HOT SPRINGS ARKANSAS AREA LAKES FISHING REPORTS
From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site
Updated June 21, 2017
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As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.34 feet msl (flood pool – 578.00 msl).
(updated 6-21-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said the water surface temperature is 78-82 degrees and the clarity is clear. Black bass are fair to good and being caught with Texas rigged plastics and crankbaits fished late evening and night. Main lake and secondary points have been the most productive. Walleye are very good and being caught on small crankbaits and spoons on main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are good on Alabama rigs and live bait. The central and eastern parts of the lake are the best areas for these fish. Bream are excellent in water 10-15 feet deep on crickets and worms. Crappie are good. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 20-25 feet deep fished near brush. Catfish are very good on live bait and cut bait. Try depths of 10-20 feet. Call the Mountain Harbor guides – Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) – for more information.
(updated 6-14-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said onUS97 radiothat he’d heard a lot of good topwater reports earlier this week. The cloud cover Monday seemed to help; it gave anglers the ability to fish topwater almost all day long. He said, however, that regardless of whether you’re throwing a topwater bait, or a frog, even the little squarebill seems to be working pretty well on the inside edge of the moss line. There are still quite a few people catching shallow bass. He also reported that the moss on the lake is “in excellent shape.” If you haven’t had the chance to fish Lake Ouachita, you need to right now, he said, because moss goes in cycles and at this point it’s in the shape you want it. He also said a jighead worm bait is tough to beat on moss. Also, anglers should be able to take advantage of the back end of the full moon, which started last Friday. There will still be a big, bright moon overnight, giving you the best chance to catch the most prominent, quality fish. Also, anglers should have some success very early after sunrise and after sunset with a topwater lure. Fish are going to be feeding, moving and being active all night long and when it gets to daylight hours they take a break.
(updated 6-21-2017) Phillip Kastner of Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports said onUS97 thata lot of people are still doing a lot of night fishing, which is fun right now, but the best report he heard was from daytime topwater fishing, something we don’t hear a lot in the heat of summer there. But last Sunday morning, on the front of that big storm coming, at White Oak Basin, this group was fishing topwater lures around boat docks. Kastner says, pay attention to the fronts coming through. On the front side of those fronts, that’s when you want to be out there. Also, these were not schooling fish they were catching. Rather, they were calling them up around boat docks. He suggests any topwater method would work, but he likes to parallel up to the edge of a boat dock and throw a frog or his preference, a chugger. He prefers less a walking-the-dog type topwater to a chugger-type bait, which he finds more versatile.
(updated 6-21-2017) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam has risen to 64 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. The lake is now at normal summertime pool with Entergy opening flood gates for 3-hour periods each day to help maintain lake levels. Boaters and anglers should use caution approaching the dam when the flow is at its highest peak. Fast currents created by open floodgates are dangerous and keeping the proper distance from the area is vital for safety. Life jackets should be worn at all times. Rainbow trout fishing is winding down which is the norm for this time of year. Numbers of fish are caught are much lower than earlier in the season, but size is the main attraction at present. Four- and five-pound rainbows have been caught and released in the last several days by area guides. The bite is very slow and patience is key regardless of the techniques used. Live bait presentations are best presented under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Redworms, nightcrawlers, waxworms or mealworms are an excellent choice along with live minnows and crickets. Artificial lures are nonproductive as hundreds of thousands of threadfin shad have migrated into the area to spawn. June trout fishing requires stealth and patience as the fish are extremely wary and the bite lasts for only a few hours. White bass are in the tailrace and are being caught on live minnows tight-lined over deep water below the bridge. In periods of current flow, jerkbaits in a black/silver pattern has worked well over rock structure and sand bars. These fish are spawning and should be present from the bridge to the dam until late July. Stripers have migrated into the tailrace to feed on the shad migration that occurs every May and June. Fish in the 20-pound class have been observed feeding below the bridge in the late evening while the flood gates are open. Feeding on small shad, anglers should downsize their techniques to match the forage. Smaller Alabama rigs and jigs are much more effective now than earlier in the spring. Casting weightless soft plastics perfectly match the injured shad drawn through the open gate flow. Strong lines and rods are highly recommended as many of these large predator fish are in excess of 20 pounds and are ferocious fighters when hooked. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is urged to be aware of the generation schedules and always follow all park and lake regulations.