Fishing Report December 23, 2010

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is running at normal levels with two generators running most of the time and six running periodically. Trout fishing is good. Rainbow trout are being caught on small spinners and drifted live bait. Some good brown trout have been caught on white marabou jigs.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) said some nice rainbows and a few nice browns have been hitting black/silver Shad Raps during morning generation. Low fishing pressure this week have the fish holding in slow water below eddies.

Guide Davy Wotton said bitter cold and wind have kept many anglers off the water, but just before the cold snap, fish were biting extremely well. Generation levels have been up and down, with a few hours of zero generation. The river has produced some great fishing, both for rainbows and trophy browns. Many methods have been working, from dead drifting small midges and sow bugs to stripping large streamers. During high water, the best flies have been San Juan worms, eggs, dead drifted sculpin jigs and woolly buggers. During the afternoons, when sun has warmed water, dry flies have also been working well, particularly a size 12 black gnat. Often as not for wade fishermen, small flies in the size of 14 to 18 may be needed, midge pupa in black and red, sowbugs in grey or tan, micro eggs and flies of that nature will be needed.

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said fishing has been steady as long as you go to the bottom with Power Bait, worms or corn. The fluctuation of the water levels in the last week have slowed the jig and Rapala bite. There have been some nice browns caught in the 18- to 24-inch range on Rattlin Rogues in Blue/Silver/Orange, but you don’t get a lot of bites. Fish the deeper banks when the water levels have been up for a couple of days. When the water levels slow, go to the fly rod with olive or black woolly buggers and fish any fast runs you find along shoals, gravel bars and shallower banks.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said Hwy. 7 river levels are very low (11 cfs, 3.52 feet). Water temperatures are in the mid 40s. Smallmouth fishing will be very slow. At Hwy. 65, the river level is (83 cfs, 3.90 feet). Water temperatures are in the mid 40s. Smallmouth fishing will be very slow. At Hwy. 14, the river level is low(142 cfs, 2.71 feet). Water temperatures are in the mid 40s. Smallmouth fishing will be very slow.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said river levels are very low (59 cfs, 10.74 feet). This level is deceiving as the low water bridge at Kelly’s Access backs up the water. Water temperatures are in the mid 40s. Smallmouth fishing will be very slow.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 649.51 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said bass are shallow and are biting on jigs and crankbaits on bluff ends and rock slides along bluff walls. Natural-colored Wiggle Wart crankbaits are catching good size smallmouth bass on bluff wall transitions. Some really good spotted bass can be caught in the standing timber along bluffs with a jig-and-minnow. Be sure to downsize your line and slow down your retrieve. Some really nice walleyes are being caught on live bait fished on a jig on the same type structure and on the outside of main lake brush piles and drop offs. Water temps are in the low- to mid-50s, and suspending stick baits are catching some really good walleye and striped bass now. Crappie are biting better when we have a few days of stable weather, they are pretty shallow on those days, suspending around wood cover and along steep banks. The best bait for crappie seems to be minnows fished on a slip bobber about 6 feet deep over brush piles or a jig-and-minnow worked slowly while casting to the shore line in the creek arms.

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Ken Richards at Just Fishing Guides said Bull Shoals Lake level is at 650.2 feet, 3.8 feet below flood pool. Water releases are around the clock with flows up to 16,000 cfs. Best fishing is from a boat. Streamers, egg, San Juan worms and bigger brighter nymphs are working. Woolly Buggers in olive, black and brown have been working on a sink-tip line. Try a soft hackle or other nymph tied to the bend of the streamer hook about 12 inches back. This rig has been picking up a few fish also.


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