Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 8/15/2014

These pages are updated on Friday

Beaver Beaver Tail water Bull Shoals Greer's Ferry Kings River
  Millwood Norfork Norfork Tail water White River

 

White River

Updated 8/15/2014

Report by: BERRY BROTHERS GUIDE SERVICE  Fly Fishing For Trout            ABIGAIL’S BROWN Article
 

During the past week, we have had a few minor rain events (for a combined total of a quarter inch here in Cotter), cooler temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one tenth of a foot to rest at two and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is thirty six and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell six tenths of a foot to rest at two and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool and sixteen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell five tenths of a foot to rest at four feet below seasonal power pool or twelve and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had significant generation in the afternoon and limited wadable water in the morning. Norfork Lake fell six tenths of a foot to rest at three and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 555.7 feet and twenty seven and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had wadable water every day.   

The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are well below seasonal power pool. We should receive more wadable water.  

On the White, the hot spot was the section from White Hole down to Cotter. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers, Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a flashback beadhead pheasant tail nymph with a ruby midge or red fan tail midge suspended below it).   

It is time to be fishing grasshoppers. There is a bumper crop of them this year and the trout are already keying in on them. I favor shorter leaders (seven and a half foot 3X) and a stiff six weight rod to proper deliver these weighty flies. My favorite flies are Dave’s hoppers and the western foam varieties. To increase hook ups I always use a dropper. I am currently using a flashback beadhead pheasant tail nymph in size sixteen on a three foot tippet. 

The higher flows that we have been getting in the afternoons have been conducive to fishing large streamers. You need a fast sinking sink tip line and an eight weight or better rod. This is a heavy lift that requires casting skills and patience. 

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are low and clear and barely navigable. With the warmer weather, the smallmouth are active. The most effective flies are Clouser minnows and crawfish patterns. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.  

The Norfork River has fished poorly recently. With little no wadable water on the White there has been more angling pressure on the Norfork.  The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles like the green butt. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis).The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. The siphon to accommodate minimum flow was down for several days but appears to be back online now.  

With summer vacation, there has been a lot of action on Dry Run Creek. It has been crowded at times. Remember that there are trout everywhere. Now would be a great time to fish it. The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise). The creek is located in a narrow valley and is surprisingly cool during hot weather. It is a great place to beat the heat. 

The water level on the Spring River is a low and clear. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. We are in the midst of canoe season and it can be difficult to fish during the aluminum hatch. You should fish during the week to avoid the crowds. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.  

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is making repairs to the Dam at the State Fish Hatchery at the Dam Three Access. During this process water may be diverted from the main channel to the north channel that runs alongside the parking lot resulting in a rise in the water level there of up to two feet. The access will remain open to the public although the parking may be limited to the lot on the North side of the railroad tracks during busy times. All users are requested to exercise extreme care when in the area. 

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.  

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

 COTTER TROUT FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND 

BY JOHN BERRY 

One of the things that I love about this area is the many festivals we have here that are sponsored by the various small towns. As a Cotter resident, I may be prejudiced but I think that the Cotter Trout Festival is hands down the best. For me the main draw is where it is held, Cotter’s Big Spring Park. This is a lovely spot on the White River that has several features that makes it one of the best public parks in the area. 

There is, of course, Big Spring, a large natural spring that is the local swimming hole, complete with a rope swing. The spring draws locals and visitors during warm weather. When my grandchildren visit, this is their favorite spot. There is a trout sanctuary in the outflow from the spring that is a Catch and Release fishery for children and the handicapped with regulations like Dry Run Creek. Along the sanctuary there are several sheltered picnic tables with charcoal grills. There is a bridge spanning the stream that allows you to access a nature trail or the White River. 

There is a covered pavilion for large groups and a charming gazebo. There are clean public restrooms, a lighted baseball field and a river access complete with a nice ramp. There is a strong identity with Cotter’s past as a major railway hub, in the park. There is a statue of a railroad conductor, a couple of railway cabooses and several interpretive signs.  

