SOCCER PREVIEW: Strong nucleus returns for Lady Panthers

February 24, 2020


A special season may be in store for the Heber Springs Lady Panther soccer team.

The Lady Panthers, who return nine starters, will begin the new season with a preseason jamboree match against Harding Academy in Searcy at 5 p.m. Monday.

McKenzie Beccera and Jillian Herring were named to the Class 4A all-state team in 2019 and lead the list of returnees. Libby Stutts, Abbi Dew, Faith Cowherd, Natalia Durham, Stormi Bradshaw, Katia Rubio and Taylor Hammons round out the list.

“They were players who gave us a lot of good minutes last season,” Heber Springs coach Drew Lawrence said. “I expect them to do the same things this season.”

One of the team’s strengths, other than playing experience, is Cowherd at goalkeeper.

“Faith started every match and played well as a freshman,” Lawrence said. “I’m looking forward of having her back out there.”

Lawrence said experience helped to make practices go smooth.

“Experience makes everything in preseason practice go smoother,” he said. “If I happen to be watching one area of the field, the older players can help teammates in other areas of the field. We’ve been concentrating on passing and playing in small spaces and kick the ball quick toward the goal.”

Three basketball players will add depth to the squad — Ellie Riddle, Lili Chaney and Ashley Spanel. Selena Childress, who played last year, also will be a player to watch.

“I expect Ashley will be a plus with her athletic ability,” Lawrence said. “Four of the five starters in basketball will be playing soccer. We do have four freshmen, and we will see how they develop as players.”

Heber Springs has a challenging non-conference schedule — Vilonia, Morrilton, Conway St. Joseph, Greenbrier, Conway Christian, Cave Ciy and Mountain View. The Lady Panthers will compete against Southside Batesville, Lonoke, Batesville, Jonesboro Westside, Brookland, Valley View and Wynne in the Class 4A North Conference.

“We will be tested,” Lawrence said. “Brookland and Valley View will be the teams to beat, but we plan to contend. We hope to take the next step and become a No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the conference tournament and make a run at the state tournament.”

Lawrence said communication among players on the field will be another key for success.

“We have been working on improving communication,” Lawrence said. “A team doesn’t score often and communication is a part of that.”

Abbi Dew, Alaina Endicot, Ellie Riddle, Faith Cowherd, Jillian Herring, Katia Rubio, Libby Stutts, Lili Chaney, McKenzie Beccera, Nadia Baureis, Natalia Durham, Sabrina McMullin, Selena Childress, Stormi Bradshaw, Taylor Hammons, Ashley Spanel.

SOCCER PREVIEW: Panthers return four starters

February 24, 2020


The Heber Springs Panther soccer team will need to grow up in a hurry.
Returning four starters, Heber Springs, which will return four starters, will debut in a preseason jamboree against Harding in Searcy at 7 p.m. Monday.

Jackson Harrod, who led the Panthers in scoring last season, will be one of the players to watch. Defenders Landon Johnson and Lawrence Baureis return, along with Landon Barbee.

“Jackson scored a lot of goals last season,” Heber Springs coach Jay Bishop said. “He played forward for most of his career and may have to become a midfielder. Lawrence and Landon (Johnson) have played well on defense for two years. We will lean those guys, especially early in the season, until we figure out who will play at the other the other seven positions. We will be young at a lot of positions.”

Bishop said one of the big decisions will be who assumes the starting role at goalkeeper.

“Jackson West is tall with long arms,” he said. “Nathan Poff was the backup last year.”

Bishop believes the younger players will step into their new roles, and he expects a successful season.

“We will be looking for players who can play out wide, like freshmen Luke Greenwald and Owen Phelps, and sophomore Gus Hannah” he said. “They need to take scoring pressure off Jackson. We have others players who do the job.”

Heber Springs has a challenging non-conference schedule. The Panthers will play Vilonia, Morrilton, Conway St. Joseph, Greenbrier, Conway Christian, Cave City and Mountain View.

“We will be learning together and use the non-conference to see what we need to work on,” Bishop said. “We want to be ready for conference play.”
Heber Springs will compete against Southside Batesville, Lonoke, Batesville, Jonesboro Westside, Brookland, Valley View and Wynne in the Class 4A North Conference.

“We will looking to put the players in the right position, so we will be successful,” Bishop said. “Valley View and Batesville will be the teams to beat. We should be in contention. We want to be playing our best once conference play starts.”

