LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Game and Fish Commission weekly fishing report of March 4:
Lake Conway: Water is stained and at normal level. Bream are fair on redworms and crickets fished around brush and stumps. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished around brush. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft-plastic worms fished around brush and rocks. 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. Bass are picking up. Catfishing is slow.
Little Red River: Water is low and fair with little generation. Trout fishing is good on wax worms, Power Bait, marshmallows and corn.
Greers Ferry power house continues its pattern of morning and afternoon water releases. Most days, releases are 6:10a.m. and 5:10p.m. This makes wade fishing possible every morning at Winkley Shoal from dawn until 9 a.m. and until 10:30-11 a.m. further downstream at Libby Shoal. After a leisurely lunch, wading at JFK Park near the dam is possible until the horn sounds at 5 p.m., signaling the beginning of the afternoon water release. Aquatic insect hatches continue as in prior weeks with midges being the primary players. Good dry flies to try include midge (size 22 or smaller in cream or black), para adams (size 18) and crackleback (size 14). Sub-surface flies that are working inlcude the sowbug (sizes 14-16; tan, olive, UV tan, UV light gray and peacock), chronic (size 14), zebra midge (sizes 16-22; red, black or copper), egg pattern (sizes 12-14; roe, watermelon or salmon), red butt soft hackle (sizes 14-18) or woolly bugger (sizes 8-12; olive, brown or black).
Greers Ferry: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 461.40 feet MSL.
Water level is still on the rise and the water temperature ranges from 46 to 50 degrees. The walleye bite is on, but it will be over quickly until the lake walleye spawn and the river walleye return to the lake for the big feed. Try a jighead tipped with a minnow or grubs, jerk baits and crankbaits at night.
White bass and hybrids that were upriver retreated to the mouths after the cold, have suspended and are hard to catch. Try spoons, in-line spinners and grubs for all the action and even some swim baits. Crappie are biting very well with many limits coming on jigs and minnows next to the banks. The bass are biting well this week on jerk baits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
Water is clear and high. Bream fishing is good on worms. Crappie fishing is slow. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits and soft-plastics fished around the shoreline. Catfishing is slow. Walleye have moved into the river arms and are biting fairly well.
Harris Brake Lake: Water is high and clear. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well on minnows fished around the brush. Bass are biting well on soft-plastics fished around rocks in 3 to 4 feet of water. Catfishing and bream fishing are slow.
Lake Overcup: Water is muddy. All species are slow.
Water is clear and high. Bream are fair on redworms and wax worms fished around the bank. Crappie are biting well on minnows fished from yo-yos hung near the banks. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on cut bait and minnows.
Brewer Lake: Water is clear and at normal level. Bream are fair on wax worms and redworms fished around brush. Crappie are fair on minnows and white jigs fished near shallow brush. Bass are biting decently on buzzbaits bumped next to woody cover. Catfishing is fair on yo-yos baited with cut bait.
Lake Maumelle: Water level is 4 inches above the spillway and the surface temperature at the gas dock was 48 degrees Sunday morning. Largemouth bass are moving to shallow areas and are biting fairly well on jerk baits and jigs. Kentucky bass are biting fairly well on tubes and jigs fished 20 to 30 feet deep. White bass are excellent. The spring run has started. On the west side of the bridge and in the chimney area, anglers are doing very well on Rattlin' Rogues, Storm Swim Shads and Vibric Rooster Tails. Crappie fishing is good around 15 to 20 feet deep on minnows and 1/32-oz. jigs. Bream are slow. Saugeye fishing is fair, with some fish moving to the west end of the lake and hitting Road Runners and jigs in 15 to 20 feet of water. Catfishing is fair. They are hitting worms and prepared baits in 25 feet of water.
Water is high. Bass fishing is fair on jigs and top-water stick baits during the heat of the day in the creeks. All other species are slow.
Lake Valencia: Bream are biting well on worms. Crappie are poor. Bass are fair on minnows fished near the bank. Catfishing is poor to fair on liver.
Sunset Lake: Water is stained and at normal levels. Crappie are fair on red jigs fished in brush 12 to 15 feet deep. Bass are biting well on black/blue jigs fished around rocks and brush in 10 to 14 feet of water. Catfishing is slow. Bream fishing is slow.
