-9166 to register for the class. “If I’m on the river, please leave a message and I will return your call,” Greg says.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 464.67 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 1-29-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 464.42 feet msl. It’s 2.38 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl and falling just a little as they generate – but if they stop it, just back up some. “Looks like if the weather holds, a lot of early spawning will take place with all species, but as in this part of Arkansas we will have a lot of changes from now through May and I bet they will not be all warm changes,” Tommy said. Crappie are eating well with lots of fish being caught if you want to get out there, either straight up and down or troll for them in 15-30 feet of water over deeper water. Black bass are scattered from the bank out to 60 feet and all in-between and can be caught with a lot of different methods, it’s a good time of year to hone a certain technique you usually don’t catch them on and learn it. Walleye will be stopping more to feed now they have done some traveling and feel better – try rogues, crankbaits trolled or thrown at night, or fish with a jighead minnow, grub or swimbait. No report on bream. “Catfish are still eating, I am told, but no report.” Hybrid and white bass are chewing as well in 25-60 feet of water on spoons, swimbaits, grubs, hair jigs, inline spinners and the new E-Bar City rig.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 1-29-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) says the only fishing they’ve heard about is the good catfish bite. Use worms. The lake is a little murky but is at a normal level. No other reports.

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 1-29-2020) Johnny “Catfish” Banks of Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) had no report. Visit Johnny’s Facebook page (Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park) for any latest updates and photos.

Brewer Lake

(updated 1-29-2020) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303), had no report.