Arkansas fishing report of Feb. 25

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission fishing report of Feb. 25.


Lake Conway: The lake level has fallen a bit, but it's at normal level and the clarity is good. Bream are fair. Crappie are biting well on pink minnows and silver shiners. Bass are fair. Catfishing is slow.

Crappie are biting well 4-8 feet deep on chartreuse and red/chartreuse tube jigs and rosy red minnows. Redear are hitting small jigs and redworms fished 2-feet deep. Catfishing is slow.

Little Red River: The water is clear and at normal levels. One to two generators are running each day. Trout fishing is excellent on gold spoons.

Greers Ferry power house has been releasing water every day for the last four weeks. Lately, releases have been from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.This protocol creates wading opportunities at Winkley Shoal from dawn until 9 a.m. When rising water arrives, wade fishermen can relocate downstream to Libby Shoal until the high water arrives around 10:30-11:00 a.m. Trout feed underwater 90% of the time, making nymphs, larvae, pupae, crustaceans and emergers their largest food sources. Midges continue to be the prominent bug coming off these days.Caddis flies and March brown mayflies should be hatching in the near future. The dry flies of choice include midge (size 22; cream or black), crackleback (size 14) or para adams (size 18).Sub-surface attractors include sowbug (size 14-size 16; tan, olive, UV tan, UV light gray, peacock), zebra midge (size 16-size 22; red, copper or black), San Juan worm (size 14; red or fl. cerise), egg pattern (size 12-size 14; roe or salmon), red butt soft hackle (size 14-size 18) or woolly bugger (size 8-size 12; olive, brown or black).

Greers Ferry: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 462.78 feet MSL.

Water level is falling and the water temperature ranges from 44 to 50 degrees. The walleye bite is hit or miss, but some warm sunny days will put it in full swing, especially the night bite. The best baits to try are crankbaits and jigs tipped with minnows. Crappie are still biting well in the pole timber sitting in 15-20 feet of water on jigs tipped with minnows. No report on bream or catfish. Hybrids and white bass are staging to make their run up the rivers and can be caught on spoons, swim baits and in-line spinners throughout the lake. Use your electronics to find them around the mouths of the rivers and nearby coves in the main lake. Bass are on the move, and are starting their pre-spawn feeding binge. Look along the first drop from the banks near creeks and river channels. Rat-L-Traps, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jerk baits fished along the edge of the channels will catch quite a few. During colder days, fish the deeper end of the drops with Carolina rigs and jigs.

Water is high and clear. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits fished around brush piles. Walleye have moved into the river arms and are biting fairly well on minnows. Bream, crappie and catfish are slow.

Harris Brake Lake: Water is clear and high. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on jigs fished around stumps and rocky areas. Bass are fair on jigs fished in and around brush. Catfishing is poor.

Lake Overcup: Water is muddy. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on minnows fished around brush piles. Bass and catfish are slow.

Water is at normal levels. Bream are fair on redworms and wax worms fished around brush. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around points. Bass are slow. Catfishing is good on yo-yos.

Brewer Lake: Water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are fair on redworms fished around brushy areas. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around brush. Catfishing is good on yo-yos. Bass are slow.

Lake Maumelle: Water is 10 inches above the spillway and the water temperature was 48 degrees at the gas dock at 8 a.m. Monday. Black bass are moving to shallow areas and are beginning to hit on jerk baits and jigs. Deeper in the channels, largemouths are biting jig/pig combos and spoons fairly well. A tournament held on Saturday had four boats with 11-pound stringers. Kentucky bass are biting fairly well, but light, in water 20-30 feet deep on tubes and jigs. White bass are biting excellently, and the spring run has begun. The chimney area and on the west side of the bridge near where the channel turns north are good fishing areas. Use Rattling Rogues, Vibric Rooster Tails and Storm Swim shads for best results. Crappie are biting well on 1/32-oz. jigs fished 25-30 feet deep. Bream are slow, but a few have been caught on worms fished 25-30 feet deep. Saugeye are fair 15-20 feet deep on Road Runners and jigs near the west end of the lake. Catfishing is fair from 25-30 feet and are hitting on worms and prepared baits.

Bream and crappie are slow. Bass are biting fairly well on the west end of the lake near the bridge. Catfishing is slow.

Lake Valencia: Water is fairly clear and at normal levels. Bream are fair on worms. Bass are fair on soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is fair on worms.

Sunset Lake: Water is clear and at normal level. Bream are poor. Crappie are biting well on jigs fished around brush. Bass are biting well on black/brown jigs. Catfishing is slow.

Saline River Access in Benton: Water is muddy and high. Bream are fair on crickets and jigs fished around the banks. Crappie are slow. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Catfishing is slow.