The idea of a trout festival in Cotter is logical. Our water tower proudly proclaims our title as Trout Capital USA. Fishing is the primary business here. There are classic trout docks, lodging, restaurants, and a fly shop all catering to the needs of trout anglers. There are several professional guides (including myself) that call Cotter home. 

The Cotter trout festival will be held in Cotter’s Big Spring Park on Friday, May 2 from 4:30 PM till??? and Saturday, May 3 from 7:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Admission is free. This is a family friendly affair and a great way to entertain everyone at a low cost. 

Friday is dedicated to the arts. My friend, Sandy Barksdale, has put together a plein air painting event in Cotter. There is a quick draw competition from 4:30 PM till 5:30 PM with judging at 5:30 PM. There is a barbeque dinner at a nominal cost with entertainment supplied by Cutthroat Trout Jazz Band. They performed at the Trout Nature Center Banquet last week and I really enjoyed listening to them. 

Saturday is a busy day starting with breakfast at the Cotter VFW at 7:00 AM. There is our annual parade at 9:00 AM. The Arts/Crafts/Exhibitors/Commercial booths all open at 9:00 AM. There are kid’s games, the AG&FC shocking boat and stocking raft. There is the fishing hole and fly casting instruction and fly tying demonstrations supplied by the North Arkansas Fly Fishers. There is a car show and several bands (Gravel Yard Blue Grass Band, Rio and Kent and Becky Coffey) for entertainment. 

As you can see there is something for everyone. I hope to see you there. 

ASK JOHN 

Wanda Windknots asks: are there any hatches happening on the Norfork?

Wanda, there are the usual midges, some caddis and the occasional small mayfly. 

John Berry

 

berrybrothers@infodash.com

www.berrybrothersguides.com

(870) 435-2169

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home. 

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

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Greer's Ferry
Updated: 8/13/2014
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 3.25 feet low Temperature: low 80s

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer’s ferry is at 459.29 feet and falling it is 3.25 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet and the water temp is cool for this time of year, low 80’s. 

Bass fishing is slow, as some are shallow and moving, some floating around deep docks and some out to 50 feet, and some chasing bream in packs along the shore line, small crank baits, buzz baits, spinner baits, swim baits and foot ball heads working just pick what ya like and you can probably get bit on it, stay around the shad or bream. 

Bream have bedded again and guarding fry and eating small crank baits, crickets and crawlers up shallow and some are out in 50 feet of water. 

Crappie is eating some around 15-25 feet and some as deep as 50, on jigs and minnows. 

No-report on walleye  

Hybrids and white bass are eating through out the day from 25-50 feet of water on spoons, in-line spinners and swim baits, just stay with the bait. 

No report on catfish.

Tommy Cauley

Fishing Guide  

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Beaver Lake

Elevation at Normal Pool: 1121.4

Outflow: 1119 cfs.

Level:  Temperature: 

Report By:

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Beaver Tail water

 

 

No Report

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Kings River

 

No Report

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BULL SHOALS

updated 8/15/2014

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 657.0 

Outflow: 653

 Level:  Temperature:50s

Lake Map, Weather, Area Lake Services & Campground Info

Fishing Report by: Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock      "Braggin Board"

Hello everybody! Well, it looks like the catching is going to start. The fishing is always good. :) The water temperature is finally in the 50's on the surface. The bass are starting to stage towards the back of the creeks where the water is warmer. Haven't seen any beds yet but most of the fish have moved up shallower. I talked to several fisherman on the dock today. Most of them had smiles on their faces and fish in their livewells. The lake is normal level and the visibility is getting better every day. It is that time of the year. They are catching all species of bass, white bass and crappie. I am told by the night time fisherman that they are spotlighting and seeing lots of walleye on the bank at night but cant catch any yet. I have seen a few come in but not the numbers yet. Like everything else this year the walleye spawn is late. The patterns below are update as of April 1st. The white river continues to be fantastic. See the picture page for pics. Until next time! 

