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August a great time to use grasshoppers as bait for bream, catfish, bass

Posted: August 12, 2009 - 9:27pm

It is mid-August in Arkansas. Grass mowing time, and there are grasshoppers everywhere. Some boyhood memories quickly return.

Grasshoppers are excellent fishing bate in late summer. All you have to do is gather up a supply and go fishing. Bream like grasshoppers and so do bass and catfish.

Those boyhood days were when this writer was somewhat more fleet of foot than at present. You chased the grasshoppers, grabbed them and slipped them into cricket cages.

When fishing, grasshoppers were handled like crickets. The small hook went under the collar of the critters. True, they did not live long in the water, but usually a fish found them not long after you cast them into the creek, river or lake.

We used to debate over which type of grasshopper was the most effective for fishing. One of my buddies liked the biggest ones he could find, but some of us preferred small and medium sizes for the simple reason that a bream has a small mouth.

Today, a small mesh net ought to be good for grasshopper catching since footwork is questionable.

One of those kids in our bunch long ago got into commercial grasshopper catching. He actually sold them for fishing bait. Seems like he became a wealthy financial wizard or a big-time banker or something.

LAKE CONWAY

Rick Bates at Bates Field and Stream said the water is clear and at normal levels. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets in 3 1/2 feet of water. Crappie are fairly slow, but a few have been caught on minnows and jigs in 8 feet of water near channels. Bass are biting fairly well on crank baits and soft plastic worms; they are in typical summer patterns. Catfishing is fair on shiners.  

Dan Zajac at Gold Creek Landing said bream have been hitting well on crickets and wax worms fished 1 to 2 ½ feet deep. Bass are doing fairly well early and late in the day. Crappie have been slow, but some nice fish have been picked up around cypress trees near creek channels. Catfishing is good.

LITTLE RED RIVER

Billy Lindsey at Lindsey’s Resort said the water is low, with generators running from 1 to 4 p.m. Trout fishing is good on spinners and crank baits fished around any cover from the current when it’s running.   

GREERS FERRY LAKE

Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is falling with generation every afternoon. White bass and hybrids continue schooling in the mornings and afternoons in various spots all over the lake they could come up at any place or any time. Try to keep your electronics turned off when looking for schoolers as it will bother them and especially if a lot of boats are around it will keep them very leery. When they go down, try spoons, inline spinners and hair jigs. Bass fishing is good night and day, on and around brush piles anywhere from 15 to 45 feet of water on Texas-rigged worms, Carolina rigs and football heads, try buzz baits and topwaters as well as spinner baits early and late and at night. Crappie are suspended and biting fairly well on minnows and jigs over brush piles and pole timber in 15 to 40 feet of water and at night, use lights in pole timber with minnows. Walleye are slow. Bream just spawned again and will be headed out to deep water; try 20 to 30 feet deep with nightcrawlers and crickets. Catfish are excellent.

HARRIS BRAKE LAKE

Greer’s Sporting Goods said fishing is off some as the water is dropping. Bream are still biting crickets, but it’s slow. 

LAKE BAILEY

(PETIT JEAN STATE PARK)

Greer’s Sporting Goods said bluegill and red-ear bream are biting very well on crickets and night crawlers. Many anglers are catching their limits before noon in the lily pads.

LAKE OVERCUP

Lakeview Landing said the water is high. Bream are biting well on worms and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows. Catfishing is fair on worms and chicken liver. Bass are slow. 

Overcup Landing said the water is clear and 80-90 degrees. Bream are fair on worms and crickets fished around brush as shallow as 1 foot deep. Crappie are fair on minnows fished in brush 20 feet deep. Bass are slow, but a few have come on spinner baits fished around brush tops in 12 feet of water.  

BREWER LAKE

Overcup Landing said the water is at normal level and clear. Bream are fair on worms and crickets fished around brush piles. Crappie are fair in 20 feet of water on minnows. Bass are fair on spinner baits worked through shallow brush. Catfishing is fair on worms. 

ARKANSAS RIVER

Charlie Hoke at Charlie’s Hidden Harbor in Oppelo said spotted bass are beginning to bite a little better on the backside of main river jetties when there’s flow. Blue herring-colored War Eagle spinner baits are working well. Largemouth bass are biting fairly well around the first patches of grass near riprap on chatter baits and buzzing toads. Let the toad drift down once it’s cleared the grass, and you should score a few extra strikes. Catfishing is good late in the evening on shad fished in areas where the Corps has just dredged. White bass are schooling in the late evenings around Coppers Gap and Flagg Lake. Bream are biting well around riprap on the backside of jetties.  

In the Little Rock area, Vince Miller at Fish ‘N Stuff said fishing is slow for all species except catfish. Bass are slow on crank baits and craw worms on jetties and sandbar drops. Catfishing is best on cut bait.  

WHITE RIVER

John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service said fishing in the catch and release section below Bull Shoals Dam has been quite good. Early in the day some low flows have fished particularly well. Midge patterns have been the ticket on low flows. Later in the day, when flows are heavier, the most effective technique has been to fish brightly colored San Juan worms (cerise, hot pink and red) and egg patterns (orange) below strike indicators. Rim Shoals has been red hot. The lower flows have lasted until mid-afternoon and have been fishing particularly well. As the flows increase, the action has moved to the lower section of the area, White Shoals. The hot flies have been San Juan worms in cerise and hot pink. This is the one place that has wadable water as long as the flows are below 17,000 cubic feet per second.

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