Arkansas River at Morrilton: High flows and rough weather has kept many anglers off the river. Stripers below Lock 9 have been biting well on live bait floated 6 feet deep. Catfishing is good on a shad/nightcrawler combo fished in deep holes. Kentucky bass are biting in the afternoons on rock jetties on crayfish-colored crankbaits. No report on crappie, bream or white bass.

Arkansas River in Little Rock: Crappie are biting fairly well in 8-10 feet of water on black/chartreuse and red/chartreuse jigs around rocky areas on the backside of jetties.

Crappie are biting well around Burns Park, Fourche Creek, the Big Maumelle River and the Little Maumelle River. Bass fishing is good in the Big Maumelle and Little Maumelle as well as Palarm Creek. Catfishing is good around the main channel near Murray Lock and Dam. Bream are fair throughout the backwater areas.

Water is muddy below Terry Lock and Dam. Crappie are fair on jigs fished around deep brush. Bass are fair on jigs fished around rocky areas on the bank. Catfishing and bream fishing are slow.

Clear Lake: Water is at normal level and is fairly clear. Crappie are fair on pink minnows fished around brush. Bass are fair on jigs fished around brush. Catfishing and bream fishing are both slow.

Peckerwood Lake: Water is low and muddy. Bream and crappie are slow. Bass are fair on yo-yos hung around brush. Catfishing is fair on yo-yos baited with prepared baits.

Pickthorne Lake: Catfishing is good. Bass fishing is fair. Crappie are fair. Bream fishing is fair.


White River: Generation has been high and constant, causing zero wadable water on the upper white. The major action in the area has been on the upper White from a boat. The shad kill occurs when there are low temperatures are coupled with high levels of generation. Watch for gulls feeding in the dam discharge to signal that the shad are coming through. The most effective flies have been white marabou jigs and white beadhead woolly buggers. For fishing this area during high levels of generation, I generally use long 4X tippets (a 12-foot leader tippet combination). Use plenty of lead to get the fly down and a big strike indicator to float it all. When you are fishing in this area, please be careful and do not drag chains through the redds. Disturbing them could destroy the wild brown trout eggs recently deposited there. We do not want to eliminate the next generation of wild brown trout. In addition, dragging chains in high water is dangerous. If the chain grabs the bottom, it could easily swamp the boat. The catch & release section at Rim Shoals has been spotty. One day it fishes well and the next day it is not as productive. This is the area that has wadable water available as long as they are generating below seventeen thousand cubic feet per second. To access these spots contact Gary Flipin at Rim Shoals Trout Dock to ferry you to wadable water with his water taxi.

Mountain River Fly Shop said the shad kill was very good on the White last week, but with a warming trend for the next week, we can expect the shad action to slow. Stay tuned as cooler temperatures, plus higher flows will have the shad back. The low-water fishing has been very good on the upper White. We have heard good things from Cotter upstream to the dam. Black and silver Zebra Midges have been reliable and we scored some nice fish on Davy's Whitetail Black Silver 14 wading in one unit of water. Sowbugs continue to be very successful, with patterns from Davy Wotton and Clint Wilkinson plus the McLellan's Woven V-Rib Sowbug.

Sportsman's White River Report (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and high, with five generators running. Trout fishing is good on jigs and frozen shad.

White River (Below Cartney Access): Jim Brentlinger at Linger's Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said the generators at Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes have been running almost around the clock. Bull Shoals is running all eight generators and Norfork running their two. The fishing has been relatively steady from Norfork down to Calico Rock and you see some left over dead shad that have come from Bull Shoals. There are not enough shad in the water to get the trout to go on a feeding frenzy but you will have good luck using white jigs and gold spinners. In this heavy water, tie on a magnum Rattling Rogue in blue/silver/orange. This will usually bring the big fish of the day, just be patient and keep casting.

Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 657.13 feet MSL.

Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 554.93 feet MSL.

Norfork Tailwater: There has been heavy generation on the Norfork with no safe wading possible. Dry Run Creek has received a bit more pressure lately. The warmer temperatures on some days have tempted a few young anglers and they were rewarded with some great trout. The dominant food source is sowbugs. San Juan worms in worm brown and olive woolly buggers have also accounted for some nice fish. Be sure and pinch down those barbs. It is the law. I always carry a big net as most trophy trout are lost at the net. Don't forget the camera. The fish of a lifetime deserves a great photograph.

With two generators running, Berkley Power Bait has been producing steadily. The best lures in the catch & release area are 1/8-oz. White River Zig Jigs and Black/Gold no. 7 and no.9 Rapalas with single, barbless hooks. You will miss several with only the one hook but stay with it and it will pay off.


Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 1,122.00 feet MSL.

