CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir

NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Conway will be in effect starting April 23, 2018, and ending March 1, 2019. The irrigation restriction will allow the AGFC to apply Environmental Protection Agency-approved aquatic herbicides to treat and reduce the spread of alligator weed, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant. Herbicides used will not cause harm to aquatic organisms, such as fish, and are not harmful to people or wildlife that may come into contact with treated vegetation or water. Herbicides that will be used have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. Therefore, the AGFC strongly recommends adjacent landowners DO NOT irrigate water from Lakes Conway for lawn or garden use during this period.

(updated 4-25-2018) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) says the water is stained and has a surface temperature of 61 degrees as of earlier this week. Water level and current are normal. Bream are good and biting just a foot below the surface around the shoreline. Use worms or crickets. Crappie are fair. The fish will bite in about 6-8 feet of water on minnows and jigs. Make sure and focus around the cypress trees. Bass reports are EXCELLENT. The bass are hitting about 4 feet below the surface and around lily pads. Anglers report using spinnerbaits and plastic lizards. Catfishing is excellent on yo-yos baited with minnows or goldfish.

(updated 4-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said the best results it heard were on white bass, with fair catches. Anglers were using white twister tails. Catfishing is fair on cut bait. The water level is normal and the lake is stained.

Little Red River

(updated 4-25-2018) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said it looks like the cold weather has given up its hold on the South. Milder weather is forecast for the next two weeks. The river is clear with one-unit generation around the clock. The Army Corps of Engineers has requested a 3,000 cfs daily release. Since one generator is down for maintenance until May 20, it requires the other generator to be run 24/7 to accommodate this amount of release. This will be done until the lake is at normal pool. Without any heavy rain, this should be about a week. No wade fishing is available with this generation. Drift-fishing is still an option and should be good on this generation. With the warmer weather, insect activity should increase with caddis and March Brown hatches occurring daily. Nymphs and pupa flies will be the best choice due to the depth of the water.

(updated 4-25-2018) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service said currently the Little Red River is receiving one unit of generation 24 hours daily. Expect this generation pattern to continue until the second generator is back online or the Greers Ferry Lake drops to seasonal pool level. This pattern will create challenging wading conditions, but provides favorable drift-fishing in all sections of the river. Lowell says they are seeing good caddis and March Brown hatches occurring on the lower sections of the river. For fly-fishing, we recommend soft hackles, hare’s ear, caddis pupa, pheasant tails, sowbugs and streamers. Hot pink and cotton-candy-colored bodies on gold heads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the 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 (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 4-18-2018) James Dillard of Tailwater Fishing Co. in Searcy says the fishing on the Little Red has been excellent. The Army Corps of Engineers has been running two units of water each day for 14-16 hours each day, providing good fishing when the turbines are turned off. The best fishing has been in the falling/lower water levels. Lots of caddis can be seen hatching on sunny days and the fish have been very actively feeding. Hot flies have been soft hackles and sowbugs. Trout Magnets in pink, white and chartreuse have been working very well, also.

Greers Ferry Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.57 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.04 feet msl Oct. 1-April 30; 463.04 feet msl May 1-June 1; 462.54 feet msl June 1-Sept. 30).

(updated 4-25-2018) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is hanging around pretty close to normal, as that is where they are trying to keep it. It was a little more than half-a-foot above normal pool of 462.04 feet msl on Tuesday. This has been a real crazy spring all around the country, and we are no exception. Fish are in all phases of their winter, early and late spring patterns. The black bass are scattered from super shallow out to 45 feet. Any number of things will work, just pick your strengths and run with it. Crappie catching is good from shallow out to about 20 feet. Minnows and jigs are working shallow and beetle spins working better deeper. The walleye are also everywhere – drop-shots, crankbaits and jigheads with live bait are working at various places around the lake. Bream have been a little slow, but more and more are moving shallower. Crickets and small crankbaits are working. The catfish are the same as well – scattered and biting all over the lake. The hybrids and white bass are no different; with the spawn in mind, shad is the key to catching these fish at present. Horizontal and vertical presentations both are still working all over the lake and rivers.

Harris Brake Lake

(updated 4-25-2018) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said the clarity is clear and the surface temperature is 60 degrees. Water level remains high as of earlier this week. Crappie are good and are shallow, being caught in about 2-3 feet of water on minnows or jigs. Bass are shallow as well, and the bite is good. Fish around the shoreline with minnows or plastic worms in 2-3 feet of water. No reports on bream. Nothing on catfish.

