HOT SPRINGS ARKANSAS AREA LAKES FISHING REPORTS
From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site
Updated February 3, 2016
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As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.92 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water temperature is 42 to 46 degrees. Black bass are biting well on peanut butter-n-jelly jigs and trailers. Stripers are biting well on brood minnows and Alabama rigs near major creek channels. Some white bass and spotted bass are mixed in near these fish as well. One angler reported catching some good bream while fishing for crappie over brush with rosey red minnows. Crappie are biting well on minnows, crappie jigs and spoons fished near brush in 20 to 30 feet of water.
The Trader Bill's Fishign Report with Tom Duke and Phillip Kastner said larger bass can be found on Alabama rigs and larger, ¾-ounce jigs fished deep. This time of year, a 20-pound sack winning a tournament is not uncommon. The up-and-down water levels and unusually warm days are making things a little trickier to figure out lately.
Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips had no new report.
Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 49 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Rainbow trout are plentiful below the dam to the bridge and are being caught by boat and bank fisherman alike. Rebel Minnow crankbaits, Rapala jerkbaits and 1/16-ounce jigs in white or gray make perfect artificial lures to entice strikes. This pattern will be consistent in current flow and gives anglers a good chance for success. Bait anglers are doing well using corn, redworms, wax worms and nightcrawlers combined with a marshmallow floater. Small live minnows have also worked under a bobber on the edge of current. Boaters have targeted larger trout by trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current that imitate shad or crawfish over deeper water below the bridge. Walleye will begin to spawn in the tailrace most likely in the next 10 or so days. The smaller males will first move up and prepare the spawning beds for the females, which will migrate in shortly afterwards. These fish will be present until mid-April and then move downstream to the main body of Lake Catherine. Trolling the main channel is an excellent technique for finding bedding areas. During the drawdown, crankbaits that run from 3 to 6 feet are best because of the shallow conditions. Shad or crawfish patterns are preferred and can also be cast from the bank or from an anchored boat. Generation times are best. Once found, target the walley with Carolina rigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers. No striper or white bass catches have been reported this week, but this can change quickly as large striped bass will migrate to the dam in search of trout and shad to feed on. White jigs in ¼-ounce weights are a good choice to catch these aggressive fish. Many underwater hazards are present below Carpenter Dam. With a 5-foot drawdown in effect until March, boaters and wade fisherman are advised to be aware of these dangers and always wear a life jacket when on the water.