Saline River Access in Benton: Turbyfill's Outdoor Sports (501-315-3061) said the water is muddy and high. All species are slow.
Arkansas River at Morrilton: Few people are on the river because of the weather. Crappie are biting well below Lock 9 on the generator side on minnows fished 6 feet deep. Red/chartreuse jigs fished around rocks in 2 to 4 feet of water around Copper's Gap are also catching some crappie. Catfishing is good on whole shad fished in deep holes below locks 9 and 10. Some large drum are being caught on crayfish-colored jigs fished around riprap on the inside edge of jetties. Stripers are biting well below the dams and at creek mouths on Sassy Shads. Kentucky bass are biting well on live crayfish fished around riprap in late afternoon. No report on bream.
Arkansas River in Little Rock: Water is stained and at normal levels. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on jigs fished near stumps. Bass and catfish are slow.
Bream and crappie are biting well around Burns Park. Crappie fishing also is good around Fourche La Fave, Fourche Creek, Palarm Creek and the big and little Maumelle rivers. 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. Fishing is slow for all species.
Clear Lake: Water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are slow. Crappie are biting well in 4 to 5 feet of water on pink minnows fished along the bank. Bass and catfish are 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: Bream fishing is fair. Catfishing is fair. Bass and crappie are biting well on crappie minnows.
White River: Pattern on the White was for heavy generation around the clock. Last week the conditions created a perfect storm and the shad kill kicked into high gear. This has been the best one that has occurred in several years with the trout absolutely keying in on the shad. 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 12-foot 4X tippets. Use plenty of lead to get the fly down and a big strike indicator to float it all. The shad kill has been so heavy that at times the trout were gorged on shad and quit feeding. When you find yourself in this situation, drift downstream until you encounter feeding fish. There have been reliable reports of excellent fishing from Bull Shoals down to Rim Shoals. The catch & release section at Rim Shoals 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. The cost is nominal. Below Rim Shoals, concentrate on conventional high-water tactics. Brightly colored San Juan worms and egg patterns dead drifted along banks and over weedbeds with a lot of extra lead and big strike indicators. The hot technique for the big browns is to bang the bank with sculpin patterns on sink tip and full sinking lines. Kiwi muddlers, zoo cougars and Mengle's Ozark sculpins would be good fly choices.
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.
Water is clear and two generators are running. Trout fishing is good on worms and Power Bait. Some good fish up to 11 pounds were caught last week.
White River (Below Cartney Access): The area from Shipps Ferry to Reds Landing has been relatively slow compared to usual. You can always catch your limit by going to the bottom with Power Bait, corn or worms, but it may take a while. You also can use Rapalas or Zig Jigs and catch a limit, but you must make a lot of casts. The big fish of the day will most always come on the Rapala during tough conditions. Casting toward the bank when there is high water is always the most productive.
Bull Shoals Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 653.86 feet MSL.
Lake Norfork: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 552.01 feet MSL.
Water temperature varies from the upper 40s to low 50s. Crappie fishing has been fair with some days being good. White bass fishing has been good. Bass fishing has been good for largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky bass. Walleye fishing has been fair on the Red Bank side of the lake. They are moving up the river channel and into the creeks for the spawn time. Striper fishing has been slow. Catfishing has been slow.
Norfork Tailwater: Norfork has fished a bit better of late. Generation has still made wading impossible. There has been no report of a shad kill here, but anglers have reported success with white jigs and white woolly buggers. There have been some big browns caught on large streamers cast at the bank. You do not catch a lot of fish this way but you can hook up with some really big trout. This is the best way to catch large browns.
Long Hole to the confluence has been off more than on. The action has been more consistent on the White River on a fly rod or spinning rod with artificial baits. The catch & release area will produce some fish on San Juan worms, egg patterns and beadhead sow bugs, but it has been slow.
Beaver Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 1,120.41 feet MSL.
Bass fishing has been slow. Try using suspending stick baits around stick ups close to main-lake points. Good colors have been black/silver, clown and bone. A crayfish-imitating jig has worked when fished along steep rocky banks very slowly. Crappie fishing has been slow also. The best place to wet a line has been from 412 bridge upstream to Neal's Bluff. Try a tube jig or a minnow under a cork set 2 to 4 feet deep and fish it around visible cover on warm, sunny afternoons. On cloudy days or in the morning try a Shineee Hineee jig fished beside pole timber close to the channel. White bass have been collecting on points upstream in either river arm. Try a curl tail grub on a 1/8-oz. jighead or a jigging spoon once some fish have been located.