(updated 4-25-2018) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reports that the crappie bite is “warm” in about 4-6 feet of water. They are biting on Bobby Garland Popsicle, Shiney Hiney, Glimmer Blue, BBQ Chicken, Cajun Crickets, Blue Ice, Shimmer, Monkey Milk, crystal, bone/chartreuse, Gumdrop and Penny Back Shad, as well as 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r baits and minnows. Catfish is also warm on minnows and worms and frozen shad. The bass bite is hot on buzzbaits and minnows, along with worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper. White bass are biting on Popsicle, Slab Slanger, Baby Shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. The bream bit is sizzling, Ken says, with crickets, worms and Rock Hopper working best.

Lake Overcup

NOTICE: An irrigation restriction on Lake Overcup will be in effect starting April 23, 2018, and ending March 1, 2019. The irrigation restriction will allow the AGFC to apply Environmental Protection Agency-approved aquatic herbicides to treat and reduce the spread of alligator weed, a non-native, invasive aquatic plant. Herbicides used will not cause harm to aquatic organisms, such as fish, and are not harmful to people or wildlife that may come into contact with treated vegetation or water. Herbicides that will be used have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. Therefore, the AGFC strongly recommends adjacent landowners DO NOT irrigate water from Lakes Overcup for lawn or garden use during this period.

(updated 4-18-2018) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) said water level is high by about 2 feet and clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 60 degrees. Bass are doing well around brush tops and structure around the shoreline. Crappie are doing well on minnows around brush and grass around the shore, and anglers are picking up some good 2-pounders and up. Bream are slow but should start picking up any day now. Catfish are being caught on jugs and yo-yos with bass minnows and shad.

Brewer Lake

(updated 4-25-2018) Larry Walters at Bones Bait Shop (501-354-9900) said the water was dingy and the temperature was at 58 degrees earlier this week. The level is normal. Poor reports came in on bream this week. Crappie, however, were good, with best results around brush piles in 4-6 feet of water. Use minnows or jigs. Black bass also are good in the creekbeds and coves in about 4-6 feet of water. Use crankbaits or plastic worms. No other reports.

Lake Maumelle

(updated 4-25-2018) Jolly Rogers Marina (501-868-5558) said the lake level is up and down a lot this year, effecting fishing, but is now about 10 inches above the spillway, water temperature from the marina is 63 degrees and about 65 degrees on the north side. Black bass are very good. With water temps in the 60s the largemouth bass are moving to spawn areas. Try using Trick Worms, crankbaits, jerkbaits and jigs in 4-8 and 10-15 feet of water. A few can also be caught in shallow water on spinnerbaits or chatterbaits. This week, the blacks were biting more during dusk and dawn. Tuesday night, Keeton Blaylock and Kyle Wise teamed to pull in a 12.1-pound stringer to easily win the weekly bass tournament. Jacob and Misty Schmitt found a 5.64-pound bass for Big Bass. So there are so nice-size bass looked to bite. Kentucky bass are good and are still a little deeper than the largemouth bass. Look around the main lake, rocky banks or points with a crankbait or jig for best results. White bass are good. Fewer reports are coming in on the whites recently. We’ve heard also that they were staging, though the run normally is over by early April. Use Rooster Tails, CC Spoons, deep-diving Bandits, and Bombers for the whites. Crappie have been good the past week. More reports coming in of them being found near brush piles from 6-8 feet deep. Some are saying they’re taking off with the bait rather than hitting. More males are being caught this week. Bream are slow. They are coming into shallow water off the rocky points and around brush piles. Try using crickets or jigs anywhere from 3-12 feet. Catfish are very good. More reports this week of the channels starting to move out and the blues coming in. Try stink bait and worms around 20 feet deep.

(updated 4-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said catfish are reacting to cut bait. Good reports still on white bass hitting twister tails.

(updated 4-25-2018) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) said crappie are good on Bobby Garland Popsicle and Slab Slanger, as well as minnows and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r. White bass are biting on Slab Slanger, Baby Shad, Cajun Spin and Silver Minnow. Bass are biting on worms, lizards, Brush Hogs and Whopper Plopper. Bream are excellent on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.

Palarm Creek

(updated 4-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) said the water level and current are normal. The clarity is muddy. The only reports received were about catfish. They were fair on cut bait.

