Fishing Report: Central Arkansas

January 15, 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 in 2019. 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 1-15-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake is muddy and is a little low. Bream are fair; use redworms. Crappie are good using small minnows and small jigs. No reports on black bassCatfish are good using nightcrawlers.

Little Red River

(updated 1-15-2020) Greg Seaton of (501-690-9166) said Greers Ferry Lake remains 3 feet above normal and the generation is scheduled for two generators running 24/7 starting Wednesday. This will probably continue for two to three days. At this time, it will go back to the two-units-for-12-hours schedule because the White River at Georgetown will be near flood stage. When there is a window to drift-fish ahead of the rising water, sowbugs, micro-jigs and large nymphs will be good fly choices.
“It has been a while since we have seen this amount of generation so please exercise caution if you are on the river,” Greg says. “Watch for underwater obstacles as well as docks and tree limbs. Do not approach docks and trees from the upstream side since this amount of current can capsize a boat or other watercraft.
Notice: Greg’s free fly-fishing class will again be offered at First United Methodist Church in Heber Springs for the eight year. The first class will be at 7 p.m. 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.

(updated 1-15-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the Little Red River is receiving 24 hours of generation daily. 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 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 465.37 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 1-15-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry lake is at 465.39 feet msl and going up and down a little with generation each day. It is 3.39 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl for this time of year. Overall the catching is good on all species all over lake and in rivers. Black bass can be caught from super shallow, on top, out to 60 feet using a variety of baits, rattle-style baits, jerkbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits or dragging bait. Crappie are coming in from trolling, and fishing straight up and down with minnows, jigs, crankbaits and Road Runners, all in 15-30 feet of water. No report on breamWalleye are being caught with jigheads tipped with minnows and on crankbaits, jerkbaits or with grubs in a variety of depths fished straight up and down or trolled. As for catfish, there have been no report since the storms. Hybrid and white bass are eating as well on inline spinners, grubs, hair jigs, spoons and topwater baits in depths ranging from 25 feet out to 60 feet. Stay around shad for best catches on any species.
Tommy also says, “Do not forget about Little Rock Boat show this weekend.” For more information go to He’ll be there.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 1-8-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reported the water clarity is muddy. The water level is normal. Most fishing has been poor. Crappie can still be caught with minnows in shallow water. Catfishing is poor. No reports on bream or bass.

Lake Overcup

NOTICE: AGFC employees and contractors using airboats conducted foliar applications of EPA-approved herbicide – causing 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 1-8-2020) Johnny “Catfish” Banks of Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said the water level is high by about 2 feet and clarity is good. The surface temperature is around 48 degrees. Bream are slow but still catching some on redworms. Bass are doing good around brush tops and structure, but just a few people are fishing lately. Catfish are being caught on jugs and yo-yos with bass minnows and crappie minnows. Crappie are being caught on yo-yos at night lately, catching a few early morning and late evening. Everything has been slow but should start picking up. Visit Johnny’s Facebook page (Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park) for any latest updates and photos.

Brewer Lake

(updated 1-15-2020) David Hall, owner of Dad’s Bait Shop (501-977-0303), had no report.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 1-15-2020) Westrock Landing (501-658-5598) on Highway 10 near Roland had no recent reports.

Sunset Lake

(updated 1-15-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said crappie have been biting fair on pink and No. 6 minnows as well as Bobby Garland Baby Shad Jigs in Gumdrop and Monkey Milk colors. Bass have been hitting minnows. Catfish have been slow, but a couple of customers had a good trip this week with No. 12 minnows and nightcrawlers and managed to get a limit of three each. Bream are biting slow.

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 1-15-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said catfish have been biting nightcrawlers, minnows and bait shrimp. Crappie fishing has been fair for some this week fishing late in the afternoon until dark. The bite has been best on No. 6 minnows for about the last 30-45 minutes of daylight. Bass will hit minnows as well and you’ll pick up a few while crappie fishing. Bream have been biting fair on worms and crickets but mostly small ones are being caught.

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 1-15-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) says the river has been clear and fishing has been tough lately, but fish have still been caught. Walleye fishing has been fair at night with brooder minnows. Bass have been biting minnows and crawdad-colored baits. Crappie fishing has been good with No. 6 minnows. Catfish have been a little slow but biting best at dusk on live minnows. Bream are plentiful and fun to catch with redworms and crickets. The recent rain raised the river to an unsafe level for a few days. Fishing should be great as soon as it drops to a safe level and is still slightly stained but not muddy.
Lisa also reports that a couple of groups and some individuals have been working hard recently to clean up debris and illegal dumpsites along the Saline River. “We appreciate that. Please, wherever you go, pick up your trash, and a little of someone else’s if you can, and report illegal dumping to the proper authorities. Nothing ruins an outdoor adventure like the sight of ugly trash and litter. Keep it clean and beautiful. Be safe and get out there and fish, hunt or just enjoy nature.”

Lake Norrell

(updated 1-15-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said some customers have been catching a few crappie on No. 6 minnows. They report catching good-sized fish but no big numbers. All they tell us is they are catching them in back in some coves. Bass fishing has been slow. Catfish have been biting fair on minnows, nightcrawlers and bait shrimp around some docks where they’re normally fed. Bream have been slow but a few of the big redear have been biting redworms.

Lake Winona

(updated 1-15-2020) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said she hasn’t heard many reports from Winona lately “but we have had some going there looking for crappie and walleye.” Winona is a great smaller lake that gets little fishing pressure compared to most area lakes due to its limited access. Those that know the lake do well there.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

(updated 1-15-2020) Charley’s Hidden Harbor at Oppelo (501-354-8080) had no report.

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

No report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 1-15-2020) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is muddy and level is high. Specifically, he notes that the river is “running red and creeks are muddy, too.” Catfishing is fair. Some people that live near Maumelle are catching some fish, he said. No other reports.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 1-15-2020) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) reports that the river is muddy and high. Last week, when conditions were better (dingy and at a normal level), crappie are being caught in fair numbers on minnows and jigs. Catfish are fair. Breamblack bass and white bass are poor.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 1-15-2020) Fish ‘N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) says the river is muddy and is high. There is a river advisory with an above small craft warning, as current flow on Tuesday early afternoon was 195,000 cfs. No catch reports this week.

(updated 1-15-2020) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) says that the river is running high and is muddy. When conditions were better the previous week in the main pool (dingy and normal level), crappie were fair on minnows and jigs. Catfishing are fair on skipjack. Sauger are everywhere, they reported, and were hitting black and pink jig. White bass were poor. Bream and bass were poor.

(updated 1-15-2020) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) had no reports. Conditions have been unfavorable for anglers.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas-River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 1-15-2020) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said cloudy conditions and high water have turned off the fishing, with poor reports across the board: breamcrappiebass and catfish all poor.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 1-15-2020) Herman’s Landing (870241-3731) is closed for hunting season and winter break. It will reopen in February.

White River (Augusta-Des Arc section)

(updated 1-15-2020) Angler William McCoy had no report.

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