Hard time Catching Bait Below the Dam at Murry?

Discussion in 'ARKANSAS RIVERS TALK' started by Grits, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Grits

    Grits New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Arknasas
    Hello Everyone!

    Sax, smnother new member, and I put my new (old) boat in today at Murry park with the intention of catching the biggest catfish in the river. As I have mentioned before, I have done very little river fishing. Most if my fishing has been in river lakes and irrigation reservoirs. I learned to throw a cast net and have been catching all the bait I need on the farm. I guess I should have taken a box of worms or something because I could not catch enough bait to fish.

    I started throwing my cast net close to the ramp and all I could catch was three very small shad. I then started trying to catch herring, closed to the turbine, with a rod and reel and did not even get a strike.

    I always spit on my hook for good luck and it seems to help. I wonder if it would do any good to spit on a cast net?

    To say the least, I need help. I am open to any and all suggestions.

    Thank you

    Grits
     
  2. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    Check the river flow before you go out. On the section of the Arkansas river that if if the flow is not between 20,000 to 30,000 cubic feet per second, the bite will be very slow. They can be caught but slow.
     

  3. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Shad are, and always have been, hard to get at Murray L&D. I moved to Little Rock from Atkins in 1990, and in that time, I've never seen more than a dozen caught in a net at one time; and I could probably count on one hand the times I've seen over half a dozen in a net at once. The best place to get skipjack there is at the cut in the dike between the powerhouse outlet and the main river, but it's no good if there's not a good current flowing through it. Of course, having a current there doesn't mean you're going to find skipjack there, but you can count on none being there if there's no current. Best bet? Take along some frozen skipjack for bait.
     
  4. Grits

    Grits New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Arknasas
    Thanks for the information. It makes sense. I understand skipjack are very hard to catch in the winter; however, I understand you can catch them if there is warm water flowing into the river. My first thought was Russellville at the nuclear plant. I also thought about the coal fired generation station at Redfield. Redfield is closer but I will travel for bait.

    My fishing partner and I have talked about a bait run with the intention of filling the freezer. Where is the best place to go for a meat run within a reasonable distance from Little Rock?

    I am learning from the ground up and I feel catching bait is step one.

    One thing I have learned is the shad I catch in my reservoir is better bait, fresh or frozen, that what you can buy in the pint jars.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Grits
     
  5. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,286
    State:
    Booneville AR
    Name:
    Sam
    Grits the shad are in the shallow water in the back-up water right now. 2-3ft everywhere my friend:big_smile:
     
  6. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    IMO Grits, fresh shad are good bait, but frozen shad aren't worth the space they take up in the freezer. I've read reports to the contrary, but I've just never had much luck with frozen shad. But, if you can still walk up close to Dardanelle Dam, that would probably be your best bet. Unless someone knows of some other place, of course. As I said, there's a lot of river that I'm not familiar with. I'm afraid I don't have any other suggestions for stocking up right now in central Arkansas. It can be really rough trying to get skipjack or shad around here. Zimmerman's Bait Shop tries to keep frozen skipjack, but it's priced about like good quality round steak. Now, next spring, about the end of April, beginning of May, you can catch skipjack below Pickwick Dam as fast as you can cast out. Big skipjack, averaging 1 1/2-2#. If, like me, you're planning on attending the Chattanooga gathering, you could stop by on the way back to Arkansas and stock up. That's what I plan to do. The best way over to Chattanooga is on hwy 72, which goes right through Corinth, MS (which is halfway between Little Rock and Chattanooga). Pickwick is about 30 miles north of Corinth, so it's not out of the way very much at all.