Bass- plastic baits in 5 to 15 feet of water. Mostly Carolina rigged lizards, brush hogs and other plastics Stick baits like a rogue, rebel, x-rap, mega-bass or something that simulates a dying shad. The water temperature is cold enough for the shad to die. They are catching them on the surface to 10 feet. Fairly shallow.  Jigs - Try to simulate a crawfish in 5 to 15 feet of water. Use a standard jig with some kind of plastic attached. Darker colors seem to be the best. Spinner baits in 0 to 10 feet of water back in the creeks on channel swings. Tube jigs along the bottom simulating a crawfish. Live minnows on a small split shot in 5 to 15 foot of water 

Crappie- when I can get a crappie fisherman to show off their crappie or talk about them this is what they are saying. I know there is some being caught. Most of the brush piles are 20 to 35 feet right now. 1/32 oz or 1/64 oz jigs around the brush piles small minnows when you can get them small spoons around the brush piles.  

White Bass - the whites are being caught. I haven't been able to talk anybody into taking a picture yet. One of the guides caught 30-40 today but they released them all. Go back in the creeks as far as you can go. Try 0 to 15 feet until you find them white jigs, rooster tails, spoons, road runner jigs, rapalas and or anything that looks like a minnow 

Walleye - there are several walleye being seen shallow at night after dark with spot lights. But, nobody is talking about catching them or showing them off yet. I have seen one or two here and there during the day. I think the catching should start any time. I believe they are spawning and not interested in eating anything right now. We will see of the next few days if it changes.

SO, COME FISHING WHENEVER YOU CAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home.

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Millwood

Updated: 8/11/2014

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 5.03 feet high Temperature:  78 early to 87

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

""""""<º)))><{""""" Fishing & Species Report """""}><(((º>""""""

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 11 Aug, the lake level is approx 5.3 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increase current of Little River with the gates releasing around 4799 CFS as of Monday. Water temps were stable over the past week.  Navigation near normal for Little River, as of Monday, but caution still urged with the debris, limbs, logs and broken vegetation in the river. 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 78ºF early to 87ºF range, depending on location.  Bass are good from 2-4 pounds on topwaters early.  Crappie have disappeared with the increase of current and muddy water in Little River.  Channel Cats and Blues are good in the river's current on trot lines. 

Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.64 mfsl, with increased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was 4799 CFS.  Continue to use caution during navigation on Little River and Millwood, watching for floating debris, floaters, and limbs from all the recent high wind.  Tailwater level as of Monday is 231.28. 

Clarity and visibility is somewhat improved compared to last week, most areas on main lake and Little River.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-10 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake muddy.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-7 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location but mud lines have moved into the oxbows with the increase of current in Little River.  Little River above McGuire oxbow is muddy with lots of current and Cossatot River is contributing lots of muddy inflow.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms. 

The Details: 

Largemouth Bass:  Bass are good between from 2 to 4 pounds on topwaters early and late.  Most bass are agressive at dawn around lily pad stands, and shallow vegetation at dawn.   

Bucktail Pop-R's, solid body frogs, Bass Assassins, and Arborghast Jitterbugs remain a good bet, early and late.  Working top waters around pads and vegetation adjacent to deeper sections of the creek channels continue drawing good reactions at dawn.  Good bites continue on the soft plastic frogs this week around pads in clearest water you can find.  

Bass Assassin Shads in Chartreuse Pepper Shad are working best in the heavy stained or muddy water, and Watermelon - red flake colors continue working around clear water and vegetation.  Rat-L-Traps and cranks are working along vegetation growth and weed lines near deep water drops.  Tennessee Shad or Citrus Shad Bomber crankbaits continue to be best reaction colors over the past week by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  Magnum sized, 4" salty tubes in pumpkinseed, black neon, or purple smoke colors continue working in clear water away from river current. 

Best colors Rat-L-Traps working over the past week have been Oxbow, Avacado Zombie, or Sexy Chrome; away from any river current.  Back in the oxbows as far from river current and in the clearing water, around 4-8 feet depth flats near creek channel swings, deflecting off stumps in the clearest water you can locate seem to produce best over the past couple weeks with the Traps and crankbaits.   