Water is clear and warming. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on jigs fished in 8 to 12 feet of water. Bass are fair on crankbaits and white jigs fished around open water. Catfishing is slow.
Crown Lake: Water is stained and at normal levels. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished around rocky points in 10 to 12 feet of water. Bass are fair on jigs fished around deep drops near 20 feet of water. Catfishing is slow. Bream fishing is slow.
Lake Frierson: Lake Frierson State Park will be closed until the end of March because of ice damage.
Spring River: Fishing has been very good through the week. Water has cleared up well with water flows just about perfect. Weekend fishing has produced large crowds because of high generation on other rivers, but fishing has still been good off the beaten path. Cotton candy (a shrimp-imitating pattern) was good all week. Mayfly emergers, brownies and brown super buggers were the ticket during the weekend. Warm weather in the forecast promises excellent fishing again this week.
Lake Chicot: Not many anglers have been on the lake for the last week because of high winds. The few that were fishing were catching crappie on minnows and jigs. The catfish are starting to bite. Bream are biting well on crickets and wax worms. No report on bass.
Lake Chicot State Park said bass and crappie are biting well. Catfish are picking up, but it's sporadic. Catfish are touch & go with some people not catching any, but one angler caught two catfish larger than 40 pounds. There is a lot of boating activity on the lake.
Lake Monticello: The temperatures are nice. The dogwoods are blooming and you guessed it, the bass are moving shallow on Lake Monticello. The surface temperature has been warming and is in the mid-50s. There are bass biting in 2 to 6 feet of water. Spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and soft plastics have been the best producers for the last few days. Texas- and Carolina-rigged lizards in natural colors such as watermelon and pumpkinseed have been best.
Millwood Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 259.40 feet MSL.
Millwood Lake Guide Service said the warmer water and longer days are improving the fishing. Main lake and Little River water surface temperature ranges from 49-54 degrees. Current decreased to 774 cubic feet per second as of Monday, March 2. Visibility is 3-5 inches in areas without current. Many river buoys are missing between Yarborough Point and Outlaw Trail, so use caution when navigating. Millwood State Park has one boat ramp still under repair. Bass from 3 to 6 pounds are improving between cold fronts, and are fair to good. The bite remains the best during the warmest hours of the day on slow moving, 3/4- to 1-ounce Rat-L-Traps and slow-rolled heavy thumping spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Toledo Gold, Millwood Magic or Red Shad are the best Rat-L-Trap colors. Bass Assassin trick worms, charms, or Senkos wacky rigged, around hydrilla, lily pad stems, and pondweed are working randomly. The best colors for Charm Assassins and trick worms are sherbet or merthiolate in stained water and watermelon/red or salt 'n pepper silver phantom in the clearer water. Don't overlook underwater points in Little River where creek junctions dump into the river. The best jig colors have been metallic amber/pumpkinseed, Texas Craw, or black/blue. Pitching jigs and bulky 8" to 10" mag-tail rib-worms to stumps or cypress tree knees, near deep water is working along Little River and in the main lake. White bass continue biting with total abandon between cold fronts during the last two to three weeks 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 and on 1/2-oz. Rooster Tails in chrome/red or white. Crappie are beginning to bunch up and bite again with the clear water. The best bet during the last week, continued on Blakemore Roadrunners, or Rocket Shads, in white and chartreuse in stained water areas of creeks with current, around cypress trees, or in planted brush piles on Tiny Tubes or 2" 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 drops. Channel catfish and blue catfish continue to bite fairly well, and have been caught on trotlines and yo-yos, along Little River. Blues, mud cats and channel cats in the 8-12 pound range are biting well on cut shad, chicken livers and Catfish Charlie near any current along Little River.
Lake Greeson: Water level is 541.37 msl. The water temperature is near 50 degrees and will warm quickly with warm days and nights. Crappie and bass in the 10- to 12-inch range are excellent around brush in 6 feet of water during the afternoon. Stripers have been caught 20-30 feet deep in the main channel near Point 11.
