Fishing Report – October 21, 2010

From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is clear and at normal level. Two generators are running. Trout are biting well on pink and red or bubble gum-colored Power Bait. Black/chartreuse Rooster Tails are working well in current, as are 2-inch Rapala floating minnows and countdown minnows.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) said fishing has been excellent with some large browns moving upriver toward the dam. Corn and brightly colored PowerBait have worked well on sunny days this week.

Guide Davy Wotton said generation levels have been erratic, which has related to the bite being up and down depending on rising or falling water. Also at this time of the year, oxygen levels close to the dam may cause the fish to stop feeding during generation. If generation is taking place, the best option will be to fish below the upper limit of the trophy zone. Bull Shoals dam zone continues to produce trophy brown and rainbow trout. From the state park downstream to Calico, fishing has been good provided you are fishing settled and clean water. This time of year, bottom vegetation dies off and leaves fall into the river, resulting in very trashy colored water; the best bet is to move because the bite will be very slow. Many brown trout are staged at spawning beds while others are still on the move upstream. Please leave the trout on the beds to spawn and continue our excellent fishery. If fishing low flow, use a small midge, sow bug, scud or PTN. If fishing shoals and water with flow, use soft hackles and small dry fly patterns. If water the water is stained, use a two-fly rig (where legal), one brightly colored fly, such as a Prism, Dynamite or San Juan worm and the other a size 14 to 16 scud or sow bug. Streamer fish may be productive if drift fishing with good flow rates or when fishing good shoal water. Fish are very spooky in low water levels at this time so try to avoid line splash and careless wading. Increase leader/tippet lengths to at least 12 ft, it will make a great deal of difference, as will the use of small indicators.

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said water levels on the White have been lower than usual and it has improved the fishing. Anglers are catching many trout on White River Zig Jigs in Ginger or Green. Use 4-pound-test line and make sure to let the jig get close to the bottom before you start working it in. Many fish have been caught on Black/Green woolly buggers. Fish any fast, shallow water you can find if wading. From the boat cast out 90 degrees with a sinking line and strip it back to the boat.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said all sections of the river are very low, and no floating opportunities are available in the upper ¾ of the river. Wade fishing is good if you don’t mind walking. Fish are biting well on Clouser minnows and crawdad patterns. Spin fishermen are using soft plastics and crankbaits in brown and green shades.

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said the river level is 10.1 feet, which is difficult for easy floating. Fishing is good at public access points on Clouser minnows and Crazy dads. Spin fishermen are catching fish on jerkbaits, Rebel Crawdad crankbaits and topwater baits like Tiny Torpedoes.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 652.87 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool – 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said walleye are biting nightcrawler rigs and split shotted nightcrawlers about 35 feet deep on main lake and creek channel points and flats. Bass are biting nightcrawlers and crawfish on drop offs and points in 30 to 50 feet of water. All species of bass are following schools of shad and are blowing up all over the lake. Grubs, crankbaits and spoons will catch a mixed bag of fish. Catfish are biting well about 30 to 50 feet deep on bluff ends, main lake flats and coves on nightcrawlers and cut bait.

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Ken Richards at Just Fishing Guides said generation is around the clock with one generator. There have been brief periods of low water. Brown trout are staging for their spawn along the river. Streamers have worked well during the day, as have a hopper/dropper combination. Later in the day switch to a nymph under an indicator. Beadhead sowbugs, humpback scuds and beadhead pheasant tails.


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