White Bass:   Whites/hybrids continue roaming Little River and the oxbows, and continue hitting the Tenneessee Shad or citrus shad colored crankbaits in the back of the oxbows.  Several days over the past couple weeks, the Whites were surface breaking on shad in Mud, and McGuire.  These fish were hitting small, Smokey Joe Pop-R's & Chug Bugs with a rear feather tail hook or Little Cleos and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white. 

Crappie: No report. 

Cats:  Blues and channel cats remain good this week in the increased current of Little River on trot lines this week, approx 8-10 feet deep, in creek mouths and outer bends of the river.  Best trotline baits have been Charlie, stink bait, or chicken livers.   

                                 }><(((º>   Lake Level & River Conditions Report    <º)))><{ 

Surface temps as of Monday, 28 July are ranging 78ºF early to 87ºF range, depending on location.   

Lake level as of Monday is currently 5.3 inches above normal pool at 259.64 mfsl, and falling with increased river current.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate was around 4800 CFS on Monday. The tailwater level as of Monday, is 231.28 mfsl.  Navigation near normal for Millwood, yet use caution for floaters with broken limbs and logs in the increased current of Little River. 

Clarity and visibility is improved compared to last week, most areas on main lake and Little River.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-10 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake is muddy.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-7 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location, however mud lines from Little River have began moving into the oxbows as of Monday.  Little River above McGuire oxbow is muddy with lots of current and Cossatot inflow is contributing lots of muddy current.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms. 

To volunteer for one of the cleanup dates or ramp and USACE park information, contact Tony Porter at the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office.  To receive project updates, daily lake level information updates, gate release flows, tailwater information, park and campground information, or volunteer, call the US Army Corps of Engrs toll-free information line at 888-697-9830 or the US Army Corps of Engineers' main number to verify another Corps of Engrs project is open, at 877-444-6777. 

Wear your Life Jacket and kill switch!!  If you are suddenly or unexpectedly thrown from your boat, it could be your only chance of survival.  Use caution navigating Little River in low light conditions, SLOW DOWN, and pass friendly to other boaters!  As always, careful watch for any random floaters and debris in Little River's current, and wearing your PFD and kill switch is a requirement! 

Visit with us on our website, YouTube, and on Facebook, for the most current Millwood Lake fishing and water conditions report, updated weekly.  See some great catch and release photos, sponsor links, tons of great information and resources on the lake available to you, along with excellent related direct links to Arkansas' State Parks, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Black Bass Program, The US Army Corps of Engineers, Arkansas.com and tons more great fishing stuff....

  Come see what all the excitement's about! 

Mike 

Thanks for your interest in Millwood Lake Guide Service ~ Arkansas' Best Bass Fishing!

Mike Siefert

Owner/Operator

www.MillwoodGuideService.com

""GOFISH""""<º)))><{{"""  

22+ years in the professional guide business on Millwood Lake, since 1990!

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Norfork

Updated 8/15/2014

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 550.2 

Release Rate: 32705 cfs.

Level:  Temperature:

Lake Map, Weather, Area Lake Services & Campground Info

Report by: Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait 

Fishing Norfork Lake has been great this March.

Don't miss out on the 2nd annual Norfork Lake Fishing Derby being sponsored by the Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce. It is easy to enter, just stay and register for the Derby at a participating Norfork Lake lodging facility. You could win up to $1,500. Catch the longest fish in 3 different species (striped bass, black bass and crappie) and become a winner for 2014. The Derby runs through June 15, 2014. For more information go to www.NorforkFishingDerby.com or call 870-492-5113. Spring is the best time to catch many big fish on Norfork Lake. And remember to bring a Big Net!

For information on the Jordan Campground, please call (870) 499-7223 or Jordan Marina at (870) 499-7348.  The Jordan Campground is open from April 1st to October 1st.

 No Report

Updated: 8/15/2014

Report by: Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing continues to be the best bite on the lake. Striped bass fishing is the next best bite.  

Catfishing has been very good and crappie fishing has been fair.  

There is still a good top water bite for bass at sunrise and sunset. Once the sun comes up, the fish stay down, but can still be caught in the sunken buck brush down through 20 feet of water. Spinner baits and crank baits are working good on windy days and soft plastics when it is windy or calm. Shaky heads, tube jigs, jig & pigs, Texas rig worms or just about any type of plastic bait you like to use.  