Sunset Lake

(updated 4-25-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said this is an AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program destination lake. Regulations are found on Page 69 of the 2018 Fishing Guidebook. Please abide by them in order to let others, especially kids, to also be able to catch some fish. It's stocked every once in a while with catfish. But it also has bream, crappie and bass. Bass are the only fish you have to return to the water immediately. The lake is located off the service road past the Saline County Fairgrounds, off Fairfield Road. Catfish will bite on chicken livers, bait shrimp, nightcrawlers and even minnows. especially right after being stocked. March 13 was the last time it was stocked. You can Google when it and others were stocked by typing in "stocked ponds – AGFC,” then click on the link and scroll down to see the chart. At the top of the list will be Benton – Sunset Lake and the dates and how many catfish were stocked. Lisa says she has seen some very nice crappie come out of there as well. They do well on No. 6 crappie minnows and pink crappie minnows. Some catch them around the pier; others go over on the bridge going to the other side. Bass do well on topwater frogs and brooder minnows. Bream do fair on crickets and redworms. It's a good place to take kids; there is a paved walking trail all the way around the lake

Bishop Park Ponds

(updated 4-25-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said this is located over off Boone Road in Bryant at Bishop Park. While these aren't AGFC lakes, they are owned by the city of Bryant. They are not listed in the AGFC’s Fishing Guidebook, so you go by the state regulations on Page 8. As you are facing Bishop Park, you will see the front one on the left-hand side by the road over by itself. That is Lake Norma; back behind it, Hurricane Creek runs as well as it runs up behind Lake Charles. Lake Charles is the back one; you go through the entrance of the park where the buildings are on the right-hand side as you are facing the park. You just pass by the buildings and the ballfield and at the end of the road you will see it. The only time these are stocked, to Lisa’s knowledge, are in September once for the Bryant Fall Fest. But when Hurricane Creek floods, it floods into both of the lakes and that's where a lot of the fish come from. Lisa says she has had some good reports from Lake Norma, especially on bass with plastic worms. But she gets better reports from the back one, Lake Charles. Catfish do well on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and occasionally on No. 12 bass minnows. Crappie have been caught off of No. 6 crappie minnows. Some are small but I have seen some big ones, too, that were caught off the dock. Bass like the Zoom Red Shad plastic worms and brooder minnows. Bream hit good on the crickets.

Saline River Access in Benton

(updated 4-25-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said, “Behold, some of the best fishing around here in Saline County.” There are three boat ramps where you can put in a canoe or a flat-bottom. One is past Sunset Lake off I-30 down Fairfield Road. Another is out off of Peeler Bend Road off I-30 past the Bruno's Italian Villa that sits back off the service road. Then you will go over the old Ed Dodson Bridge that crosses the Saline River; if you look up the river to your right you will see the spillway. The road next past the bridge on your right will be Peeler Bend Road. Another access to put in is at Lyle Park – once you see Waffle House off the service road, turn like you’re going to it. Once you pass it, go to the red light and turn right. You will see a sign saying Lyle Park. Turn left onto Lyledale Road and it will take you straight to it. The river provides lots of good fish: walleye, smallmouth, Kentucky and largemouth bass, bream and catfish. Usually prime time for the walleye is October-February. They like brooder minnows and stick baits. The bass also will go for the brooders pretty good and 4-inch Zoom green pumpkin lizards seem to be a favorite of theirs. Catfish can be caught on brooders, goldfish and black salties and nightcrawlers. Crickets and redworms, and super mealworms can catch you a mess of bream when it gets a little hotter. Crappie will go after No. 6 crappie minnows as well as the pink crappie minnows. You can also catch them on Kalin’s Jigs and Zing Tails. In a canoe you can get around pretty good on the Saline. The spillway is a very popular place to get some good fish. But it can get pretty packed, too!

Lake Norrell

(updated 4-25-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said it is located in Alexander, out Congo /Ferndale Road 1 mile from Lisa’s bait shop, and 40 minutes from Little Rock. It's a 280-acre lake owned by the city of Benton. Some of the biggest redear bream Lisa says she has ever seen have come from there. In about another week or so, using a cricket fishing on bottom will provide you will a good stringer of nice redears. There are crappie in there, too, but they are not big in abundance, but some are slabs when caught. Usually No. 6 crappie minnows or 2-inch Kalin’s Tennessee Shad colored jigs may get you a few. Bass are in there – No. 12 bass minnows or brooder minnows do well on them, as well as spinnerbaits or a Rat-L-Trap. Catfish will go after the chicken livers and nightcrawlers. They also like the black salties, especially on trotlines. Since this lake is not listed in the AGFC Fishing Guidebook, you got by the state regulations listed on Page 8 of the book.

Lake Pickthorne

(updated 4-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4958) says catfish are fair on cut bait. The water level is normal and the clarity is muddy.

Lake Valencia

(updated 4-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says the clarity is muddy and the lake level is normal. Catfish are fair on cut bait. No other reports.

Lake Willastein

(updated 4-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s in North Little Rock (501-758-4958) says the clarity is muddy and the lake level is normal. Catfish are fair on cut bait. No other reports.

