Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)(Updated June 12, 2019)

Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit
(updated 6-12-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita has risen slightly back into flood pool as more rainfall continues to plague our state. Carpenter Dam had been unsafe to navigate for weeks, but Entergy has scheduled time the last week for no generation until noon for the public to fish. This move has made it possible for anglers to safely and effectively target a virtually untouched trout population These fish are presently being caught in good numbers. Boaters can anchor in areas holding good numbers of trout and have success casting Rooster Tails in white or brown around rock structure and sandbars. The months of May and June brings huge numbers of shad toward the dam to spawn. Trout will feed heavily on these baitfish and will strike artificial lures that imitate live minnows. Small jigs in gray or white will also work well in the same areas in slack or current situations. Trolling against the current with shallow-running crankbaits imitating shad or crawfish will attract larger trout that seek bigger prey. Bank fishermen should take advantage of slack water periods by presenting trout with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Waxworms and mealworms used in the same manner will allow anglers to catch limits of rainbows that are actively searching for food. Live bait presentations cannot be overemphasized, because trout become much more wary as their environment warms and the summer heat sets in. June brings white bass by the thousands into the Carpenter Dam tailrace to begin the spawn. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and jig presentations will all draw strikes from these temperate bass from the dam to the bridge as they feed on shad for months. Hybrid bass also run alongside these fish and will feed on the same prey items. Stripers always migrate into the area in the summer months in search of food and cooler temperatures. Balloon rigs with gizzard shad give fishermen a good chance to hook a big striper, but artificial lures such as Super Spooks and Alabama rigs should not be overlooked. Strong rods and lines are recommended for these predator fish that possess great power and are often in the 2 to 40-pound range. Anyone navigating Lake Catherine should always wear a life jacket and be aware of the generation schedules. All park rules and regulations must be followed in the Carpenter Dam tailrace.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 6-5-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels stable throughout and water temps in the mid-70s. Water is a bit of color but fishable. Go-to baits for all species of bass are the Carolina- and Texas-rigged worms in dark colors like black and large in size. Another good option for the shallower fish would be Whopper Ploppers in bone colors or buzzbaits in chartreuse and white. Most fish have taken up positions on the main lake points, but also be mindful that with the influx of rain that is expected, feeder creeks and ditches will be good areas to target as food will be coming down. No crappie report, but catfish are doing well on drop-offs at creek channels. Good luck and Go Greeson!

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 579.16 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 6-12-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are good. Texas-rigged soft plastics and drop-shot rigs fished over points are working at this time. Walleye are still very good. Small minnow-colored crank baits and night crawlers on drop shot rigs are producing good stringers. Stripers are still good. Most of these fish have moved to the central part of the lake and are being caught on live bait or big hair jigs. Bream are still very good with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 8-15 feet of water near brush. Crappie are fair and being caught with jigs or minnows in 12-20 feet of water near brush. Catfish are excellent and anglers are having luck with rod and reel using live nightcrawlers around brush piles. Surface water temperature is ranging 80-84 degrees. Lake level is 579.40 feet msl as of Tuesday and the clarity is clearing. Contact the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and Jerry Bean, 501-282-6104) for more information.

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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