Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 4/16/2015

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 4/15/2015

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

During the past week, we have had a several rain events, (an inch and a quarter here in Cotter), warm temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose three tenths of a foot to rest at eight and three tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is twenty seven and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell eight tenths of a foot to rest seasonal power pool and sixteen tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell one tenth of a foot to rest at four tenths of a foot above seasonal power pool or nine and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation with no wadable water. Norfork Lake fell one and one tenth feet to rest at four and one tenth feet above seasonal power pool of 553.7 feet and twenty two and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had heavy generation with no wadable water  

The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to recent rains, all of the lakes on this system are well above seasonal power pool and the Corps of Engineers is aggressively releasing water to draw the lake levels down to power pool. I do not foresee wadable water in the near future.  

On the Norfork, one of the generators is down for routine maintenance. In an effort to draw the lake down the Corps of Engineers is releasing additional water through the flood gates. The total release is approximately 6,000 cubic feet per second which is near maximum release through the generators.  

On heavy generation, the best way to catch fish is to switch to longer leaders and heavier weight. On the White, the hot spot was the Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a prince nymph with a ruby midge or root beer midge suspended below it).  

Conventional wisdom states that hopper fishing begins in late summer. I reject this idea and fish them all year. 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 (#10) and the western pink lady (#8). To increase hook ups I always use a dropper. I am currently using a ruby or root beer midge in size eighteen on a three foot or longer tippet (depending on the depth of the water I am fishing).  

There have been several reliable sightings of caddis hatching. This is our major hatch of the year. They are size fourteen and easy to see. Before the hatch, you should concentrate on fishing prince nymphs. When the trout key on the top but no insects are present, switch over to my green butt. When you observe trout taking adult insects from the top of the water column, you should switch over to elk hair caddis dry flies.  

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are stained and high. With the weather warming, the smallmouths should be active soon. 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. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. 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 #10). 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.  

There was more fishing pressure on Dry Run Creek due to spring break. It has been a great time to fish there. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10).   

The water on the Spring River is stained and high. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river to interfere with your fishing. 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 (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).   

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.



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. 


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

(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: 4/16/2015
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 1.04 feet low Temperature:

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer’s Ferry Lake is at 461.00 and rising it is 1.04 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet

The walleye fishing is going good, the mud is the problem and the water will clear up soon, try grubs, jig heads tipped with minnows ,big crank baits and jerk baits. 

No-report on catfish

The bass fishing is slow at best , with the action picking in in just a couple of days the bite will be on, try crank baits and jerk baits as well as jigs for the next week. 

No-report on bream

The crappie are still eating well in 50 feet of water but expect them to move up into the 15-25 foot range with in a few days with the warm water run in. 

The Hybrid and white bass fishing is great all over the lake if you can find the shad, use spoons, in-line sinners ,swim baits, and hair jigs, the fish are eating in 44-53 feet and expect them to make a move in the next few days to a little more shallow water 25-40 feet. 

The Anglers Expo is this weekend at Heber Springs , Friday and Saturday try and come out and support it, will be a lot going on.

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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updated 4/16/2015

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"

No Report


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

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Updated: 4/13/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 1.08 feet high Temperature:  65-74

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 13 April, lake level remains 1.8 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is reduced current of Little River with the gates releasing around 3,100 CFS Monday.  Water temps rose over the past week.  Navigation is considered cautious for Little River, as of Monday.  Several river buoy markers are missing in Little River with current. 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 65ºF early to 74ºF range, depending on location, wind, and sun.   

Lake level is currently is 259.35 ft-msl, with heavy increased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate near 3,100 CFS as of Monday.  Tailwater level 227.37 and falling. Clarity and visibility is improved, most areas of the lake are normal stain.  Saline River and Cottonshed areas still muddy inflows.   

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-10 inches.  Entire lake is stained, but Cottonshed, Okay, and east to Saratoga from Saline River inflow remains muddy.  Little River's visibility ranges 9-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarities still stained in places, continues to improve, ranging approx 20-24 inches depth of visibility more or less, depending on location.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, thunderstorms, or increased current.

The Details:  

Largemouth Bass:  the Bass activity levels improved again over the past week with increased day time high temps. Bass continue staging and spawing in full swing, a few have already finished and are post-spawn, over the past week with improved surface temperatures.  Male and female bass have been noted on beds, coming off beds, or building beds in shallow flats.  

