Great Stripers We Caught Lake Ouachita

Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Site (Fishing)


From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site

Updated March 14, 2018

Lake Catherine
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

(updated 3-14-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that over 16 inches of rainfall fell in the Hot Springs area over the last two weeks, which led to open flood gates and very heavy generation below Carpenter Dam. Massive amounts of water were released thru all area dams to keep lakes Hamilton and Catherine from flooding. The heavy rainfall raised Lake Ouachita over 12 feet in five days and put the big lake into flood pool. Extremely muddy water and fast currents have been the norm below Carpenter Dam for the past week. Entergy is currently scheduling heavy generation to bring Lake Ouachita down out of flood pool. This process will take weeks and has made the Carpenter Dam tailrace unsafe to navigate. Little fishing has taken place due to the treacherous conditions. All boaters and bank fishermen are urged to keep off the lake until the situation has been brought back to normal. March 1 marks the start of the refill of both lakes Hamilton and Catherine with each lake brought back to normal summertime pool on March 15. Again, no one should attempt to navigate the tailrace by boat or wade fish until flood conditions have passed and the water levels are once again safe to use.


March 14, 2018
(updated 3-14-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the water temperature is in the mid-50s. Crappie are moving up and stacking on brush piles fished 8-12 feet deep. White bass are moving into the shallow bays in great numbers. Pick your favorite swimbait, grip it and rip it.

(updated 2-28-2018) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports noted on US97 that Hamilton is one of the best bass lakes in January and February. A lot of people are on Hamilton pre-fishing for tournaments this weekend, and a lot of 5-pounders were caught during the high school tournament held there last weekend. Heard two good reports from Monday; it was one of the prettiest days we’d had in a very long time. Guys were throwing Alabama rig and a jig both. Some warm water was still coming in and there was some crankbait action in the creeks. That’s going to continue. With more water coming in, it’s going to be awfully hard not to throw a Rat-L-Trap. It works well in those freshwater runoffs. Rat-L-Traps were what was used by several of the anglers last weekend in the high school tournament.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 580.95 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 3-14-2018) Greeson Marine in Hot Springs, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boat, reports the lake being drawn down to more normalized levels very quickly. Water temperatures are between 53-59 degrees varying on what part of the lake you happen to be on. Water clarity is between 1-3 feet. Mixed reports on where fish have been caught but the consistent response is “scattered.” Spotted bass have been biting well when located in buckbrush on dark Texas rigged creature baits like tubes and worms. Largemouth and a good number of spotted bass have not yet moved into pre-spawn. The recent cold snap has moved fish back out to main lake points in 15-25 feet of water, but look for them to regroup over the next week and start moving toward the shallower secondary points adjacent to deep water.

(updated 3-7-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are still good. Rat-L-Traps and jerkbaits are producing some quality fish. Walleye are spawning and are up the river and major creek channels. Stripers are good on Alabama rigs. Major creek channels on the central and western part of the lake are still the best for these fish. No reports on bream. Crappie are fair and being caught on minnows in 25-35 feet of water near structure. No catfish reports. Surface water temperatures ranging 54-58. Water clarity is stained. Lake level is in flood stage at 583.4 feet msl.

Lake Ouachita:

Visit Trader Bills Ourdoors Here

Visit Mountain Harbor Marina & Spa at Lake Ouachita Here

Visit Poorman's Guide Service Here

Diamond Head Resort & Marina on Lake Catherine Here

Visit Catch em All Guide Service Here

Visit Striped Bass Adventures

Visit Family Fishing Trips Guide Service @ Lake Hamilton and more



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