Last Updated May3, 2019
Little Red River
Our source for the Little Red River, Lowell Myers, told us,"The Corps of Engineers is releasing one unit of generation, or equivalent of one unit through spillway gates, 24hrs at this time. This is because the Greers Ferry Lake level is above normal seasonal pool due to recent rains, so longer periods of generation are expected to lower the lake level as quickly as possible. San Juan worms, micro jigs and streamers for fly fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing cotton candy and hot pink colored bodies on silver and chartreuse jig head. 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 is at 469.34 feet it is 7.3 feet above normal pool of 462.04,and rain in forecasts again, it should rise more generators are down and spillway is releasing water at present and will continue to do so until normal pool is attained. Crappie are spawning, some have, some are and some have not, fish a jig or minnow in and around buck brush. Walleye are trying to get bunched up in lake try dragging a minnow or crank bait over rocky flats in front of bushes or even swim a grub in front of them. Catfish are eating bream, cut bait on a variety of applications on flats in lake and rivers. Black basses are eating spawning and recovering all at the same time, they are super shallow and can be found as well out to 20 feet of water and can be caught a lot of different ways. Bream are eating crickets and small crank baits, in-line spinners, from real shallow out to 15 feet. Hybrid and White bass are in all 3 phases of getting rid of their eggs as well, try super shallow out to 30 feet with a gauntlet of baits."
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, "May begins the transition from spring to summer on Norfork Lake. Again this year we see a lot later transition due to the very cold winter and spring. This year we have early rains that has raised the lake above winter pool by 11' and the water continues to stay cooler. Once the warmer trend begins we should get back to regular patterns. Sometime in May but by the end of May the patterns will blend from spring to summer techniques. For stripers it all starts and ends with the water temperature which causes our thermocline. If we get a hot streak and the water warms up into the eighties the patterns can change in a week's time. Stripers require 5 to 6 parts per millions of oxygen for a quality habitat. As the water warms the thermocline keeps moving down and settles around the 30' mark. Once this occurs the stripers will be limited to early morning and late evening bites which is when they can feed above the thermocline since the oxygen level above 30' does meet their requirement of 5 plus parts per million of oxygen. The top water bite will be strong in the beginning of May and will slowly wind down as May winds down. The bass fishing should be outstanding with lots of top water action. You will see large schools of both smallmouth and largemouth chasing shad both early morning and late evening.
Stripers will be shallow early in the morning but once the sun comes up they move off into deeper water. This time of year you should be setting out your lines for stripers in all the water columns. I will fish deep channels with sharp turns this time of year. I will have floats with 2 oz weights set at 30 and 40 feet far behind the boat to catch the stripers who are roaming and feeding on suspended shad. I still use planner boards. One is set with a 1 oz weight and the other with a split shot. Both set about 20 to 30' behind the boat and will be baited with 6" gizzard shad. My free lines will have just a split shot with both threadfin and smaller gizzard shad. I will also have 2 downlines with 2 oz weights set at 30 and 40'. While I'm fishing I continue to watch my deep finder looking for how the fish are holding and adjust my lines according. My fishing locations will be in the main lake channels and deep points. When the wind blows later in the morning I will move to the windy banks and let the wind push me down the banks, the stripers will be holding along these banks waiting on bait that's great technique to catch late morning stripers.
Crappie should have completed their spawning cycle and move out of the shallows. On Norfork you can still catch crappies shallow in May but the best bite will be spider rigging in the 10 to 15' flats in the creeks. The white crappie will move to the deeper brush piles while the black crappie will stay in the shallow water until the lake hits the high eighties. When I'm baiting trying to catch shad I observe a select group of dedicated crappie fishermen spider rigging and consistently catch large numbers of crappies in waters that I thought was too warm so don't be afraid to fish shallow late in May.
The best creeks for crappie are Big Creek, Brushy Creek, Pigeon Creek, and Bennett's Bayou on the main lake. The upper lake areas are Red Bank, Calamity, and Bryant Creek.
Bass fishing in May is a fun month. The bass should be finishing their spawning cycle but you will find bass that are still holding on the beds. You will see top water action all over the lake especially early morning and late evening. Just about any bait works this time of year. Find a windy bank and throw a spinner bait or hit a deep point and try a jig or worm, they all work. Throwing jerk baits are very effective tool for catching suspend bass. You may also catch a big striper or walleye while doing this. May is just a fun month to fish Norfork Lake for bass. There is not a bad place on Norfork Lake this time of year."
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.