HOT SPRINGS ARKANSAS AREA LAKES FISHING REPORTS
From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site
Updated April 15, 2015
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As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.76 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl).
(Updated 4-8-2015) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water temperature is 60 to 64 degrees and the water is clearing. Black bass are biting very well on soft-plastics, particularly floating worms and Carolina-rigged lizards and brush hogs in watermelon seed, green pumpkin and watermelon candy. Walleye are biting very well on jigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers fished around main lake points and secondary points. Stripers are excellent on Alabama rigs and on C-10 Redfins around major creek basins and river channels. Bream are fair on worms, grubs and crickets near brush in 20 to 25 feet of water. Crappie are biting very well on minnows or jigs in 2 to 8 feet of water. Catfishing is good on live minnows or nightcrawlers on jugs or trotlines.
(Updated 4-15-2015) Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs said the bass spawn is about halfway over, so be on the lookout for beds on the south side of the lake. With the higher water levels, the buckbrush is in the water and is a great place to look for beds. On the north side of the lake, stick with floating worms and flukes to cover the shallow flats.
(Updated 3-25-2015) Darryl Morris of Familyfishingtrips.com said the surface water temperature has warmed enough to move the crappie to the shallows for spawning. Pitching jigs or minnows under corks set at 3-feet deep will produce some good fish if you can find a place out of the current. As the water level falls and clears up, the crappie should move a little deeper again.
(Updated 2-18-2015) Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs said crappie should be schooled up out in some main channel brushpiles, but most boat ramps are still iced over, making getting on the water difficult unless you have a boat slip.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(Updated 4-15-2015) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 50 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Heavy rains have forced Entergy to release large amounts of water through all area dams the last few months to keep lakes at manageable levels. This process has kept many anglers off the water. Presently, Entergy has scheduled generation times that include slack water periods which will allow fishermen to boat and bank fish with success. Rainbow trout are being caught on redworms and nightcrawlers fished under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Crickets and wax worms presented in the same manner have been very effective hooking trout that are fat from weeks of feeding on injured shad. Power Bait in white or yellow will attract rainbows when these fish ignore other baits. Spin fishermen are having success casting small 1/8-ounce jigs around rock structure when the turbines are running. Super Dupers and Little Cleos in silver or white are also working well as hungry trout actively search for shad. Crappie fishing is on the upswing with untouched spawners located all over the tailrace. Live minnows tightlined over deep water and fan casting jigs and small spinners have accounted for good catches of quality fish this week. These fish seek cover and are located where rock structure is heaviest. Very little wood cover is available in the area and the best bedding areas are next to the large rock in the middle of the lake near the dam. Stealth and patience are a must when targeting these spooky fish in the shallow water of Carpenter Dam. The rest of April should be a very good month for crappie as the end of the spawn is near. Walleye are still being caught in the main channel of the trailrace even though the spawn is over. These fish often remain the area feeding up before migrating downstream to the main lake. jerkbaits in bright colors, grey jigs and Carolina-rigs tipped with nightcrawlers have all hooked fish in the 3 to 5 pound class mostly in the late evening. White bass will be moving toward the dam this month and be present in good numbers in May and June. Because of the adverse conditions, most of the striper fishing has been done miles downstream from the dam, but these fish will inhabit the trailrace in search of trout and shad.