HOT SPRINGS ARKANSAS AREA LAKES FISHING REPORTS
From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site
Updated August 24, 2016
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As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 575.51 feet msl (full pool – 578.00 msl).
(updated 8-24-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191) said water temperature is 78-84 degrees and the clarity is muddy. Lake level on Tuesday was 575.49 feet msl. Black bass are still fair and still being caught with Texas-rigged worms, pig-n-jigs and buzzbaits. Brush piles on main lake and secondary points are producing the best results when fished with Texas-rigged plastics or jigs. Drop-shot finesse worms are working well for “spots.” Walleye are still excellent and are being caught trolling shallow running crankbaits and jigging CC spoons. Stripers are fair to good on live bait. The central and east areas of the lake are the best areas for these fish. Bream are good. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 20-25 feet deep. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 25-30 feet deep near brush. Catfish are fair to good. Try nightcrawlers, trotline minnows or hot dogs in depths of 15-20 feet.
(updated 8-10-2016) David Draper of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association said fishing for striper on Lake Ouachita has been tough. They are seeing fish from Crystal all the way to the east side from 20 feet to 70. As a live-bait fisherman, Draper said, he has tried everything and nothing seems to help. Bottom line is, if you find a couple of hungry fish, they will bite, but that is few and far between. Draper said he doesn't know if artificial baits are working or not.
(updated 8-17-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported shad are everywhere, and random schools of white bass are breaking early in the mornings. The latest bouts of rain should cool the water and help with catching all species.
(updated 8-24-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 64 degrees and rises to 67 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace as the normal summertime pool levels continue until November. Recent heavy rainfall has caused Entergy to schedule heavy generation below Carpenter Dam this week in an effort to keep area lakes at normal pool. Flood gates have also been opened to aid in this effort. Rain is forecasted for the rest of this week and into early next week so flow times below the dam could be longer than scheduled and increased flow rates are possible. Until normal conditions return, anyone navigating the tailrace should use extreme caution and only when the flood gates are closed. Sadly, the rainbow trout season is over until mid-November when the stocking program begins again. The vast majority of trout have either been caught or migrated away from the dam. The few fish that remain are extremely wary and almost impossible to catch. Thousands of threadfin shad have migrated into the tailrace in search of cooler water to spawn. Interestingly enough, few white bass or stripers have moved in to feed on the baitfish. No topwater activity has been observed and few bass caught in the past week. No catfish or drum have been taken in the swift conditions. Until lake conditions return to normal, fishing in the Carpenter Dam tailrace will be very poor.