NOTICE: The AGFC will hold two public meetings in June to discuss a new Lake Ouachita fisheries management plan. Both meetings will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The Fisheries Division is asking all anglers who like to fish Lake Ouachita to attend the meetings for the purpose of drafting a new fisheries plan, which will serve as a guideline for the Lake Ouachita fishery for the next five years. The first meeting, on June 7, will be an open house will displays about the lake’s largemouth bass sampling, Florida bass genetics work, the lake’s creel survey, the completed statewide angler survey by the AGFC and the Lake Ouachita striped bass and crappie sampling results. The public will be able to interact with AGFC biologists at different stations about their ideas. The second meeting, on June 26, will be presentation of the new plan.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 6-13-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that the rainbow trout fishing has dropped off sharply since last week. June is traditionally the last month for quality fishing below Carpenter Dam as the summer season kicks in. Anglers will experience short feeding times and a finicky bite as wary trout feed on insect hatches and injured baitfish. Patience is key as the remaining trout numbers are actively feeding in the late evening as the sun sets over the top of the dam. Trout from 12-17 inches have been caught and released in the last week, but numbers have been few. Bank fishermen have had some success using waxworms and mealworms fished just of the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Nightcrawlers and redworms will also work presented in the same manner. As late June approaches, few rainbow trout will be seen feeding and smaller numbers caught. By July, trout fishing will be over and good numbers of fish won't be caught again until the stocking program beings again in November. This scenario is repeated every year below Carpenter Dam. The walleye spawn is over but numbers of fish remain in the tailrace feeding on shad. The majority of fish are being caught by trolling shallow-running stick baits that imitate small minnows or crawfish. Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers have taken the largest fish at night. White bass are making a run toward the dam, with numbers being taken from the bank by anglers casting Flukes and Rapala jerkbaits in a black/silver combination. Crappie have finished their spawning run and are still being caught on small jigs and live minnows around rock structure and sandbars close to the main river channel. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should be aware of the generation schedules and must always follow all boating and park regulations.
LATEST REPORT 6-13-18
(updated 6-6-2018) Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton said the big bream have been doing well on crickets.
(updated 5-24-2018) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie are finally moving in to spawn in greater numbers than before. Water temp is 65. Catch the staging females 8-10 feet deep on brush piles. Males are on the beds making and protecting the future catch. Spotted bass are roaming the coves and shoreline chasing threadfin shad like MS13 gang members. Casting jigs and inline spinners work great.
NOTICE: The AGFC will hold two public meetings in June to discuss a new Lake Ouachita fisheries management plan. Both meetings will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The Fisheries Division is asking all anglers who like to fish Lake Ouachita to attend the meetings for the purpose of drafting a new fisheries plan, which will serve as a guideline for the Lake Ouachita fishery for the next five years. The first meeting, on Thursday, June 7, will be an open house will displays about the lake’s largemouth bass sampling, Florida bass genetics work, the lake’s creel survey, the completed statewide angler survey by the AGFC and the Lake Ouachita striped bass and crappie sampling results. The public will be able to interact with AGFC biologists at different stations about their ideas. The second meeting, on June 26, will be presentation of the new plan.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.44 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-13-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are good. Creature baits and Texas-rigged worms are all still working well at this time. Walleye are very good. Try using a CC spoon near brush for these fish. Stripers are good on live bait. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the central and eastern parts of the lake are the best for these fish. Bream are very good and being caught on crickets and worms in 8-15 feet water near brush. Crappie are fair and being caught on minnows or jigs in 15-18 feet of water near structure. Catfish are good. Cut bait, live bait and stink bait are all producing good bags. Water temperature has ranged 80-84 degrees. The clarity is clear. Contact the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and Jerry Bean, 501-282-6104 – for more information.
(updated 6-15-2018) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said on US97 online report that he’s had several good reports here. The moss on Ouachita is holding a lot of good fish, They’re cruising the outside edge in the morning, but they’re not getting in that grass until the sun come up. Anglers are fishing a Texas-rigged worm or a big jig on top of the moss after the sun comes up, after 10 a.m. Kevin Brown, who won a bass tournament there over the weekend, was a Rat-L-Trap or a frog on top of that moss. After 10 is when the fish move up in that grass and you get better, quality bites, Kastner said. Fish are really keying on the moss. The 10-12-foot-deep edge of that moss line is really thick and lush right now, he said. Another way you can fish it is with a wobblehead, which is basically nothing more than an egg sinker attached sideways to a great big hook (4-0 or 5-0 hook) and you can use whatever soft plastic you want, Kastner said – creature bait, big worm, etc. Throw it out there with a half-ounce weight or even a three-quarter-ounce if you’re fishing deeper and let it slide down the edge of the moss line. Whenever you feel it start to ball up on moss, rip it out of there and a lot of times that’s when you get the fish to bite.
(updated 6-6-2018) Lisa Spencer at Lisa’s Bait Shop in Benton (501-778-6944) said that reports are that anglers are catching huge bream on crickets.
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