Arkansas Game and Fish Weekly Fishing Report

The weekly fishing report brought to you by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission…

 

Lake Poinsett

Lake Poinsett State Park said bream fishing is good on worms and crickets in the shallow end of the lake. Catfishing is good in all areas of the lake on various types of bait. Bass and crappie fishing are fair and crappie can be caught on minnows and jigs.

Crown Lake

Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) said the water clarity is good and the lake is at a normal level. Bream fishing is good using crickets. Bass fishing is good with topwater baits early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Catfishing is good with chicken livers and shrimp.

Lake Frierson

Lake Frierson State Park said the lake level is falling slightly, but still near normal pool with water temperatures in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s. Bass have been fair on soft plastics and crankbaits during the day. Try a chartreuse or white buzzbait early or late near schooling shad in the mouths of coves or the main lake channel for some action. Bream are still being caught all around the lake, try small pieces of nightcrawlers or redworms fished under a float at varying depths. Catfish are still wrapping up the spawn and have been fair. Blue catfish have been biting well on cut bait or nightcrawlers and several fish over 15 pounds have come in over the last week. Channels and flatheads have been slow, but should be ready to feed soon after spawning.

Spring River

Mark Crawford with Spring River Flies and Guides said water levels are at 302 cfs at the spring and water clarity is clear. We are having some really great catching going on here at the Spring River with high numbers and big. Y2k’s, Guppies, Brownies and black and olive woollies are working great. Hot pink trout magnets and yellow and white rooster tails are doing great.

Berry Brothers Guide Service said the water level on 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 is in full swing and the canoeists can a problem. 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.

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the number of generators running has dropped from five to two with good water clarity. Fishing for rainbows has been great as usual and a flurry of browns were also caught over the weekend.

Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the hot spot has been the section from the State Park down to White hole. 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 been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). Some anglers have been fishing large streamers on the heavy flows we have been getting and having success. This requires heavy sink tip lines, heavy rods (eight weights or better) and advanced casting skills. The hot flies have been large articulated streamers in various colors. Hopper season has begun. These are tempting morsels for large trout. You need a stiff six weight rod and a stout seven and a half foot 4X leader. My favorite hopper patterns are the western style foam hoppers with rubber legs and a bright quick sight patch on the back. Dave’s hoppers are also a good choice but be sure to dress them with plenty of fly floatant to ensure that they ride high. A small nymph dropper can increase your takes. It is not uncommon to take more trout on the dropper. My favorite dropper flies are beadhead pheasant tails or zebra midges.

Buffalo River

Berry Brothers Guide Service said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are navigable and both are receiving a lot of pressure. 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 Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are navigable and both are receiving a lot of pressure. 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 660.86 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 654 msl).

 

Lake Norfork

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 556.01 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 552 msl, April-September – 554 msl).

Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had said fishing has been slow with the cold north winds lowering the water temperatures. However, the past week, warmer weather and south winds have come back and the fishing is improving. The stripers are on the feed and the best bait is a 7” gizzard shad. Robinson Point in the mid-lake area has been a good place to fish as the stripers continue to migrate south toward the dam. Fish on flats about 45 to 60 feet deep in 125 feet of water early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said the surface water temperature ranges from 81-82 degrees and the fish on Norfork Lake are transitioning to their normal summer pattern. Striper fishing has been good in the mid lake area down to the dam. We have caught stripers on live bait and by vertical jigging with a spoon. Most of the fish that I have found are in the old river channel 30 to 60 feet down suspended in 100 plus feet of water. I am fishing main lake points where the channel swings in and also deep water flats. You will need good electronics this time of year to mark the fish especially if you are vertical jigging. When I am vertical jigging I drop my spoon down to 30 feet and start to move around slowly with my trolling motor. I pull the spoon up a good 5 feet and let it free fall. If I mark fish deeper I drop the spoon down to their level, but be alert, as it is falling they suck it up so be ready to make a good hard hook set. When live bait fishing, I have had the best luck with large gizzard shad. I have been setting my bait at 30 – 45 feet down and moving around slowly with my trolling motor. Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has also been really good. I am finding these fish around 30 feet sunken brush piles, and main lake points in 20 – 30 feet of water. Early in the morning there still is some good top water action, so have your spook handy. Crank baits that go about 10 feet down are working as are standard Texas-rigged worms and jig & pigs worked slowly along the bottom. Crappie are on the move and you can find a few on the 30 feet brush, but most are starting to migrate out to deeper water and suspend along deep bluff water ridges. Catfishing has been good on rod and reel as well as jugs and trotlines. You can get them in about 20 feet or less of water with minnows and nightcrawlers.. The surface water temperature cooled to 81 – 82 degrees and climbing.

Guide Steve Olomon said the water clarity is good and temperatures are in the mid 80’s. Striper fishing is good and the fish are in their summer patterns. Look for fish in 40-50 feet of water as they are suspended in big schools. Bass are hitting topwater baits early in the morning and in the afternoons. After the sun gets up higher, fish with a jig, drop shot or Texas-rigged worm. Walleye fishing is fair and a few can be caught around hanging brush with spoons.

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 (870-453-2424) said there has been no wadable water on the Norfork. 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), some smaller caddis (size 18) and the crane flies are still coming off. 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.