Bass are best from around 10am-3pm, and a slow moving, swim bait, chatterbait, Rat-L-Traps, 5" Bass Assassin Shads, frogs, and lizards continue working over the past few weeks.  Over the past week, bass energy levels continued to improved, and were good on a variety of lures presented slow and methodical.  Chatterbaits in black / blue colors remain good this week, a white swimming jig, magnum size lizards in black, blue, or purple, and slow moving Rat-L-Traps continue taking bass that are running in and out of spawning areas and in creek channels and ditches.  Best color of Rat-L-Traps over the past few weeks has been working in creek channels and adjacent flats next to stumps, from 1-5 feet of depth are Red Chrome and 'Lectric Red on full sun days, and Red Zombie Shad or Red Shad or white and Millwood Magic, on cloudy days.   

Clearest water you can find, seems to be their preferred hang out in protected coves and pockets along the main lake from south Hickory to the golf course pockets down to the Millwood State Park.  Crankbaits, swimming jigs, or soft plastic swim baits, and chatterbaits moved erratic; stop and go, around isolated cover, stumps and vegetation, were the best bets to draw reactions and get bit, but most active during the warmest period of the high sun over the past couple weeks.  4" Bang Pure Craws, in Okeechobee Craw, Junebug/Blue or Green Pumpkin/Red, texas rigged were getting bit in south Hickory from Little River down to the golf course next to stumps, cypress trees, and scattered new lily pad growth. 

War Eagle Spinnerbaits white/chartreuse or spot remover continue to catch 2-3 pound Largemouths, on warm days in stained water around cypress trees, dead lily pad stems, and grass.   

5" Bass Assassin Shads in Salt-n-Pepper Silver Phantom in clearer water, and Gold Pepper Shiner in stained water continue catching 3-5 pound Largemouths, moving in and out of the spawning areas using a light wire Rig-N Hook.  Swimming a Bang Die Dapper in Houdini or Grey Ghost, or a 6" Turbo Shad in Black Shad or Crystal Shad on a swim bait hook are taking nice Largemouths around shallow bedding areas.  Jingle Bugs in watermelon-red, black/blue tail, or Okeechobee Craw are working around wood and stumps and standing timber in bedding areas and on beds if you can see them in the stained water. 

Warrior Baits Buzz Frogs continue catching shallow males from 2-4 pounds in 1-2 feet of water around wood and grass patches.  Rig your frogs with a 3/0 or 4/0 wide body Rig-n-hook or double upturned frog hook, and throw into the heaviest cover available.  Grass, new lily pad growth, and tall standing reeds are best areas to get a frog bite.  Hesitation remains the key, until you feel the bass pull bait and line from you before setting the hook, to ensure good catch and hook-up ratios. 

White Bass:  Whites, which were located upriver above highway 71 bridge have all but wrapped up their annual spawning run upriver, and have begun to scatter in large schools.  Crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps in white and chrome were taking fair numbers and sizes of Whites over the past several weeks locating the schools of Whites by trolling the crankbaits behind the boat. 

Crappie:  no report this week.  

Cats:  were biting good on trot lines using chicken hearts, livers, or gizzards and cut shad and buffalo over the past week with trot lines set between 9-12 feet of depth. 


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


Surface temps as of Monday, 13 Apr currently range 65ºF to 74ºF later in the day under full sun. 

As of Monday, Millwood elevation is approx 1.8 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is reduced current in Little River with the gates releasing around 3100 CFS on Monday. Water temps improved over the past week.  Navigation in Little River considered cautious.  There are a few river buoys missing in Little River. 

Lake level dropped and currently is 259.35 mfsl.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate around 3100 CFS.  Tailwater level at 227.37 ft-msl as of Monday and dropping below the spillway. 

Clarity and visibility in most areas on main lake and Little River continues to improve, stained mostly lake wide, however, east side near Saline inflow to Okay and Cottonshed, is muddy from river inflow.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-10 inches.  Little River's visibility ranges 9-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity has began to improve, away from current, ranging approx 20-24 inches depth of visibility as of Monday, depending on location.  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, and tons more great fishing stuff....

'Til next week, boat safely, be courteous, wear your life jacket, kill switch, & we'll see you on the lake........

Come see what all the excitement's about! 


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

Mike Siefert



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

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Updated 4/16/2015

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 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: 4/16/2015

Report by: Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Night fishing for striped bass is one of my favorite methods of fishing in the spring. Every year around mid March the striped bass, hybrid bass and walleye move up to the shorelines after dark to feed. I have fished the last two nights with success each night. Two nights ago the big fish were up tight on the banks.  

