Last Updated February 1, 2018
Tommy Cauley told us, "The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 455.07 feet it is 6.97 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and trying to rise since the generation has been cut back after warming weather, the water temp is 44 degrees, pretty much overall.
The warm up and some much needed sun shine will help the bite take off as we enter all prespawn phases with all species.
Black basses, a lot will move shallow either vertical or shallow to sun and can be caught with a jerk bait or spinner bait, the deeper fish some are using 50-60 feet of water can be caught with drop shots, dragging football headed jigs or c-rigs, just find the shad and fish will be close on the ends of long points or swings with deep drops.
Crappie are suspended of course, either in open water in the mouths of cuts orin the pole timber or around brush piles, using the water column in 28-40 feet try using jigs or minnows vertical .
The river Walleye are getting staged or moving to stage in the mouths or close to the mouths of the rivers or right inside river mouths hanging out waiting on conditions to get right before moving on closer to spawning grounds they can be caught with live bait or different artificial baits, the lake Walleye are hanging out in 40 45 feet of water close to flats, and a minnow fished vertical is the best bet on a jig head or drop shot.
Hybrid and White bass are eating on and off throughout the day with some traveling toward up river areas as well look in the lake and rivers on flats next to deep water, some can be caught in 40-45 feet while others are as deep as 70-80 feet of water suspended, use spoons, hair jigs, Alabama rigs and in –line spinners of the best catches, stay around the shad."
To book a trip with Tommy, call 501-654-8844 or 501-940-1318. You can also email Tommy at [email protected].
Little Red River
Our source for the Little Red River, Lowell Myers, told us,"The Little Red is experiencing extremely low water conditions most days from lack of water release from the Greers Ferry Dam due to the low lake level. Power generation is occurring only during times of cold air temperatures, so expect extended days of very little water release during mild winter temperatures. Due to the low water conditions on the river, the trout have become lethargic. A few post-spawn browns remain on shoals. Sowbugs, midges, soft hackles and wooly buggers are working well for fly anglers. Pink and white colored Trout Magnets are recommended for spin fishing. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501.362.5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule."
Lowell Myers, Sore Lip'EM All Guide Service, website: sorelipemall.com, email: [email protected], phone: 501.230.0730.
February on Norfork Lake is the transition month to the start of spring fishing. February is usually our coldest month of the year. The early part of February the stripers are still feeding but can be difficult to locate. Last February we had very warm weather and the stripers moved shallow and we caught them for several weeks until it turned cold again and we lost them. On Norfork its all about the bait when the water turns very cold we will have a shad die off and its hard to get the stripers to feed on live bait when there is thousands of dead shad in the water. The die off lasts just a few weeks then we will start seeing some southerly winds which arrive in late February. The water warms fast and the stripers, crappie, bass and walleye all start their spawning migration. Once the water stays in the fifties the shad will move into the creeks to begin their spawn which triggers the fish to move up from the deep water and start heavy spring feeding. The major creek arms of Norfork Lake are Pigeon, Bennett's Bayou, Big Creek, and Brushy Creek. Float and Panther Creeks will hold fish but they are short and the fish move in and out too fast to stay consistent. The major fishing patterns for Norfork Lake are:
Stripers: I present shiners and threadfin shad using down lines with 3 oz weights set right above the shad in the lake. If we get several warm days with a southern wind the stripers will move shallow because the shad will be moving to the warmer waters. This will be brief until we can get consistent warm weather.
Crappie: The crappie will be in schools roaming the main channel and flats and in all the major creek arms. Depending on how fast the lake warms you can expect to catch crappies in stained shallow water and on the flats. The best technique is spider rigging, slow trolling with minnows, and jigs. If the bite is slow, move up to the stained shallows and probe the brush piles. Remember to look for the stain water with brush piles. You will catch the most crappies there if they have moved off the flat.
Bass: The Norfork Lake bass will be holding on the buffs and channel edges waiting for the warm water. Crankbaits, jigs, worms, and spinnerbaits will catch some good size fish this time of year. If you can get a strong south wind you will find the bass up on the flats chasing shad in late afternoons. It is one of my favorite times of year for bass. My personal preference are spinner baits either chartreuse and white during the day or if its low light a black skirt with 1" or 3" black curly tail. Really if you're into bass fishing you will be able to catch bass on any presentation. Look for the warmest stain water or find a creek arm where the wind has been pounding the shore you will find bass ready to take your lure.
Walleye: The walleye will begin their pre-spawn cycle in February. The best place to catch them using live bait is from Calamity Beach to the U.S.160 bridge. There are long stain water flats which hold the fish plus some deep holes from Bryant Creek up to the Udall boat ramp. The best baits are shiners and night crawlers on worm harnesses, slow trolled using your trolling motor. Another great method is night fishing using rogues. You may catch a striper but if you target the pea gravel banks you should zero in on the walleye. Remember to reel slowly and keep changing your colors until you can find what they want.
Tom & Sean Reynolds guide out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com, 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.