Cooler water has sparked improvement in crappie fishing. Mike Whitehouse at Hickory Creek Marina said crappie are being caught in man-made brush piles and around submerged timber 15 to 20 feet deep. The best lure is a Bobby Garland Baby Shad in electric chicken, monkey milk, Cajun cricket or blue ice colors. Trolling for crappie with Bandit 300 series crank baits is also working. Some limits of good-sized crappie have been caught, Whitehouse said. Walleye are biting nightcrawler rigs worked on the bottom. Average surface water temperature is 75 to 80 degrees. James Whittle at Hook, Line and Sinker in Rogers said striped bass are biting early from Point 5 to the dam. Use brood minnows or shad 10 to 20 feet deep. Black bass are scattered. Try top-water lures around bushes early or on cloudy days. Crappie are biting south of the Arkansas 12 bridge. Use minnows or jigs six to eight feet deep around laydown trees. Try trolling for crappie in creek arms with Bandit 300 series crank baits.
Tom Steinke at Beaver Dam Store said fly fishing for trout is good with nymphs and midges. Anglers report catching good numbers of trout. The top bait is Power Bait. Hydropower generation takes place at Beaver Dam in the afternoons. On the lake side of the dam, stripers are biting shad or sunfish 30 feet deep. Stripers to 35 pounds have been caught recently.
David Powell at the lake office said bluegill and catfish are biting crickets or worms four feet deep.
Mike McBride at the lake bait shop said black bass fishing is good with top-water lures or plastic worms. Catfish are biting sunfish or shad. Crappie fishing is slow. A few have been caught with jigs or minnows.
James Whittle at Hook, Line and Sinker in Rogers said bluegill are biting worms or crickets. Catfish are biting liver.
Kenny Stroud in Siloam Springs said black bass fishing is best at night with big plastic worms.
Stroud recommends using tube baits, grubs or Rooster Tails for black bass.
Nick Gann said night fishing is best for black bass on all Bella Vista Lakes. Use deep-diving crank baits such as a Bill Norman DD-22 or 10-inch plastic worms. Locate brush piles for the best fishing.
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reports catfish are biting well on shad along the main lake. Fishing is fair for largemouth bass with crank baits or plastic worms.
TABLE ROCK LAKE
Missouri Department of Conservation reports fair black bass fishing with nightcrawlers or plastic worms on a drop-shot rig. Fish gravel banks or main lake points. Bluegill are biting fair on worms or pieces of nightcrawler. Fish along bridge pilings, docks and timber 25 feet deep.