Bass have been a bit lethargic, but a few have been biting suspending rouges in clown, chrome/black and bone. Fish along windblown points with timber. On warmer afternoons, try a spinnerbait along laydowns and stumps. Crappie fishing has been OK up either river arm. Blue Springs has been a good place to fish. Try working a tube jig under a cork 3-6 feet deep around visible cover in the afternoons and in the mornings try slow-rolling a curly tail grub on a 1/16-oz. jighead along the creek ledge 10-20 feet deep. White bass have been caught on main points up both rivers 10-25 feet deep on small grubs and jigging spoons.

Water is high and muddy. Bream are fair on crickets. Crappie are fair on jigs. Bass are fair on jigs and spinnerbaits swum through brush. Catfishing is slow.

Lake Fayetteville: Water is at normal levels and is clear. Bram are fair on crappie jigs fished deep. Crappie are slow. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished around brush. Catfishing is slow.


Crown Lake: Water is at normal levels and the clarity is fair. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around brush. Bass and catfish are slow.

Lake Frierson: Lake Frierson State Park will be closed until the end of March because of ice damage.

Spring River: P power is back on in the area, and the fallen trees have been cleared and the roads opened. The fishing has been excellent. The past storm has kept anglers off the water and now is the time to get out there and have some fun. The warmer weather has made for some great bug hatches coming out of the water in the morning and just before dusk.


Lake Chicot: Bass are slow. Crappie are really picking up, with best reports coming from Ditch Bayou, Connerly Bayou and the gravel pit on minnows. Bream have been doing well on wax worms and crickets.

Lake Monticello: Bass fishing is picking up on Lake Monticello. The surface temperature is in the low to mid-50s. The bass are trying to move up with the warming temperatures. There have been decent numbers caught in the 4- to 8-ft. range. Brush hogs in watermelon and watermelon/red have worked well. Also, there have been a few fish coming in on shad-colored crankbaits. Fish have been seen cruising the shallows on really warm days, but it isn't a regular pattern, yet.


Millwood Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 260.17 feet MSL.

Clarity along main lake channel and Little River improved. The lake level is 2-inches above normal pool, and slowly falling. The main lake and Little River's water surface temperature ranges from 48-52 degrees. The current decreased to 1,548 CFS and main lake clarity is about 8-10 inches away from any remaining current in Little River. River clarity is 6-9 inches. Millwood State Park has one operational boat ramp and one still under repair. The level of bass activity is heating up. Bass from 3 to 10 pounds are in pre-spawn mode and are being caught on 3/4- to 1-ounce Rat-L-Traps and slow-rolled spinnerbaits in the heat of the afternoon. Toledo Gold, Millwood Magic, or Red Shad colors are working the best, especially when deflected off stumps, laydowns and other woody cover. Wacky-rigged Bass Assassin trick worms and charm worms fished slowly around hydrilla, lily pad stems, and pondweed are working randomly. The best trick worm colors are sherbet and merthiolate for stained water and salt 'n pepper silver phantom in clear water. The best jig colors thus far have been metallic amber/pumpkinseed, peanut butter and jelly and Texas Craw. Pitching jigs to stumps or cypress tree knees, near deep water is working along Little River and in the main lake. White bass continue biting well in McGuire Oxbow up Little River. Whites were best on 1/2- or 3/4-oz. Rat-L-Traps in Diamond Dust, Millwood Magic, and Red Craw colors. A few more Crappie fishermen were out early this week with the warm weather. Crappie are beginning to bunch up and bite again with the clearer water this week. Best bet for the past week, were on Blakemore Roadrunners in white and chartreuse colors in stained water and around cypress trees, or in planted brush piles on Tiny Tubes or 2-inch Bass Assassin Shads in Electric Chicken. Start around cypress trees in any major creek, and watch your electronics for bait fish or stacked Crappie around the deeper drop depths. Channel cats and Blue cats continue to bite fairly well, and have been caught on trotlines a nd yo-yos along Little River. Catfish are biting well on cut shad, hot dogs and homemade blood bait near any current along Little River.

Lake Greeson: Catching crappie up to 3 pounds (2-2.5 pounds daily) and bass up to 4.5 pounds as shallow as 8 feet deep in 15 feet of water and as deep as 22 feet deep in 32 feet of water. Live bait or jigs have been working equally well. Fish tight to the brush piles. The Lake level is 540.5 msl and the surface temperature is 49.

DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation was 405.61 feet MSL.

Water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are fair on redworms in 20 to 30 feet of water. Crappie and bass are slow. Catfishing is fair on live bait.

Surface temperature is 50 degrees. Largemouth bass are fair on watermelonseed and green pumpkin 1/2-oz. cannon ball jigs and Zoom super chunk trailers fished 18-25 feet deep around main-lake points. Spinnerbaits and rattling Hot Spots fished on flats and humps are catching a few fish as well. In the upper lake, crayfish-colored crankbaits are catching a few fish. Hybrids and white bass are fair on 3/4-oz. spoons, red or gray bucktail jigs and shad-colored crankbaits fished around flats near 20 feet of water. Crappie are biting well on Tennessee shad-colored grubs fished around brush piles in 12-20 feet of water.


