Last Updated January 31, 2019
Our source for the Little Red River, Lowell Myers, told us, "Due to the recent rains, the Corps of Engineers has been releasing significant amounts of water daily from the Greers Ferry Lake to maintain the lake at top pool level. Generation often changes from published schedule, so it's best to check both scheduled generation and current water release information to determine if river level is safe for fishing the Little Red. For fly fishing, we recommend egg patterns, san juan worms and streamers during high water conditions and midges, soft hackles, sowbugs and streamers during normal water conditions. Hot pink, cotton candy and white colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin fishing. Be safe while enjoying the river. 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."
For trip information contact Lowell Myers, Sore Lip'EM All Guide Service, website: sorelipemall.com, email: [email protected], phone: 501.230.0730
Tommy Cauley told us, "The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 462.31 feet it is 0.27 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet and trying to come up even more. Greers Ferry's fish population is very healthy and there is plenty of bait present as we go into spring as a lot of the species are feeding all day at present as it has been a good catching winter thus for, the long-range weather is supposed to be wet so we should have plenty of water for the upcoming spawn which will be great for reproduction overall. Catfish, had a neighbor, that is nicked named Dummy tell me last night he has been catching lots using milo for bait in the lake, using a variety of baits on all 3 species. Crappie are eating minnows and jigs around any timber on the lake at the right depths,18-30 feet according to conditions at present, fish slow until you get bit and then slow down some more and or slow roll a beetle spin horizontal in pole timber. Walleye are staging for spawn, and are in various locations, grouped up eating and moving with conditions, here today gone tomorrow, you just have to stay on water to stay with them, use crank baits, jigs tipped with minnows and drop shot rigs as well. Black Basses are scattered from up on the bank out to 60 feet and all in-between, crank baits, spinner baits, hair jigs, bottom jigs-rigs working all over the lake pick your poison, a whacky rig working as well just takes patience and more patience, this time of year is good for the float and fly as well. Hybrid and white bass are eating well off and on all day, you just have to stay around the shad as they will be moving and are on the move, hair jigs working well as is a spoon, in-line spinners and a swim bait, you can catch fish in depths from 25-80 feet of water right now. Bream no-report."
To book a trip with Tommy, call 501-654-8844 or 501-940-1318. You can also email Tommy at [email protected].
Our source for Norfork Lake, Mr. Tom Reynolds, told us "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. 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.