I landed 3 nice fish, one walleye, two stripers and had quite a few other missed opportunities. I guess I am a little rusty and did not get good hook sets. My last fish of the night, around 9:30PM, just exploded on my bait in about 2 feet of water. I could actually see the fish come out of the water (amazing with these old eyes) roll over on the line and then, you guessed it, the line broke. Last evening was a good bite but the fish were on the smaller size, keeper size, but not big enough for me to keep. I had a blast both nights and hope to get out again this evening if the rain holds off. The method I use to fish for these Norfork Lake monsters is to cast a 5 to 6 inch suspending jerk bait. There are many brands and many different prices, but all will work. I have used Smithwick Rogues as well as Spro's. I seem to get a little better action on the Spro's in colder water and the hooks are stronger. If you go with the Rogues you do need to change out the hooks and split ring to stronger ones or you will get very disappointed when both bend out and you lose that big fish. There are two different views on where to position your boat. The first is to get your boat close to the shoreline and cast parallel along the shoreline. The thinking here is that you will keep your bait in the strike zone longer for those feeding fish. The second is to keep your boat as far away from the shore as possible and still be able to cast to the shore. I typically keep my boat away from the shore and cast into it. My belief is that I won't spook the fish with my boat and I have also found that the fish will follow the bait and hit it in deeper water and not always on the banks. Cast your bait as close to the rocks of the shoreline as you can. The retrieval method is simple, reel as slow as possible. If you think you are reeling slow, reel slower. Color choice of your bait is a personal preference, but I typically go with dark backs and light bottoms on overcast and new moon nights and lighter tops and darker bottoms on full moon nights. I have caught many fish on various colors, greens, blues, purples, orange, you name it. If you’re not getting hits on one color change out until you find the color they are looking for. We have a good selection of both baits for sale at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. Where to find these Norfork Lake monsters is the next question. I have recently been fishing part way back in major creeks. I start on secondary points and work both sides of the point along the shoreline. Typically you will find the fish on long shallow points close to flats, but over the last two days I have also found the fish on deep bluff line points. Once the water warms up a little more they will move out to the main lake points and typically be feeding on the long shallow points.  

I find stripers and walleye all over at different times, but usually have to look a little. I have also found stripers in the backs of small creeks in very shallow water. I will usually mark fish and bait in the area that is active.

Norfork Lake water level is rising slowly with the rain and snow we have had over the last week or so and currently sits at 550.22. The surface water temperature is also on the rise and was at 47 degrees last evening. The water is turning very clear with stained water in the backs of creeks and coves.  

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: 4/16/2015

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Fall Striper Tactics   As fall approaches Lake Norfork water temperature will continue to lower. As the water cools the thermocline will continue to drop until the water equalizes and the lake will turnover. Turnover is the process where the bottom part of the lake rises and the top part lowers. It happens every year. You can tell by the smell on the water, you will see lots of scum, leaves, and the water will be off color. The fish will quit biting for about a week as they need to adjust to the change.

With the disappearance of the thermocline the stripers are free to roam the entire water column. Oxygen is at all levels of the water column. The turnover does not happen all at once on the lake. The northern portion will be the first, then the mid-lake area near the bridges, and finally the lower or southern end. The upper end will be done by the end of Sept. while the lower end maybe mid October. It all depends on the weather. The colder it gets the sooner the turnover begins. Once the turnover is over the stripers are free to move anywhere on the lake and you will find them at all levels of the water column. Topwater action can happen anytime the day as they chase this year’s hatch of shad. If you’re on the water you will have the opportunity to catch stripers by finding the bait fish and the stripers will be close by. As the water cools the stripers will move from the main lake to mouths of creeks. Start looking in the Hand Cove, Georges Cove, and Diamond Bay areas as the stripers move away from the dam. Some stripers will be found in the dam area until winter but a lot of them will make the move. Mid-lake stripers will move to the Robinson Point area, they can be found on the flats and channels feeding on shad and stay there until winter. The Cranfield area, Red Bank, and Calamity areas will hold lots of fish. Calamity Beach is the first place I start to fish as the turnover begins. The water is shallow and the bait is usually found everywhere. Live gizzard & threadfin shad is and will always be the most productive method to catch stripers. Shiners and artificial lures are also very effective. The best places to buy shiners is 101 Grocery & Bait and Hand Cove Resort. They both carry shiners all fall, winter & spring. Shad will begin to school so look for bait fish balls and note the depth. A good depth finder will help you find the stripers. They will be moving around so stay close to the bait. Your fall striper tactics will begin to change until winter fishing begins. I continue to fish with down lines but start adding floats and planner boards. The stripers will start getting into the shallow depths. When I’m fishing the northern or river area of the lake I fish 8 lines, four down lines, two planner boards, and two floats. All the lines are set at different depths until I can determine where I stripers are feeding. Artificial lures is very effective. The key is matching the size and color of the bait fish. If the stripers are feeding on 1 & 2” shad make sure your lure match’s the size. You can throw or troll the wrong size and not get a hit if it's too big. Also make sure you match your spoon to the bait.


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Norfork Tail water

Updated 4/16/2015

Report by: Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service 

The lake level is 554.2

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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