Nathan Poff, Jackson West, Landon Barbee, Julio Rubio, Landon Johnson, Diego Rubio, Gabe Tate, Jackson Harrod, Dalton McCollum, Gil Fernandez, Gus Hannah, Zach Thomas, Carlos Leal, Colt Allen, Mason Harris, Hayden Davis, Luke Greenwald, Harley Bresnahan, Owen Phelps, Kaden Young, Lawrence Baureis, Chandler Webber, Jacob Townsend, Lucas Langster, Kevin Leal, Preston Jones.

Lady Panthers season ends at Dardanelle

February 19, 2020


DARDANELLE – The Heber Springs Lady Panthers went down to the final seconds against Ozark in the 4-4A Conference Basketball Tournament quarterfinals.

With 12 seconds left in the game, Heber Springs advanced into the frontcourt, setting up Jillian Herring for a 3-pointer, which came up short with three seconds left as the Lady Panthers’ season ended with a 42-39 loss to Ozark Wednesday.

Heber Springs swept Ozark during the regular season and was seeded third.

The Lady Panthers tied Clarksville for second place, but they split games. Clarksville received the second seed by scoring one more point in match-ups against Heber Springs.

“I told them after the game how proud I was of how they played and battled until the end,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “Ozark made a few shots and we missed a few shots in the fourth quarter. You have to put the ball in the basket at the end of a game. We had a great year with five seniors leading us.”

Libby Stutts led Heber Springs with 14 points. Herring had 10 points. Carter Crane scored 11 points for Ozark and Briley Burns finished with 10 points.

“We probably needed to call a timeout before the final shot, but we had time to set up the play,”  Riddle said. “I knew they would key on Libby and we ran a play that had been successful in the past. The players executed the play, but the shot didn’t go in the basket.”

Heber Springs finished the first quarter strong. The Lady Panthers led 6-5 before a basket by Ellie Riddle and Herring’s 3-pointer increased the lead to 11-5 going into the second quarter.

The lead was 16-9 midway through the second quarter. Ozark went on a 10-4 scoring run as Heber Springs held a 20-19 halftime lead.

“Jillian got in foul trouble and missed most of the second quarter,” Jamey Riddle said. “She was  trying to guard one of Ozark’s best players.”

The lead changed three times during the third quarter as the two teams were tied 30-30 going into the fourth quarter.

Ozark began the final quarter by making a 2-point basket and 3-pointer and never trailed again.

Heber Springs finished the season at 17-9. The 17 wins were the most by the Lady Panthers since going 19-5 during the 2013-14 season.

“It has been a while since we finished above .500,” Riddle said. “We will be losing five seniors, who played well all year. We also got good fan support. This was an easy group of players to coach. I wish the seniors all of the best and they will be successful during their lifetimes.”

4A-4 District Tournament at Dardanelle
Ozark          5 14 11 12 - 42
Heber Springs 11  9 10  9 - 39
OZARK SCORING (42): Carter Crane 11, Briley Burns 10, Summer Joy 7, Autumn Joy 5, Kelsee Barnett 5, Mary-Grace Ree 4.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (39): Libby Stutts 14, Jillian Herring 10, Ashley Spanel 7, Ellie Riddle 6, Claudia Newberry 2.  
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 9 - Heber Springs 70, Newport 51
January 14 - Heber Springs 47, Dardanelle 29 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 48, Heber Springs 41 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 52, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 24 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 53 ^
January 28 - Heber Springs 74, Pottsville 64 ^
January 31 - Heber Springs 43, Ozark 39 ^
February 4 - Heber Springs 52, Dardanelle 25 ^
February 11 - Morrilton 50, Heber Springs 45 ^
February 14 - Heber Springs 36, Clarksville 30 ^
February 19 - Ozark 42, Heber Springs 39 $

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs)
($ - Denotes 4A-4 District Tournament at Dardanelle) 

Pyrrhic victory for Lady Panthers in home finale

Heber Springs’ Claudia Newberry goes up for a shot against at Clarksville defender in action that Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

February 14, 2020


The Heber Springs Lady Panthers walked off the court feeling like they lost, despite a 36-30 win against Clarksville in the regular season basketball finale Friday.

Heber Springs (8-4 in 4-4A, 16-8 overall) and Clarksville (8-4 in conference, 12-14 overall) finished in a tie for second place.

Clarksville earned the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament on a tiebreaker.

Jillian Herring made a free throw, giving Heber Springs a 36-28 lead and the points to earn the No. 2 seed with six seconds left in the game, but Clarksville’s Autumn Miller drove the length of the floor and scored with point sixths of a second left.

