OUTDOORS ARKANSAS


By: Larry W. Walthall


Member: FOWA


Most of you know that Charleston had a fishing derby this past Saturday. I was not able to go because the High School girl’s softball and the boy’s baseball teams were playing in the State Championships in Harrison, Arkansas. But the kids fishing is close to my heart as you may see in the photos this week. If you get a chance to take a kid fishing please do. Whether it is your son or daughter or grandchild or just a kid you know, help them enjoy the ARKANSAS OUTDOORS.


REPORT:


Lake Ouachita is in great fishing shape. To quote my good friend Joe Hughes, “Even though there are slow days, a good day may be tomorrow.”


Other than water temperature fluctuations and cold fronts, the two major factors to consider on Lake Ouachita are dropping water levels and the current shad spawn.


The lake level has dropped about two feet in the last week and is hovering just over full-pool designation of 278 feet. This tends to move predators from the flooded trees and brush out into more fishable areas.


The shad spawn also brings deeper fish into pockets and coves to dine on the massive schools of shad that are present. Find one of these areas and do not be surprised to catch largemouth, Kentucky bass, walleye, white bass and stripers in a relatively small area. Minnow jerk baits like Rebels, Rogues and RC3’s are excellent choices. So are square bill crankbaits and deep divers. Shad patterns will work the best.


After many years of less than stellar white bass populations, these fish has made a big comeback both in numbers and size.


The walleye population is also at a recent high. These great tasting fish are being caught in numbers off of relatively shallow drops to include both rock and clay points. Perch and shad patters should work well. Orange belly models have an edge. Longer, shad -shaped cranks also have an edge.


Crappie are also still very good although the depths vary from the ten foot range down to deeper brush in 25 to 30 feet of water. Live bait, in-line spinners and jigs have an equal opportunity to produce.


Bream are getting close to their first spawn of the year but, dropping water temperatures have placed a temporary hold on their movement.


Catfish Yo-Yoing can be seen flashing along the flooded creek channels in all of the major rivers and creeks. And, they are producing good catches of flatheads and channels. Blues if you want them.


Remember to check the regulations, as there are size limits on some of these fish.


If you have a picture that you would like to submit, you can email it to ksims@charlestonexpress.com, call (479) 252-6351, and let them know you have a picture to submit or drop by 38 Town Square, Greenwood, AR. 72936 to drop it off.


Good Luck-Good Fishing-Be Safe and enjoy OUTDOORS ARKANSAS