DeGray Lake: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation was 405.39 feet MSL.
White bass and walleye are starting their annual spawning run up the Caddo River. Several large white bass and walleyes (up to 5 pounds) have been caught about a mile above Amity Landing. The best lures are 1/8- to 1/4-oz. twister tail grubs and hair jigs. White and chartreuse are the best colors. A few smallmouth bass also are showing up. The cold weather scattered the fish in the last few days, but with warmer weather the fish will resume their upriver spawning run. Hybrids are still scarce, but will improve with warmer weather and water. Crappie fishing is fair, with some reports coming from Beaton Creek. Look for brush piles in 25 to 28 feet. Fish a 1/16-oz. hair jig just above the brush. As always red/chartreuse and black/chartreuse are working best. Although no reports have come from it lately, Point Cedar Creek can be excellent for crappie. Very few reports of any decent bass activity; the cold weather has them inactive.
Water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around standing timber in 30 feet of water. Bass are fair on crankbaits fished 15 to 25 feet deep around rocky points near creek mouths. Catfishing is slow.
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 stained and at normal levels. Bream are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs fished in 12 feet of water around backwater areas. Bass are slow. Catfish are biting fairly well on worms.
Lake Ouachita: As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation at 572.69 feet MSL.
Many good fish have been caught, in spite of the cold weather. Most fish being caught are coming on Carolina-rigged lizards and Rattlin' Rogues fished near the edges of grass and near standing timber.
Lake Catherine: The rainbow trout fishing has to be experienced to be believed. Guided trips routinely catch more than 50 fish with numbers closer to 100 when conditions are right. Trout measuring 18 inches have been caught and released with all of the population healthy and thriving. March will be another very good month to fish for rainbows as the weather improves and the stocking program continues to provide quality trout. Water temperature hovers in the mid-40s and drops a few degrees as you approach the dam. Clarity has been good with anglers being able to see schools of fish feeding. Fly fishermen are still able to wade to areas that hold fish and are having success casting olive woolly buggers with a strike indicator. Small white streamers have become a hot item as the trout actively search for injured threadfin shad. San Juan worms in red or pink offer a nice change in profile with trout being opportunistic feeders. Bank fishermen are catching limits of trout using wax worms and meal worms floated under bobbers. Nightcrawlers and redworms work as well and have taken some of the largest trout caught this year. Boaters trolling the channels have caught large trout and walleye with small crankbaits that run just above bottom. The walleye run is in full swing, but fishing has been hit or miss. Trolling has been the easiest way to catch and find spawning walleye, but live bait rigs have taken the most fish. Lindy rigs baited with nightcrawlers and bass minnows have proven to be the best bet when chasing walleye. A good point to remember is that areas populated by spawning walleyes will have very few trout around. White bass and crappie are now migrating toward the dam for the yearly spawn. Stripers continue to haunt the shallows chasing trout and shad and have broken rods and reels with their size and strength. Large top-water baits such as the C-10 Redfin and Super Spook offer fishermen the opportunity to hook these predator fish for the fight of a lifetime.
Lake Hinkle: Water is clear and at normal level. Crappie are fair on minnows fished around brush. Bass are biting well on spinnerbaits and crankbaits fished around rocks and brush in 3 to 5 feet of water. Catfishing is slow. Bream fishing is slow.
Lake Atkins: Water is clear. Catfishing is good on worms, minnows and blood bait. All other species are slow.
Ouachita River Oxbows: Fishing was fair for bass in Ouachita oxbows on dark-colored medium-diving crankbaits in 5-7 feet of water.
Arkansas River at Pine Bluff: Water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are fair on wax worms and crickets around the banks. Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs fished around brush and stumps. Bass fishing is fair on crankbaits fished around brushy cover next to the bank. Catfishing is good on worms and cut bait.
Water is at normal levels and fairly clear. Crappie are fair in 3 feet of water on green jigs fished around brush and piers. Bass are fair on spinnerbaits fished along the bank. Catfishing is slow.
Horseshoe Lake: Water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are biting well on wax worms fished in open water outside of stumpy areas. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs fished in deep water. Catfishing is excellent on cut bait. Bass fishing is slow.
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