It's not a secret technique by any means, but one step in moving up from beginner fishermen to the next level is to acquaint yourself with three-way swivels and the use of them.

What a three-way swivel does is to let you use two lines running off your main line that is attached to the pole or rod. One line, often called a drop, can go from the swivel to the weight. The other line or drop can do to the bait or lure.

Say your objective is catfish. They usually are bottom feeders, so you want the bait down close to the bottom where the fish are. But if the bait is on the bottom, it is vulnerable to snags and hang-ups of all sorts.

The solution is to let the bait ride up a few inches off the bottom. With the weight or sinker on a separate line, this can go to the bottom and the bait can float up a bit. Several designs of weights are available that are less prone to hang up than some others. The bell-shaped weight is one example. These are useful.

The whole three-way swivel technique is useful -- for some fishing situations.

LAKE CONWAY

Rick Bates at Bates Field and Stream said the water is clear and back to normal. Bream are being caught redworms and crickets. Crappie and bass are slow. Catfishing is picking up on trotlines baited with small bream and large minnows.

Dan Zajac at Gold Creek Landing said bream are biting well on crickets and red worms. Crappie are biting fairly well around cypress trees. Bass are hitting fairly well on soft plastics in the lily pads. Catfishing is good on trotlines baited with small bream.

LITTLE RED RIVER

Billy Lindsey at Lindsey's Resort said the fishing is good. The water level varies with one to two units running. Trout are biting well on Power Bait, crank baits and wax worms.

GREERS FERRY LAKE

Victor Bailey at Shiloh Marina said the water is clear and a little high. The black bass and walleye are biting well on soft plastics in about 20 feet of water.

HARRIS BRAKE LAKE

Coffee Creek Landing said the water is about 11/2 feet high and murky. Fishing is slow for all species.

LAKE OVERCUP

Overcup Landing said the water is a little high and clear. Bream are biting well on red worms and crickets. The bass and catfish are slow. Crappie are biting fairly well in about 4 feet of water on minnows.

BREWER LAKE

Overcup Landing said the water is a little high and clear. Bream are biting well on wax worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on small minnows near brush piles. Bass are biting fairly well on spinner baits. Catfish are doing well on live bait.

LAKE MAUMELLE

Roger Nesuda at Jolly Roger's Marina said the average surface water temperature is 75 degrees and the water level is 1.2 inches above the spillway. Largemouth bas are excellent in 6 to 12 feet of water. Deep-running crank baits, heavy spinner baits and jigs are working well. Kentucky bass are biting well in 6 to 14 feet of water on jigs, tubes and deep-diving crank baits. White bass are biting well and are schooling in the middle of the lake from North Shore to just north of Jims Island. CC spoons and clear Near Nuthins or Rogues are working well. Crappie are biting well in 15 to 20 feet of water on minnows and 1/32-oz. jigs. Bream are moving to shallow cover and are biting excellently on worms and crickets. Saugeye are fair in 10 to 15 feet of water on Road Runners and jigs. Catfishing is good on minnows, worms and prepared baits in 8 to 15 feet of water.

ARKANSAS RIVER

Charlie Hoke at Charlie's Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said the flow is 57,000 cubic feet per second and boaters are beginning to get on the river again. Bas are biting well on green pumpkin Zoom U-tail worms fished along the front side of jetties. Catfishing is good on and around jetties on shad fillets. Bream are moving to the sandbars and are bedding up. Crappie are in 3 to 6 feet of water and are fair on minnows.

In the Little Rock area, Hatchet Jack's Sport Shop said bream are biting well in Fourche Creek, the Maumelle River, the Little Maumelle River and Palarm Creek on crickets and red worms. Bass are biting well near the mouths of the backwaters on white spinner baits and around jetties on pearl-colored crank baits. Catfish are biting well on cut bait, skipjack and shad in the main river and on nightcrawlers and large minnows in the backwater.

WHITE RIVER

John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service said the pattern is for around-the-clock generation of moderate flows with a few significant periods of no generation. This created some excellent conditions for drift fishing and some limited but excellent wading. The catch-and-release section below Bull Shoals Dam has been fishing extremely well. Anglers reported success on midge larva patterns. The most effective were zebra midges in black or red with silver wire and silver beads (sizes 14-16). Other hot patterns have been pheasant tails and egg patterns. During the recent periods of no generation, anglers have done very well on partridge and orange soft hackles and green butts. There have been some decent midge hatches. The best fly for the midge hatches have been Dan's turkey tail emerger. Wildcat Shoals has fished extremely well. There have been some prolific sulphur hatches in the late afternoon. Though there has been some limited dry fly fishing, the most productive technique has been to swing soft hackles when the trout are keying in on the emerging sulphurs. The most productive flies for this situation have been partridge and orange and pheasant tail soft hackles. Rim Shoals has fished well. The sulphur hatch is still coming off on most days, but is diminished. The trout have not keyed in on the adults but have been very active on the emergers. The best fly for this situation has been the partridge and orange soft hackle. The most productive way to fish the hatch however has been to fish copper John nymphs before during and after the hatches.