“We were trying to get back on defense to defend the final shot,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “She (Miller) got loose and we didn’t get in front of her.”

Heber Springs will play the Ozark-Dardanelle winner at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals at Dardanelle. Wednesday’s winner will a regional tournament berth.

“The girls felt that way, but they need to not do that,” said Riddle about falling short of the No. 2 seed. “A win is a win anytime. I’m proud how they fought and beat a good team. We are looking forward to the tournament.”

Herring led the Lady Panthers with 17 points. Claudia Newberry had 11 points. Miller scored 12 points for Clarksville.

“Our shots were not falling in the first half,” Riddle said. “We started to make shots in the second half. Jillian got good shots by driving to the basket. We rebounded and held them to 30 points, which is playing good defense.”

Each team led once by three points during the first quarter. Newberry scored eight points, but Clarksville stayed close and pulled to within 10-9 by the end of the opening quarter.

Ellie Riddle scored to start the second quarter, but Clarksville reclaimed the lead with five consecutive points.

Herring’s 3-pointer gave Heber Springs a 15-14 lead. Clarksville converted a three-point play and led 17-15 at halftime.

Clarksville led 19-15 early in the third quarter. The Lady responded with an 11-1 scoring run and built a 26-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Heber Springs maintained a five-to-seven lead throughout the fourth quarter.

“It is not the end of the season and we are still playing basketball,” Riddle said. “We beat both teams (Ozark and Dardanelle) during the regular season. It’s difficult sometimes to be a team for the third time. Regardless which team we play, we will come out and play hard.”

Clarksville    9 8  5  8 - 30
Heber Springs 10 5 11 10 - 36
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (30): Autumn Miller 12, Emmaline Rieder 8, Morgan Douglas 5, Rebekah Guess 3, Parker Banning 2.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (36): Jillian Herring 17, Claudia Newberry 11, Ashley Spanel 3, Ellie Riddle 3, Mary Shearer 2. 

at Morrilton
Heber Springs  22  8   9   6 - 45
Morrilton      11 10  13  16 - 50
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (45): Libby Stutts 18, Claudia Newberry 16, Jillian Herring 6, Ellie Riddle 5 
MORRILTON SCORING (50): Cheyanne Kemp 17, Kennedy Reel 14, Ali Jo Dunlap 10, Grace Brown 4, A'mya Everette 3

Panthers fall to Clarksville on Senior Night

Heber Springs’ Adam Martin looks to get past a Clarksville defender in action at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

February 14, 2020


The Heber Springs Panthers finished the regular season with a 77-54 loss to Clarksville at the Panther Den on Friday.

Heber Springs (1-13 in 4-4A Conference, 1-23 overall) and Dover tied for eighth place. The Panthers were awarded the No. 7 seed for the conference tournament by winning a coin toss and now switch their focus to the 4-4A Conference basketball tournament.

The Panthers will play Subiaco Academy in the first round of the tournament at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Wyatt Sanders, Dalton McCollum and Adam Martin were among the seniors recognized between the girls’ and boys’ games.

Heber Springs coach Chad Johnson said Sanders tore tendons in his ankle.

Sanders stepped on the court for the opening tip-off and received a pass before returning to the bench.

“We wanted to honor him (Sanders) at the beginning of the game,” Johnson said. “It was very emotional to say goodbye to he and the other seniors.”

Clarksville started the game by making three 3-pointers. The Panthers called timeout and changed from a zone defense to a man-to-man.

Heber Springs outscored Clarksville 9-8 for the remainder of the first quarter and trailed 17-9 going into the second quarter.

“We played the man defense well,” Johnson said. “We ran out of gas during the second half. The players played with a lot heart. This team will never quit and they will play until the end of the game.”

Clarksville defeated the Panthers by five points, but Cole Clark, who scored 17 points in Friday’s game,  didn’t play in the game at Clarksville.

Martin scored 20 points for the Panthers. McCollum had 13 points and Garrett Hudspeth finished with 12 points. Garrett Waddill led Clarksville with 21 points. Braden Payne had 18 points.

“The first game was more of a defensive battle,” Johnson said. “The offenses were clicking for both teams in this game. Clarksville likes to shoot 3-pointers and made 11 for the game.

Hudspeth connected on a jumper and reduced Clarksville’s lead to 17-11 early in the second quarter.

Clarksville regained the momentum and increased the lead to 10 points.

