Weekly Fishing Report for North, Northwest, and Northeast Arkansas

North Arkansas

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort said the water is clear and levels are up and down. In the morning, up to two units have been running but in the afternoon, six units have been running and water really gets rolling. Fishing has been good for browns using jigs and stick baits. Rainbow fishing has been excellent using drift rigs and spoons. There was a report of a lady catching over 100 rainbows in one day using shrimp.

Berry Brothers Guide Service  said we have had significant wadable water and the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The best time to fish is early morning or late in the afternoon; midday can be slow. The hot flies were prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold ribbed hare’s ears and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have also been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise).

 

Buffalo River

Berry Brothers Guide Service said with summer here, the smallmouths are active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

Crooked Creek

Berry Brothers Guide Service said with summer here, the smallmouths are active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 664.99 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 654 msl).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said the water temperature is in the lower 80s. Walleye fishing has been good this past week on crawler rigs in 15-30 feet trolled on bottom bouncers or Carolina-rigs. Topwater lures are catching bass in the early morning, late afternoon and during cloudy, rainy days. Soft plastics like tubes, craws and worms fished near the brush or old shore line are catching lots of bass. Crankbaits in shad or crawfish colors are working well casting or trolling on windy overcast days for bass and walleye.

Lake Norfork

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 560.06 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 552 msl, April-September – 554 msl).

Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the stripers are schooling and are on the feed. Fish have been caught mid-lake and at the lower end. The fish are feeding between 30 and 50 feet over open water ranging from 50 to 80 feet in the channel. Between five boats fishing with gizzard and shad, 40 to 45 stripers were caught. 19 of those fish were kept, and they ranged from 10 to 24 lbs. The lake is in great shape and the best fishing of the year will be from now till the end of summer.

Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said fishing continues to be outstanding and expects it to continue to be that way for the next couple of weeks. Topwater action has been great at sunrise and sunset with a lot of fish being caught on weighted flukes. Mid-day fishing is still good but you have to go deeper to catch them. The fish are in about 18-30 feet of water, so find some underwater brush at that depth and fish in it with a jig pig or a Texas-rigged worm. For night fishing, use a black spinnerbait. The catfish have moved into shallow water to feed; use shiners, small bluegill and nightcrawlers. Crappie are scattered and in deep water.

Guide Steve Olomon said the water temperature is in the upper 70s to the low 80s and fishing is good. The stripers are starting to go deeper in the 30-40 foot range. There are still a few fish busting baitfish in the mornings. Zara Spooks and soft jerk baits have worked well. The bass are coming up early and just before dark, feeding on baitfish. They will hit any topwater bait, but the most popular baits have been spooks and soft jerk baits. If the wind is blowing, crankbaits and spinnerbaits have been effective. Look for the white bass in coves about 25-40 feet deep and use a jigging spoon. Some walleye and catfish have been reported being caught on crickets and worms while bream fishing.

Campground News: Jordan Campground on Norfork Lake is open April 1-Oct. 1 and managed by Jordan Marina. Formerly run by the Army Corps of Engineers, Jordan Campground is a favorite of families camping on the south end of Norfork Lake and is the gateway to Sand Island and Jordan area beaches. This area also is a favorite of scuba divers, with 30 dive sites within 2 miles of the campground. Jordan Campground has 41 RV and tent sites; sites with 50-amp service and 30-amp service are available for $20 per night. The campground, adjacent to Jordan Marina, also features a swimming beach, picnic pavilion, boat launch and two restrooms. For more information, call (870) 499-7223 or Jordan Marina at (870) 499-7348.

Norfork Tailwater

Berry Brothers Guide Service  said here has been wadable water on the Norfork almost every day. The action has picked up somewhat. With significant wadable water on the White, the crowding has eased somewhat. The most productive flies have been small (size 20 or smaller) midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and Dan’s turkey tail emerger or soft hackles like my green butt or the partridge and orange. There has also been a sparse hatch of very small mayflies; reliable hatches of midges (try a size 22 parachute Adams for both) and some smaller caddis (size 18). Grasshoppers have started producing fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Olive woolly buggers have also accounted for a lot of trout. The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.

Northwest Arkansas

Beaver Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,125.13 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).

Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service  said striper fishing is fair with fish being caught on live shad fished on free lines and down lines from the surface to 25ft deep. Troll with small umbrella rigs with white grubs for clearer water, chartreuse for stained water. Three way rigs with Rapalas and Rogues are also producing. Try Rapala no. 9 Husky Jerks in black back or purple back colors and Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in 5-6 inch models. Casting Redfins and small umbrella rigs on windblown points is also producing some nice stripers. Casting Redfins, Rapalas and Rouges around rock piles on points and near timber are catching fish at night. Walleye are 4-8 feet deep and are headed back down river to the main lake after visiting spawning grounds. The rain slowed them down but they are recovering nicely and starting to feed. You can flatline troll with Cotton Cordell Spots, Hot-n-Tot’s, Wiggle Warts, Rapala Tail Dancers, Shad Raps, Reef Runners or Ripstiks in natural blue or black back combos in clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Jigging spoons around brush and rock piles are also producing.

Southtown Sporting Goods said the lake clarity is good and temperatures are now in the 70s. Bream fishing is excellent using worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is good especially at night under lights using jigs, plastic tubes in black and white colors and 2 inch grubs fished off of deep banks. Bass fishing is fair at night using black spinnerbaits. During the day, use plastic worms and topwater baits in the mornings. Catfishing is fair on jugs and trotlines baited with gold fish.

Jason Piper of JT’s Crappie Guide Service  said bass fishing has been good in the mornings and evenings using topwater plugs or buzz baits in and around the flooded brush along the bank. During the day, a Carolina rigged tube, lizard or worm fished over points and flats has been effective. Night fishing has picked up, and anglers have been successful using black/blue hula grubs along sloping gravel to chunk rock banks. Crappie fishing has been good and anglers can find them suspended around pole timber and over brush piles half way back in coves where the water hits 20 to 40 feet deep. A curly tail grub on a 1/16 oz. jighead has been producing well. At night, look for docks that have a light shining on the water, a few crappie can be caught in these locations using dark colored tubes and curly tail grubs or a minnow under a cork 5 to 10 feet deep. White River, Piney Creek, Eden Bluff, Monte-Ne and Ventris have all been good places to find crappie. Catfishing has picked up and fish have been caught using liver or worms from the bank at 12 bridge, Monte-Ne, Hickory Creek and the 412 bridge access.

Beaver Tailwater

Beaver Dam Store had no report this week.

Lake Elmdale

Lucky Key at Duck Camp Fishing Retreat had no report this week.

Lake Fayetteville

Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock  said the water clarity is good and the lake level is normal. Bream fishing is good using worms and crickets. Crappie are very slow. Bass fishing is good using plastic worms and topwater baits.

Lake Sequoyah

Lake Sequoyah Boat Dock (479-444-3475) said the water is clear and 80 degrees. Bream fishing is good using worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is good using minnows and jigs. Bass fishing is good using spinnerbaits and topwater baits in the morning. Catfishing is excellent with any live bait but shad and livers have worked especially well.

Prairie Grove Lake

Dennis Kruse said the fish have settled into their normal summer patterns. Bass are good early in the morning on topwaters and spinnerbaits. In the afternoon, switch to jerk baits, crankbaits and Carolina-rigged worms. Crappie are being caught on minnows and jigs fished shallow early in the morning, and then deeper off the points after the sun comes up. Bream are still doing well in shallow water using worms and crickets. Catfish have been caught on live bait and commercial dough bait.

Northeast Arkansas

Lake Poinsett

Lake Poinsett State Park said fishing is slow but there are some reports of good fishing on different parts of the lake. Bream are biting well on crickets and worms on the shallow end of the lake. Catfishing is good using a variety of baits but they seem to be hitting goldfish and minnows the most right now. Some small bass have been caught on minnows and artificial lures.

Crown Lake

Boxhound Marina said the water clarity is good and the lake is at a normal level. Bream fishing is good using crickets and worms. Crappie fishing is fair in deep water as deep as 18 feet. Bass fishing is good using topwater baits and 10 inch worms. Catfishing is fair and a few have been seen caught around their beds.

Lake Frierson

Lake Frierson State Park said the water is at a normal level and the temperature is in the 70s. Catfish have been good on nightcrawlers, cut bait, minnows and dip bait. Blue cats and channel cats are being caught on the bottom and under floats about 2-5 feet deep. Flatheads are starting to bite better on jugs baited with small bream, minnows and goldfish. Bass have been fair to good with most of the fish being caught in shallow water on soft plastics and crankbaits. Bream have been good all along the shoreline on crickets and small pieces of nightcrawlers or redworms.

Spring River

Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are running at 340 cfs, the water clarity is clear and the trout are biting great. Guppies and Brownie woolly’s are doing great and Y2Ks are the best later in the day when the bite slows down. On some of the tougher trout that are visible but seem to ignore what the other trout want, a simple hackle fly in a size 12-10 works great. Hot pink and candy corn Trout Magnets and yellow and white Rooster Tails are also working great.

Berry Brothers Guide Service said the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season will began last weekend, so fish the upper river at the Lassiter Access to avoid them. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.