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NWA fishing report

by Flip Putthoff | February 23, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Beaver Lake

Winter weather put the brakes on most fishing last week. Here are some recommended tactics from fishing report contacts now that temperatures have moderated.

Reese Jones at Hook, Line and Sinker in Rogers said cold-water lures such as an Alabama rig, jerk bait, crawdad-colored crank baits or jig and pig are good lure choices.

For striped bass, troll with Alabama rigs. Good live baits are brood minnows or shad. Top-water action is possible early. The south half of the lake may produce the best striper fishing.

For crappie, try minnows or jigs 20 feet deep around brush. Some coves and creek arms at Beaver Lake iced over during the freeze and may not have thawed yet. Average surface water temperature is in the upper 30s to 40 degrees.

Beaver tailwater

Beaver Dam Store said fly fishing with woolly buggers or midges in low water may get trout to bite. Good midge colors are copper and black, red and silver or root beer.

In the lure category, small olive-colored jigs may work. Try small crank baits such as size 6 or 7 Flicker Shads or size 5 or 7 countdown Rapalas. Small red and gold spoons are worth a cast.

For bait, try Power Bait or Gulp bait combined with a waxworm or nightcrawler.

Long periods of power generation take place at Beaver Dam on cold days creating high water conditions. Drift fishing in a boat works best in high water.

Lake Fayetteville

David Powell at the lake office recommends fishing for crappie with hair jigs 15 feet deep or shallower. Try fishing near the intake tower. There is potential for ice on the lake. Call the lake office, 479-444-3476 for conditions.

Lake Sequoyah

Mike Carver at the lake office said crappie typically bite jigs 10 feet deep during winter. Try a jig and pig for black bass.

There is potential for ice on the lake. Call the lake office, 479-444-3475 for conditions.

Bella Vista

Chip Wiseman at Hook, Line and Sinker in Bella Vista suggests using Alabama rigs to catch black bass on all Bella Vista lakes.

Trout bite well in winter at Lake Brittany on Power Bait or Gulp bait. Red and gold spoons may work.

Swepco Lake

Kenny Stroud in Siloam Springs recommends fishing for black bass at Swepco Lake with soft plastic lures or swim baits. Try top-water lures at sunrise, sunset and cloudy days.

Illinois River

Stroud recommends fishing for black bass with hair jigs in dark colors. Small jerk baits may also work. Work lures slowly.

Eastern Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation recommends fishing for black bass at Grand Lake and Lake Eucha with Alabama rigs, crank baits or spinner baits around docks, in coves and along points. Go for catfish with stink bait, liver or cut bait.

At Lake Tenkiller, try fishing for crappie around docks or timber with jigs or small crank baits.

Table Rock Lake

Focused Fishing Guide Service said the recent freeze caused coves and creek arms to ice over and drop the water temperature to about 40 degrees. That should result in a die-off of threadfin shad, which begin to die in water colder than 42 degrees.

The shad kill should make black bass fishing tough for one to three weeks because fish can gorge on dying shad. Once the shad kill is over, when the water warms somewhat, use Alabama rigs, jerk baits, swim baits or jig and pigs.

Good spots to fish will be where spring-fed creeks bring warmer water into the lake. Be cautious of ice on the lake, even though temperatures are warmer.

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