Heber Springs pulled to within 23-18, but Clarksville held on and took a 26-20 halftime lead.

Clarksville dominated the third quarter, outscored Heber Springs 30-17, and led 56-27 going into the fourth quarter.

Johnson said the team will move forward and focus on the tournament.

“We will take the same approach like the regular season for Tuesday’s game,” he said. “The players will battle. We hope to surprise teams at the tournament.”

Clarksville  17  9 30 21 - 77
Heber Springs 9 11 17 17 - 54
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (77): Garrett Waddill 21, Braden Payne 18, Cole Clark 17, Miles Castleman 8, Owen Ashlock 6, John Case 5, Gabe Gregory 2.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (54): Adam Martin 20, Dalton McCollum 13, Garrett Hudspeth 12, Zach Thomas 8.  

at Morrilton
Heber Springs  6   7   8   7 - 28
Morrilton     16  23  11  14 - 64
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (28): Dalton McCollum 14, Adam Martin 6, Wyatt Sanders 6, Zach Thomas 2
MORRILTON SCORING (64): Devin Foster 13, Riley Wade 12, Nevin Williams 9, Darrius Allison 7, Nate Zachary 6, Keevon Moore 5, Julian Brockman 4, Bugg Rector 4, Markel Swinton 2, B.J. Black 2
November 21 - Riverview 68, Heber Springs 36
November 26 - Clinton 71, Heber Springs 35
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 44, Heber Springs 21 #
December 5 - South Side Bee Branch 50, Heber Springs 49 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 37, Dover 32 ^
December 12 - South Side Bee Branch 64, Heber Springs 53
December 13 - Marshall 69, Heber Springs 43
December 16 - White County Central 65, Heber Springs 43
December 20 - Ozark 69, Heber Springs 34 ^
December 26 - Rose Bud 68, Heber Springs 65 (OT) *
December 27 - Batesville 72, Heber Springs 60 *
December 28 - Mayflower 66, Heber Springs 41 *
January 7 - Pottsville 59, Heber Springs 26 ^
January 10 - Subiaco Academy 47, Heber Springs 28 ^
January 14 - Dardanelle 70, Heber Springs 13 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 38, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 58, Heber Springs 43 ^
January 24 - Dover 55, Heber Springs 50 ^
January 28 - Pottsville 68, Heber Springs 49 ^
January 31 - Ozark 60, Heber Springs 29 ^
February 4 - Dardanelle 67, Heber Springs 47 ^
February 7 - Subiaco Academy 54, Heber Springs 23 ^
February 11 - Morrilton 64, Heber Springs 28 ^
February 14 - Clarksville 77, Heber Springs 54 ^
February 17 - Subiaco Academy 69, Heber Springs 40 $

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest) 
(* - Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic at Heber Springs)
($ - Denotes 4A-4 district tournament contest at Dardanelle)

Fan Photo: Heber Springs basketball

These Heber Springs students showed up last Friday as Heber Springs faced Subiaco Academy in senior boys play. Tonight at the Panther Den, beginning at 6 p.m., Heber Springs will face Clarksville with the seniors honored tonight, but more importantly for the Lady Panthers, they will tangle with Clarksville. A win by 8 or more points would give the Panthers the No. 2 seed at next week’s district tournament and an automatic regional tournament berth. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Schedule: Heber Springs Softball

COACH: Dusty West

March 2   at Maumelle                  V/JV      5 p.m.
March 3   White County Central         V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 5   at Sylvan Hills              V/JV      5 p.m.
March 6   Pottsville *                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 9   Ozark *                      V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 12  at Riverview                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 13  at Conway St. Joseph         V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 14  Heber Springs Tournament     V
March 16  at Dover *                   V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 17  Dardanelle *                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
March 19  Clinton                      V/JV      5 p.m.
March 30  at Clarksville *             V/JV      4 p.m.
March 31  Morrilton *                  V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 3   Dover *                      V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 6   Jacksonville                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 7   at Pottsville *              V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 13  Cedar Ridge                  V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 14  at Dardanelle *              V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 16  at Calico Rock               V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 20  at Cave City                 V/JV      4 p.m.
April 21  at Morrilton *               V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 23  at Mayflower                 V/JV      4:30 p.m.
April 27  4A-4 District Tournament at Dover

(* - Indicates 4A-4 Conference Contest)
(Note: Schedule is subject to change due to weather)

High scores highlight archery regional tournaments

February 12, 2020


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


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 (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.”