Cotter Trout Dock Weekly Fishing Report
June 1, 2016
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Below is the Arkansas Game and Fish Fishing Report June 1, 2016.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s
elevation at 661.52 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) said he lake is on a
steady rise with the recent rains but is still mostly free of debris.
Will continue to rise until the elevation reaches 662.00 ft msl. This is
now the new power pool set by the Corps. (Pool was raised to 659.00
from 654.00 to accommodate the new Minimum Flow Act set by Congress.
That has now been changed for a summer seasonal pool, adding 3 more
feet.) Neadless to say, the boat launch at the end of K Highway will
have limited access. Lower road access was lost when we hit 660.00. But,
the fishing is great! Bass and walleye are the hot species right now.
Water temperature is 74 degrees and the water is stained. Black bass are
good on topwater Spooks, buzzbaits and other plugs. Also good on Ned
Rigs, 1/2-ounce jigs and small to medium plastics. Crappie are biting
fair on live minnows; it's hot and cold from day to day. There aresStill
reports of Crappie in 8 to 10 feet, but have had some hitting around
trees in 15 to 20 feet. Swimming minnow color has been pear and glitter.
Walleye fishing is good dragging nightcrawlers on the flats, about
15-20 feet. Also hitting on medium-size crankbaits.
(updated 5-18-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock said tthe fishing continues to
be very good. The same patterns are working for bass plus the addition
of all topwater patterns. Most of the spawning is done for bass. The
majority are done and moving into post spawn patterns. There might be a
few spawners lift but shouldn't be many. The walleye are moving down
some with the surface temperature warming up into the low 70s. The
reports on the walleye show them in the 15-20-foot range. Still seeing
some white bass and crappie caught on the same patterns. We are seeing
lots and lots of hand-size bluegills being caught, probably the product
of the high water years we have had lately. The lake is holding around
the normal level give or take a few feet. The water temp is low 70's on
the surface. Seems to be a thermocline forming around the 15-18 foot
level. Visibility is good with it being exceptional past 50 foot. For
bass, crankbaits, swimming minnow plastics, spinnerbaits, jigs, french
fry worms, Carolina-rigged plastics, stickbaits and topwater. Yes,
that's right! Just about anything you want to throw. For walleye,
trolling deep diving baits is working in 15-20 feet of water, bottom
bouncing with nightcrawlers, slow retrieval of a spoon, slow retrieval
of a split shot and nightcrawler. White bass are hitting trolling
crankbaits, casting swimbaits, casting small jigs, night fishing with
lights. We are seeing lots of crappie being caught. The main pattern
being reported is swimming an 1/8-ounce to 1/64 jig just off the bottom
along the shoreline. They were spawning so they were not grouped up. You
might have to fish a lot of shoreline to catch a bunch.
White River (Bull Shoals Tailwater)
(updated 6-1-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said
the water clarity was fair with moss still present. The water level was
normal, with two generators running. Trout fishing was good with the
power worm working best. The heavy moss requires fishermen to clean
(updated 6-1-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said it was a very
busy holiday weekend on the White; lots of visitors and happy first-time
fishers. They were glad to see Arkansas Game and Fish enforcement
officers on the river helping keep everyone safer. Yellow was the color
for trout eggs, Rooster Tails and other baits this past week. Varying
shades of yellow worked, too: sunrise, orange, chartreuse. The water
level was a little higher the last few days, but not over much -- still
mostly wade-able. Jigs are a great change of pace and are still
producing some nice catches.
(updated 6-1-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) ) said the lake level at Bull Shoals rose a foot to rest
at 0.7 feet below seasonal power pool of 662 feet. This is 33.7 feet
below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose 0.1 feet to rest
at 0.7 of a foot above seasonal power pool and 14.9 feet below the top
of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.5 foot to rest at 0.5 of a foot above
seasonal power pool and 8.1 feet below the top of flood pool. On the
White, we had little generation last week with wade-able water every
day. On the White, the bite has been erratic. The hot flies were olive
Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size
14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with
silver wire and silver bead sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14),
ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San
Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double fly nymph rigs have
been very effective (my current favorite is a pink San Juan worm with a
size 18 ruby midge suspended below it. Our sulphur hatch provides some
of our best dry fly fishing of the year. This is a big mayfly, about a
14. Before the hatch I fish pheasant tails. When I see topwater activity
but no insects, I fish with a partridge and orange. When I see trout
taking adults from the top, I switch over to a sulphur parachute. The
best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large
articulated streamers delivered with heavy 24-30-foot sink tips (350
grains or heavier). You will need an 8- or 9-weight rod.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s
elevation at 553.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April –
553.75 msl, April-September – 552.00 msl).
