Cotter Trout Dock Sign

Trout Fishing Report-White River-Arkansas....From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

September 1, 2011  Edition                                                Back to Fishing Reports Index 

Fishing Highlight of the Week: Late summer is a great time to fish deep brush piles for crappie and bass. The trick is finding these hidden gems. The AGFC has planted many brush piles across the state and marked their locations on Google Earth for interested anglers. First, go to and download Google Earth, then click here and click here and click Statewide Fish Attractors to take a look at the Google Earth maps the AGFC has available.

White River

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water is high and clear, with six to eight generators running. Some mornings saw only three generators online. Trout fishing is the best there’s been in a long while. Rainbow trout are excellent on Power Worms with shrimp or trout worms added to the hook. Brown trout are close to the narrows at Tucker and are excellent on white jigs, Rapalas and Rogues from sunup to about 2 p.m.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) said five generators are running in the mornings, and five to eight generators running in the afternoons. Black/gold and rainbow colored no. 7 Countdown Rapalas have worked well in the mornings.

Guide Davy Wotton said fishing is as good as it gets using many methods from deep dead drifting nymphs, dry flies with hoppers and wet and soft hackles, depending on where you are fishing. White River is currently seeing generation 24/7 from lower flows early on to high flows later in the day. The river is generally very clean. The White is good all the way down to Sylamore. We are also seeing many good browns averaging 15 to 20 inches long.

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) said generation has been consistently high. Trout are biting steadily on Countdown Rapalas. One-quarter-ounce Zig Jigs will work as well, but they are difficult to fish in the heavy current. Any place on the river where the water slows will hold fish. There are a lot of smallmouth, but they are difficult to catch with the heavy flow. Large spinnerbaits cast to the bank and slow rolled back to the boat will produce fish; just be patient and keep casting.

Buffalo River

Just Fishing Guides said the water levels are: Ponca – 1.38 feet and 3.2 cfs; Pruitt – 3.30 feet and 5.1 cfs; Tyler Bend – 3.68 feet and 80 cfs; Buffalo Point – 2.52 feet and 137. The entire river is very low and wading or dragging a canoe is the only way to fish except in the Tyler Bend and Buffalo Point areas. Water temperatures are ranging from 78-88 degrees. Smaller fish have been the rule. The river flows are very low and care should be taken to not spook fish. Spin fisherman are doing good bottom bouncing tubes, lizards and brush hogs in watermelon/red and green pumpkin. For fly fishing, try crazy dads, rabbit tail sliders, woolly buggers, Clouser minnows and Shenks white streamers on both floating and sink-tip lines.  

Crooked Creek

Just Fishing Guides said the gauge at Kelly’s Slab is reading 9.39 ft. and 4.3 cfs. The creek is really low for floating, but fishing is excellent for wading. Spin fishing with soft plastics and 1/16-oz. jigs will consistently catch good numbers of fish. Topwater lures are working well also and some days will catch just as many as bottom bouncing plastics. 4-inch lizards, 3-inch tubes and brush hogs in watermelon, watermelon/red and green pumpkin are working well. Try Tiny Torpedoes and small buzzbaits for topwater action. For fly fishers use Clousers, zonkers, crazy dads, near nuff sculpins, poppers, sliders and hopper patterns.

Bull Shoals Lake

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 669.24 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool - 654 MSL).

Mike Worley’s Guide Service said walleye, bass and bluegills are all biting well on several techniques. Bottom bouncers with spinners and nightcrawlers are working well in 25 to 35 feet of water. Trolling crank baits like Fat Free Shads, 600 Reef Runners and No. 9 Shad Raps are catching walleye and bass near points in 15 to 25 feet of water. Jigging spoons are working well on points and brush piles in 25 to 35 feet of water. Some launch ramps now have parking lots that are usable and most of the launch ramps should be in pretty good shape for Labor Day weekend.

Bull Shoals Tailwater

Just Fishing Guides said water releases are continuous at 10,000 cfs with releases ramping up to 18,500 cfs for about 10-12 hours. Drift fishing has been very good with sink-tips and medium size streamers with good numbers of rainbows and browns. Hopper patterns are doing very well also and, of course, nymphing with scud, sow bug, caddis and worm patterns. Minnow crankbaits in black/gold and black/blue are working along with brown trout-colored jointed minnows. In-line spinners like Rooster Tails and Mepps are also picking up fish.

Lake Norfork

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 560.46 feet MSL (Normal conservation pool: Sept.-April - 552 MSL, April-Sept. - 554 MSL).

101 Grocery and Bait had no report.

Blackburn Resort said surface temperature is 85 degrees and dropping slowly. Stripers are moving deeper to about 80 feet, and can be caught on a spoon or trolling with a downrigger. Crappie and bass are moving to the brush piles around 29 feet deep and can also be caught with a spoon or with minnows.

Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill seem to be down 20 to 30 feet on the bottom. I have been finding lots of baitfish hovering in the 20 to 30 foot range and when I find the bait usually I mark a lot of fish. This is also telling me that the thermocline is dropping. I am still noticing increased numbers of black bass breaking the surface at sunrise. Yesterday I actually saw a huge area of water just start to boil. There were big fish coming totally out of the water. Normally you don’t see this type of topwater action this time of year, but the fishing this year has been a little different than usual. Catfish are being caught on trotlines using live bait and also on rod and reels using chicken livers.

Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is 9 feet above normal pool and the water temp is in the mid-80s. Look for stripers suspended down at least 60 feet on the lower end of the lake. Whatever you use for bait, live or artificial, you need to get your bait down to the fish. Bass are hitting topwater early. Watch for them chasing bait to the surface on points and in some pockets. Also try a jig in green pumpkin or peanut butter and jelly in 15-30 feet on flats and long tapering points.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) had no report.  

Norfork Tailwater

Jim Brentlinger at Linger’s Guide Service and Fishing Lodge (870-499-5185) had no report.

Randy Oliver at (901-832-1903) said two generators are running from 8 a.m. until dark. Shrimp have worked well along with corn drifted on the bottom.

Just Fishing Guides said generation has been off overnight until about 6-7 a.m. and running 6,000 cfs for 16 hours. Wade fishers can squeeze in a couple of hours in the morning. Drift fishing is the only option the rest of the day. Scuds, sow bugs, zebra midges, San Juan worms, eggs, hoppers, ants, beetles and streamers should be in your arsenal now.