Fishing Report March 3, 2011

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and at normal levels. Drifting white Power Bait has worked well, as have jerk baits, jigs and sculpin imitations. Fly anglers are catching some good brown trout on woolly buggers, sculpin patterns, scuds and midges.

Guide Davy Wotton said extended periods of low water provided great wade fishing opportunities during the last two weeks. More than a day or so of zero generation makes life difficult for those who wish to drift fish. The Bull Shoals Trophy Management Zone has been producing some nice fish on midges, sow bugs, scuds, soft hackles and streamers. When we see generated water levels (lower flow rates to 5,000 cfs) the above range of flies will serve well with the addition of San Juan, prism and dynamite worms set up as two fly rigs where legal. If the generations are above 5,000 cfs, opt for at least one fly with high-vis, here you might include eggs. Streamer fishing may well be a good option during high flows, it is the time that browns are hungry and looking for larger food source and bait fish will be on the menu. If we do see any evidence of shad then white flies will be on the cards, streamers, jigs are good choices.

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said recent rains have muddied the water quite a bit. In muddy water, you can catch fish on the bottom with Power Bait or worms, but there hasn’t been much action on artificial lures. Head to Rim Shoals, Buffalo City or Wildcat Shoals, as the water is very clear and the fish are biting excellently. White River Zig Jigs are all you need in most any color and you will be happy with the results.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said water levels are as follows: Highway 7 Access – 5.05 feet and 194 cfs; Highway 65 Access – 6.25 feet and 1,440 cfs; Highway 14 Access – 4.75 feet and 1230 cfs. Water temperatures have ranged from a low of 47 degrees to a high of 54 degrees. Fishing is slow to moderate. Fish slowly to stay on the bottom. Best bets for flies will be patterns that hug the bottom, such as crawdad and darter/sculpin imitations. Patterns like the Clouser madtom, darter and minnow, crazy dads and creek crawlers and sparkle grubs should work well.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said water levels are 11.96 feet, 0.3 feet under the low-water bridge at Kelly’s Access and 129 cfs. This level is great for fishing and floating. Water temperatures are in the upper 40s to mid 50s. The warmer weather this week should get the smallmouth active. Good baits are going to be the ones that hug the bottom. Be sure to fish slow and deep.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 648.30 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said the water temperature has been up and down all over the lake. Snow runoff with cold rain brought the lake level up about one foot this week but brought the water temperature down, with main channel areas in the mid 40s. Bass have been biting suspending jerk baits when you can find some warmer water; look in creek arms and larger coves that face south. Some anglers have been having luck swimming grubs on 1/8- to 1/4-oz. jig heads about halfway back in the creeks with water flowing in. A few walleye have been caught along with the bass, and walleye fishing should improve greatly in the next few weeks.

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Just Fishing Guides said generation has been occurring during the day, starting at 6 a.m. and running eight to 10 hours before shutting down overnight. This pattern allows some wade fishing downstream around Cotter and Rim Shoals in the morning through early afternoon. Scuds, sow bugs, caddis larva/pupae, pheasant tails, copper johns, midges, San Juan worms and streamers are all working at various times during the day.


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