Beaver Lake: - Baileys Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) said The runoff and debris have cleared nicely in the upper reaches of the White and War Eagle rivers. The walleye spawn is on and should continue through late March. The white bass run is beginning with the males showing upstream. Quantity and quality Beaver Lake stripers are being caught in the upper reaches of the rivers, but some striper are still scattered throughout the lake and are still using mouths of coves, backs of coves and the channel adjacent to shallow gravel bars. You should also look for the "mud line," which is a distinct break between stained and clear water and will also concentrate bait/fish. For you diehard live baiters, fishing free lines, balloons and downlines between the surface and about 40 feet deep should get you some stripers. For the artificial baits you can try trolling umbrella rigs with white or chartreuse jigs/grubs or plugs like Rapala No. 14 husky jerks in black back or purple back colors, or Smithwick Rogues in similar colors in the 5-6-inch model on planer boards to stagger your presentation. You should also try fishing jerkbaits by letting the bait remain motionless for an extended period time before the next erratic action. Make sure you do not keep striper under 20 inches and not more than three striper or hybrid or combination. Walleye must be 18 inches long with a limit of 4. Fish location is greatly influenced by lake level and current flow; current in the lake from generation will generally position fish on upstream or downstream edges of structure. Check the daily lake level and flow data link on Mike Baileys website linked above. Live bait is the go-to approach, as always, on Beaver Lake when fishing for trophy stripers.
Mike says that on the mid- and upper sections water surface temps are in the high 40s-low 50s, and anglers should check out these hot spots: Rambo Creek Arm, Rocky Branch, Ford and Cedar creeks, Larue, Mont Ne, Hickory Creek, War Eagle/Whit River junction (check main lake structures, humps and secondary points in the area where the channel intersects), White River (check main lake structures, humps and secondary points in the area where the channel intersects all the way up to Nells Bluff) and the War Eagle River (check main lake structures, humps and secondary points in the area where the channel intersects all the way up to Sidewalk Hole). Walleye season has kicked off with walleye being caught in various stages of the spawn. Most walleye are being caught in 20 feet of water or less. Use three-way rigging Rapalas in natural colors for clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in areas of stained water. Try Rapala Tail Dancers, Bagley Rumble B's, Flicker Shad, Bandit 300 Series and Arkie 350s in colors that include orange and chartreuse. Also try slow death rigs and spinner rigs on bottom bouncers in orange/chartreuse. A variety of jigs in combination colors of white, orange and chartreuse are also producing walleye. You should try casting to structure or snap-jigging to cover water. Night fishing shallow water with jerkbaits like Rapala HJ14's in Tennessee Shad, black back or blue back will produce some hogs in areas near the War Eagle mill and Twin Bridges/Richland Creek.
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said the clarity is stained and the surface water temperature is in the 50 degree range. The level is normal.Worms or crickets will work. Crappie are good. They are deep in 10-15 feet of water. Use minnows or jigs. They are not spawning. Bass are good on crankbaits and plastic worms. Walleye are excellent; use minnows or Flicker Shad. No reports on catfish. No reports on bream.
Tailwaters - Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) wanted first to apologize for his recent and for the short hiatus from the Fishing Report, as he has been busy with his new role as a sheriff's deputy. As you all know or not know, that can be very time consuming, he said. Meanwhile, as for fishing, Austin says the trout bite has been great. Water temperatures are in the mid-50s between Houseman Access and Spider Creek. There have been quite a bit of "slot fish" caught around the U.S. Highway 62 bridge. Fish are being caught with light terminal tackle and various PowerBaits. A quarter-ounce spoon, silver and gold or silver and red, has produced some nice numbers, too. Austin says he has not marked any white bass yet, but he says hes sure they will be around in the next couple of weeks. Walleye have been caught between Holiday Island and Beaver town. The method has been jigging with live minnows, and trolling with bottom bouncers and various hard baits. Try to get in about 10-20 feet of water and use your graph to locate the schools. Fishing the inside bends on a windy, overcast day will help you land/boat one of these awesome fish.
Beaver Dam Store said the Bertrand ramp area has been fishing well. Fish upstream from Parkers Bottom in the Trophy Management Area as well as Campground C, Riverview walk-in areas and the turnaround. Always be attentive to rising water conditions. Nymphs, Midges are working well along with olive micro jigs. Stocking occurred nearly two weeks ago and fly-fisherman report large numbers of fish being caught. Conventional fisherman are catching nice fish using PowerBait and waxworms. The walleye are still a no-show, but theyre catching them downstream and soon they will run closer to the dam, and the white bass are not too far behind them. Typical good lures here are gold and silver Colorado Spoons, red and gold Bouyant Spoons, and Flicker Shad in Pro Series Nos. 4 and 5. Good PowerBait colors are white, red, orange, yellow, chartreuse and peach. Good flies are pheasant tails, midges in blue dun, black, olive, hares ear, tungsten Copper Johns, WD 40s, Trout Magnets and San Juan worms. Winter store hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.