Lake Dardanelle: Limits on catfish have been easier in the evenings. Whole and cut shad are the baits of choice. Bass have been biting fairly well along the banks. Crappie fisherman have reported keeper bass caught while jigging. Limits of crappie have been hard to find, but the fish being caught are larger than average.

Ozark Pool: Water is at normal level and is fairly clear. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Bass are slow. Catfishing is fair on cut bait below the dam.

Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 573.48 feet MSL.

Really scattered with the cold fronts. Some are making their way shallow and some moved deep. Covering water with a crankbait or spinnerbait will improve your chances connecting with a few fish. A red Rat-L-Trap is still producing, as is a Rattling Rogue.

Water is 46-49 degrees and clear. Largemouth bass are still very good and these fish can be caught on green pumpkin or black/blue jigs and Rat-L-Traps. White spinnerbaits fished along the outside edge of the moss are working. Try main lake points in water 20-30 feet deep. Walleye are fair and being caught on spoons over brush piles on main lake points. These fish will be staging to spawn soon. Stripers are still good on live shad, trotline minnows, 3/4-oz spoons and gray hair jigs. Bream are fair on worms and crickets in 18-25 feet of water. Crappie are good and being caught over brush. Try brush in water 15-30 feet deep. Minnows or crappie grubs in Tennessee shad and white are working well. Catfish are still slow and being caught on cut bait and live bait on jug lines and trotlines.

Lake Hamilton: Hamilton is still producing many small fish. Throw a brown/orange crankbait for numbers and a hard jerk bait for larger fish.

Lake Catherine: Rainbow trout fishing below Carpenter Dam continues to be hot. Guided trips regularly catch 50 trout and numbers have gone over 100 when conditions were right. Water temperature is holding at 48 degrees and the water is clear from the bridge to the dam. The best fishing has been when the turbines are not running; however, many fish have been caught during generation. Fly-anglers have done well concentrating their efforts on both channels where visible current draws insect activity. Olive woolly buggers and red San Juan worms have hooked quality trout while these fish search for prey. Strike indicators help keep the baits at the right depth and also assist in casting. Gray and white micro jigs offer another proven fly to the mix. Bank anglers casting wax worms and meal worms are recording limits of trout in short order. Floated up off the bottom with marshmallows or fished under a cork both worm presentations are deadly. Boaters anchoring in the current around rock piles and submerged islands have done the most catching, as trout in great numbers are holding behind structure in the channels looking for relief from the current. White Rooster Tails and Super Dupers in silver or gold are perfect threadfin shad imitators. Trolled small crankbaits that resemble shad or crawfish have taken the largest trout measuring over 18 inches. The walleye run is in full swing with both males and large females are present in the tailrace. Trolling has proven to be the most effective method of hooking these spawning fish. Fishermen need to experiment with crankbaits that run just above the bottom and then slow troll these baits over the spawning areas. Female walleye weighing over 7 pounds have been caught, but most of the fish are between 3 and 4 pounds. Striper activity has picked up in the last week with most of the action taking place right before sunset. Fish over 20 pounds have been seen the shallow water chasing trout and shad. Soft-plastic baits over 7 inches will entice these large predators into strik ing when they refuse hard-sided baits.

Lake Hinkle: Water is clear and at normal levels. Crappie are fair on jigs fished vertically in brush. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and live minnows. Catfishing and bream fishing are both slow.

Lake Atkins: Water is clear. Catfishing is good on worms, minnows and blood bait. All other species are slow.


Tri-County Lake: Crappie fishermen are having luck on shiners fished around 6 feet deep off channel bends. Bass were biting well on small (less than 1/4-oz.) black/blue jigs and medium-running crankbaits.

Ouachita River Oxbows: Fishing was fair for bass in the Ouachita oxbows on black/blue jigs and small medium-diving crankbaits in 5-7 feet of water.


Arkansas River at Pine Bluff: Water is muddy and high. Bream are biting well on worms, crickets and wax worms around brush and rocks. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs fished around brush and stumps. Bass are fair on crankbaits and soft-plastic worms fished around rocky areas and stumps. Catfishing is good on cut bait and worms.

White River: Water is high and fairly clear. Bass fishing is fair on minnows. Walleye have moved into spawning areas and can be caught on minnows fished around rocky points in the river. Crappie and bream are slow.

Maddox Bay: Water is fairly clear and at normal levels. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around brush. Bass and catfish are slow.

Bear Creek Lake: Water is clear and at normal level. All species are slow.

Island 40 Chute: Water is clear and at normal levels. All species are slow.

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