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Fishing report: Beaver Lake level falling, catfish are biting

by Flip Putthoff | May 23, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.
Fishing rod, spinning reel on the background pier river bank. Sunrise. Fog against the backdrop of lake. Misty morning. wild nature. The concept of rural getaway. Article about fishing day. fishing tile / Getty Images

Beaver Lake: The lake level is slowly falling. The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water through hydropower generation and occasional spillway releases.

Jon Conklin, fishing guide, said striped bass are scattered and moving toward the midlake area. Good places to fish include Point 12, Horseshoe Bend park and the islands north of the Arkansas 12 bridge. Shad or brood minnows are the best baits.

Crappie are in shallow or deep water. Try minnows or jigs worked around wood cover. Bluegill fishing is good with worms or crickets in shallow water. Carp are in the bushes and are good targets for bowfishermen.

Southtown Sporting Goods in Fayetteville said black bass fishing is fair with top-water lures and soft plastic lures. When bass are schooling in open water on the surface, cast a spoon or crank bait.

Beaver tailwater: Austin Kennedy, fishing guide, said trout are biting prepared trout baits such as Berkley Power Bait or Pautzke Fire Eggs. The stretch of river between U.S. 62 bridge and Houseman Access is a good area to fish.

Power generation at Beaver Dam is generally in the mornings and afternoons, creating good conditions for drift-fishing from a boat.

Lake Fayetteville: Lake Fayetteville Marina said bluegill are biting well on worms or crickets. Use minnows or jigs for crappie at various depths. Try plastic worms for black bass.

Lake Sequoyah: Angler Mike McBride said frequent rain has created muddy conditions. Try for catfish with any type of catfish bait. When the water is clearer, use minnows or jigs for crappie. Plastic worms, spinner baits and top-water lures are good to use for black bass.

Bella Vista: Chip Wiseman at Hook, Line and Sinker in Bella Vista said fishing is good for bluegill and redear with crickets or worms two feet deep under a bobber. All Bella Vista lakes are good for bluegill and redear, particularly Loch Lomond, Ann and Windsor.

Try for black bass with plastic worms in shallow water. Top-water lures work well early, late and on cloudy days. Catfish are biting well on all types of catfish bait.

Please note that fishing in Bella Vista is open only to POA members and their guests.

Swepco Lake: Kenny Stroud in Siloam Springs recommends using plastic worms or any soft plastic lure for black bass. Try for catfish with liver, nightcrawlers or cut bait.

Illinois River: Stroud said black bass fishing is good with small soft plastic lures when the water is low.

Elk River: Drew Daniel at Big Elk Floats and Camping said black bass fishing is good with white spinner baits, white Zoom Super Flukes and large black and white swim baits. Top-water lures are working early and late. A black Jitterbug is good to use.

Eastern Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reports good crappie fishing at Lake Tenkiller with tube jigs or minnows fished around brush, rocks or docks. Black bass are biting well on buzz baits, crank baits, plastic worms or jerk baits. Channel catfish and blue catfish are biting well on liver or cut bait.

At Grand Lake, black bass fishing is good with plastic worms or spinner baits worked around brush, docks, rocks or standing timber. Crappie fishing is good with tube jigs or minnows around docks or rocks. White bass are biting Sassy Shads, shad-type lures or tube jigs in tributaries.

At Lake Eucha, black bass fishing is good with Alabama rigs, crank baits, jigs or plastic worms fished around brush and rocks. Crappie are biting well on minnows or jigs around standing timber.

Table Rock Lake: Focus Fishing Guide Service said fishing with top-water lures has improved. Work spawning pockets with lures such as a Zara Spook or Pop-R. Swim baits are good to use in mossy areas. Work the lure off the bottom above the moss.

Bottom-bouncing lures such as jig and pigs or plastic worms are good to use in areas without moss. Fish five to 15 feet deep. Spinner baits or chatter baits are good to use on breezy days around lay-down trees and other cover.

-- Compiled by Flip Putthoff

Print Headline: NWA fishing report


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