(updated 6-1-2016) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said
fishing continues to be good and the fish are starting to transition to
their early summer pattern. Basically, he says, the fish are starting to
go deeper as the water warms. Stripers are being found 20-40 feet down
in 50-100-plus feet of water. At this time they seem to be relating to
the sides of the main channel on the main lake, especially in places
where the channel swings in close to the shoreline. If things are
typical this year, you will find them on the deep flats early in the
mornings, then in the deep channels late morning and during the day. The
stripers are feeding on shad and crawdads, so there should be a good
bite before daylight. The hybrids and white bass are being found at all
depths, including good topwater action for both. The problem is that
they are traveling all over the place and may come up along the
shoreline or out in the middle of the lake. When you are traveling, keep
a close eye out for whitewater as it could happen anywhere at any time.
Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing have also been good.
Early in the morning they are still coming up for topwater baits, and as
the day wears on, jigs and swimbaits are the way to go. The after-dark
bite has also been good. The best spots to find these fish are on
shallow points with buckbrush. The deeper fish are out in 15-25 feet of
water on the bottom. Rocky points are a great place to start fishing for
bass. Walleyes are continuing to bite and can be found in the same
locations as the largemouth bass. Again, early in the morning they are
up shallow feeding, then as the sun comes up they move out to 15-25 feet
of water on the bottom. Vertical jigs and crawler harnesses are picking
up some nice fish. The current lake level is holding fairly steady with
one generator running continuously. The surface water temperature is
warming and is in the mid 70s. The main lake is clear and the creeks and
coves are once again starting to clear. All in all, the lake is in
great condition for fishing and for the summertime vacation lake lovers.
(updated 6-1-2016) Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said striper fishing
continues to improve. The north and northeast winds have turned into
south and southwest winds and warmed up the lake. Stripers are still
being caught on topwater in the 101 Area and around Cranfield Island and
points and bluffs. The south end of the lake is now in the summer mode
of catching stripers with spoons, trolling and live bait fished at least
30 feet deep over water that ranges from 50-100 feet. Reynolds has not
found them on any flats yet, all the fish he’s catching are in the river
channels. He continues to catch them with weighted floats and down
lines set at 30 feet. The stripers are feeding on shad and crawdads.
They are moving shallow and feed on crawdads, then move out at daylight
into the channel. The bite has been good up to 9 a.m. Every once in a
while Reynolds gets the pleasure of introducing someone to fishing.
Sunday was that opportunity this year. A client said he wanted to bring a
young man who had never caught a fish. His name was Zack and he was
like a sponge. Everything Reynolds said to do he listened and continued
to ask his advice on what he should do when he hooked a fish. That day
fishing was slower, the day before they had limited out but with all the
new boat traffic on the lake the fish were slow to bite. They did hook a
nice striper early, and Zack worked the rod like a pro and landed his
first striper and fish. They caught a limit, but Reynolds said it’s not
always about catching a limit; it’s more about the experiences you have
when you’re on the lake.
(updated 5-18-2016) Guide Steve Olomon said said the lake level is up to
554 feet msl, which is about a half-foot from last week, and the water
temperature is in the upper 60s. Look for stripers chasing baitfish to
the surface early and just before dark. The hybrids, whites and bass are
also coming up. They will hit a spook, soft jerkbait and a swimbait.
Look for this activity on points and in coves where the wind is blowing
in or has within the last day. After the topwater is over, try throwing a
swimbait and you may pick up an extra striper or hybrid or two. Bass
are hitting jerkbaits, jigs and worms. A lot of them are in 5-20 feet
depth. Try a shallow-running crankbait, too. For more information on the
area and lake go to Lake Norfork.com.
North Fork River (Norfork Tailwater)
(updated 6-1-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the
lake remained steady last week at 2.9 feet below seasonal power pool of
556.75 feet and 26.2 feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork,
we had no wade-able water. The Norfork has cleared somewhat and has
fished better lately. The most productive flies have been small midge
patterns (Nos. 18, 20, 22) like ruby midges, root beer midges,
zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft
hackles (sizes 14, 16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been
productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small
bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended
18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink
or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a
size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). The
fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off
midday. My favorite fly has been the green butt. Dry Run Creek has
cleared some and fished well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14),
Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot
fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).
Buffalo National River
(updated 5-25-2016) Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said
that with the weather warming, smallmouths are more active. John Berry
says his favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. Check the water level before
entering the river. There are no dams and the river is prone to flooding
during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
(updated 5-25-2016) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service
(870-453-2424) said the river is navigable. Try his favorite lure for
smallmouths, the Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before
entering. There are no dams, there are large drainages and the creek
prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can
rise very quickly.