Last Updated July 10, 2019
Little Red River
Our source for the Little Red River, Lowell Myers, told us, "Currently the Corps of Engineers is releasing 12 hours of two units of generation daily. This generation pattern is providing small windows of wading opportunities on the upper sections of the river early mornings and on the middle and lower sections later in the day and good drift fishing on all sections. Greers Ferry Lake continues to remain high from the past few months of rain. An increase in generation on the Little Red River is expected to lower the lake to seasonal pool as soon as possible. How much of an increase and duration will depend on rainfall and potential flooding downstream during the time they are lowering the lake. Until that time, recommended are midges, sowbugs, emergers, BWO's, and streamers for fly fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing hot pink colored bodies on chartreuse jig heads. 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 (at the time of this report) was at 473.70 feet and mostly falling it came up a bit after last rain but overall is falling with about 12 hours generation going on and the word is they are going 24/7 generation at some point, it is 11.16 feet above normal pool of 462.54 feet. The overall catching is good with the forecast for catching is good as everything is healthy and we have a lot of threadfin for them to eat, looks like we have come off a good shad spawn which will help the forage level so much. Black Basses are shallow to deep and in-between and some are roaming schooling in open water, shallow fish are chasing Bream around since they have been spawning ,fluke's, top water baits, small cranks, spinnerbaits working as well as dragging something will catch any and all at all depths at present. Crappie are being picked up fishing vertical and trolling around as well over and down to 30 feet of water on beetle spins, jigs, minnow, crank baits. Walleye have been acting crazy, all the current we have been experiencing the last several months has played a role in how they want to get set up, try dragging crawlers on jig heads or a drop shot in 12-40 feet of water on chunk rock flats. Catfishing is good and will get even better as the water gets lower as they will be more hemmed up so to speak ,the high water just has the fisherman throwed a loop other than the fish, all styles and ways of catching them will work at present ,just get out their it is a very underutilized resource we have .Hybrid and White basses are eating if you can stay with them as they are roaming a lot and if you keep beating on other fisherman's spots, as the old code of ethics still remains in effect , it will drive them off, find your own shad and spots with them on it and you will be able to catch them their until they start moving again when water cools back off this fall, and you will be able to learn so much more reading your electronics and it will give ya confidence in finding and catching on your own, try spoons, in-line spinners, swim baits, as well as top water baits, in 25-55 feet.."
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, "July is one of the two best months for striper fishing the other is August. The stripers are in their deep water summer pattern and schooling. They are now suspended under the thermocline which hovers around 32 feet. This is because the oxygen level is too low in the upper water column for the stripers to survive. Stripers require 5 to 6 parts per million of oxygen to be active and healthy. We usually begin the morning by leaving the dock at 4 or 4:30 AM to catch the real early bite. The stripers will be on shallow flats, in 30 to 50 feet feeding on crawdads. We give each person one fishing pole baited with a six-inch gizzard shad. The setup is a 4 oz weight with a 2-foot leader and circle hook. We set the lines right above the bottom of the lake and wait for the strike. The stripers will swipe at the bait which feels like a bite but it's not. With the next hit the rod will start to bend and the rod tip should hit the water before you can set the hook. This is the hardest part of early morning fishing because my clients want to set the line before the strike or will not let the rod go into the water before setting the line. This year Norfork Lake is at normal pool and crystal clear, you can see the striper your fighting at least 30 feet down. In this clear of water you need to downsize your leader since they can see it. We tested on bass at the dock, one pole had 15 lb fluorocarbon leader with live bait, the bass would come up take a look and swim off. We then tried 10 lb fluorocarbon leader with live bait and bass came up and took the bait. I have been running 10 lb leaders on all my summer poles. We will be using gizzard shad from 4 to 8" depending on what the stripers are feeding on.
As the water warms up the stripers continue to migrate to the dam area. This where the deepest, coolest water is with the most amount of dissolved oxygen. We will be fishing within a 1 to 2 miles of the dam from July through September. There is three ways to catch stripers during this period, live baiting, trolling, and spooning. Live bait is by far the most effective for catching lots of fish but trolling can be very effective as the stripers begin to go deep and are in river channels. There are many years the stripers are so close to the bottom that the trollers cannot get their baits close enough for the fish to strike the lure. This is when spooning becomes most effective. The best days spooners have is when they can find the stripers feeding deep on the bottom. You drop the spoon to the bottom and jerk hard up and let it slowly go down. The stripers will usually hit the spoon on the drop. We find that the bendable Fle-Fly spoon very productive. Bend a very shallow arc in the middle of the spoon for the best action. You can also catch them when their feeding in open water. You count down the line to the fish and again jerk up and let drop slowly.
Points with long flats and river channels are the most effective places to find and catch stripers. The stripers feed early shallow then move out to deeper water when the sun comes up. Some of the best points are Thumb, Point 1, Hudson, Koso, Dam Cove, Barron Creek, Hand Cove, and the Dam Bays. One or more of these points will hold fish all summer once you find the fish they will usually be there for a long period of time.
The bass will be in their summer pattern, early morning top water then jigs, worms and spinner baits are your best baits. There is also great night fishing throwing jigs, worms, and black or red 3/8 oz spinner baits. You can catch fish all over the main lake and in the creeks.
The crappie will be in feeding on the deep brush piles and flats that are deeper then 15 feet. Spider rigging is the most effective technique to catch them. Bennett's Bayou is your best choice to catch summer crappies forwarded by Brushy Creek and then Big Creek."
Tom & Sean Reynolds fish Lake Norfork and they guide out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com, 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.