Look for bass off of secondary points back in creeks and coves, close to submerged brush piles or on shallow flats. Spots can be found on the deeper rock bluff walls again off of points and the sides of the point.

Striper fishing keeps getting better. I have only been using artificial baits. I have had luck with top water baits as well as flukes and jerk baits (when it is still dark).  Top water action for stripers has been spotty, but when you find the fish it can be a blast.  I have found fish half way back in major creeks. At this time of year and with this water temperature you will be able to find stripers on the surface down to around 30 feet of water. At this 30 foot level they can be suspended in the deep channel water or sitting on the bottom.  The stripers are almost everywhere on the lake at this time. We should start to see schooling fish so get your spoons ready as it will soon be vertical jigging time for stripers. You can also troll umbrella rigs or Alabama rigs to catch some of these strong fish. If you find fish down 30 feet you may need to add in-line weights to get your artificial bait down to the right depth.  

Don't forget about top water action for stripers, hybrids and whites, I have seen plenty of this action during the month of June in prior years. Catfish are hitting really well on trotlines and jugs. The use of live blue gill, nightcrawlers, chicken livers and shad are all working really well. Set your trotlines in 10 - 25 feet of water. Jug fishing works the best if you weight the jug to the bottom. This way you will be able to find them when you are checking them. Crawler harnesses are also working very well for catfish for you rod and reel fisher people.  

Crappie fishing is starting to slow a bit with the warm weather. You can still catch some nice fish on brush piles in 20 - 30 feet of water. The crappie will be inside of brush or suspended as the water warms. 

Another great enticement to fish our lake is our second annual Norfork Lake Fishing Derby. You will have the opportunity to win up to $1,500 for a very small investment. Give me a call for details at 870-492-5113. The derby runs from March 1 to June 15.

 

Updated: 8/15/2014

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is dropping but still in the normal pool for the summer. The water temperature is in the high-eighties. The water visibility is stained.  

The stripers & hybrids continue feeding on crawdads in 35 to 40’ in the mouth of creeks near the old river channel. Live bait is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are now being caught trolling using swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs & spoons. The previous week the polar express came in and the weather pattern changed.  

The stripers moved off the flats and retreated back into the deep water in the mouths of creeks.  

Shad is schooling in the main lake and the creeks. Find the shad and you will find the stripers. Everybody assumes that the use of live bait will always produce stripers, not true. When they go into a negative mood they will not bite. I had clients for four days and two of those days we did not catch a fish, the other two we caught one & two. With the changing weather patterns I had loss the catch able fish. We found lots of stripers but they just would not bite. Using a guide is your best choice to catch a striper but there is no way you can control the weather and changing patterns. I found feeding fish in the mouth of a major creek by Georges Cove, lots of shad and the stripers were feeding on them. The method was down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers. I took my brother and his grandson Devin on his first striper trip, the fish were biting early. Devin caught his first striper before light and finished up with 4 ranging from 8 1o 15 lbs. We had a great time seeing a young man catch a big fish. The walleye have slowed their bite, They are in their summer pattern and can be caught by trolling crank baits, nightcrawlers on worm harnesses, and spoons. The warmer water has moved the walleye deeper into 40’ of water on the flats, brush piles, and rounded points. Look at Diamond Bay, the Panther Bay area, Hand Cove, and Hudson point. 

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Norfork Tail water

Updated 8/15/2014

Report by: Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service 

The lake level is 554.2 and the water temp is in the mid 80's.  

The bass are coming up early and just before dark hitting topwater baits. There are a lot of short fish but  some good fish are mixed in with them. Throw a white or clear Zara Spook Jr. After that you will need to fish with a worm, jig, drop-shot rig, or drop a jigging spoon. Most of this activity is in the creeks on points and channel swings. Start looking for stripers down around 40ft. and you need to get you bait or lure down to where you see them. Look in the Big Creek area, Diamond Bay, and down around the dam areas. There have been some whites hitting jigging spoons in the creeks and in some coves around 34ft.

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