Lake Winona

(updated 4-25-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop (501-778-6944) said this lake is 35 miles west of Little Rock in the Ouachita National Forest. It has a surface of 1,240 acres and has a watershed at 43 square miles. It's about 51 minutes from Lisa’s bait shop. There are bass, crappie, catfish, bream and walleye in there. Back in 2009 the AGFC stocked it with several thousand walleye. Lisa says she doesn’t know if it has been stocked with any more. One of her customers had a neighbor last year that caught some using a spinnerbait. Catfish do great on chicken livers and also live crawfish. Crappie do well on No. 6 crappie minnows. Bream are good off of crickets. Lisa says that from what she hears you can also catch lots of bass off of minnows. “This lake doesn't get a lot of pressure for I have been told it's a good 7 miles off of pavement on a gravel road. You wouldn't want to take a nice truck or boat there, from what my regulars tell me.” Check out the regulations on Page 71 of the Fishing Guidebook, especially on the required boat lengths.

Arkansas River at Morrilton

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

Arkansas River (Cadron Pool)

Professional angler Cody Kelley with Best in Bass Guide Service (501-733-5282) had no report.

Little Maumelle River

(updated 4-25-2018) River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) said the water is clear and the level and current are normal. No temperature was recorded. The crappie bite has been fair with the fish about 1.5 feet below the surface around brush piles. Minnows and jigs are working. Bass are shallow and the bite has been fair. Work spinnerbaits or plastic worms around the brush. Catfishing is fair on minnows. No reports on bream or white bass.

(updated 4-25-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is dingy and surface temperature was recorded at 62 degrees. The level and current are normal. Crappie are excellent in 4-8 feet of water. They are found around rocky points, with jigs working best. Black bass are good in 2-4 feet of water in the backwaters. Anglers were having best success using black buzzbaits, jigs and a black and blue speed crawl. White bass are excellent on chartreuse and yellow grubs.

(updated 4-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said white bass have been fair the past week on white twister tails. Catfish seem to be going for cut bait this week, with fair results. Level and current are normal, the clarity is muddy.

Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)

(updated 4-25-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water is dingy and surface temperature was recorded at 62 degrees. The level and current are normal. Crappie are excellent in 4-8 feet of water. They are found around rocky points, with jigs working best. Black bass are good in 2-4 feet of water in the backwaters. Anglers were having best success using black buzzbaits, jigs and a black and blue speed crawl. White bass are excellent on chartreuse and yellow grubs.

(updated 4-25-2018) Hatchet Jack’s (501-758-4948) said that near the Murray Lock and Dam the water is stained and the surface temperature recorded earlier in the week was 58 degrees. Level and current are normal. Catfishing is fair using shad and slicks. White bass reports were excellent, with anglers using white twister tails and minnows.

Arkansas River (Little Rock Pool)

(updated 4-25-2018) Vince Miller from Fish ’N’ Stuff (501-834-5733) said the river is muddy. Surface water temperature has been in the high 50s, and the level and current are now normal/stable. Black bass reports have been good. The fish are in 1-5 feet of water and around brush. Use a plastic worm. Crappie are good, also in 1-5 feet of water, and are around brush piles and stumps. Use jigs. Catfish reports have been poor, as have bream reports.

(updated 4-25-2018) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said the water and current are normal near the Terry Lock and Dam, with a temperature reading of 58 degrees, ranging up to 62 degrees depending on areas fished. The water is dingy. Crappie are excellent in 4-8 feet of water around rocky points. Use jigs. Othewise in the rest of the pool, crappie were being found in 4 feet depth. Black bass are good around rocky points in about 2-4 feet depth, and also in the backwaters at that depth. Use jigs or black buzzbaits. White bass reports were excellent using chartreuse and yellow grubs. No reports on catfish or bream.

(updated 4-18-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water is high in the area of Terry Lock and Dam and the clarity is muddy. Crappie are poor but will respond to minnows and jigs. No reports on bream, bass or catfish.

Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)

(updated 4-18-2018) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said the water clarity is muddy. No surface temperature was available. Crappie reports were poor, but some were biting on minnows and jigs. No other species were reported.

Peckerwood Lake

(updated 4-25-2018) Herman’s Landing (870-241-3731) reported that the lake clarity is dingy but the water is at normal level. Crappie are very shallow this week. Anglers were catching them just below the surface, maybe at 1 foot, around brush piles with jigs. Go with a brown/chartreuse color. Black bass are fair in 1-2 feet depth on crankbaits. They’re also around the brush. Catfishing has been fair using stink bait and minnows. Nothing to report on bream.