HOT SPRINGS ARKANSAS AREA LAKES FISHING REPORTS
From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site
Updated February 18, 2015
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As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 575.63 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl)
According to FLWoutdoors.com, the Bass Fishing League tournament on Lake Ouachita this weekend took 19 pounds to win. The winning stringer came on a Rayburn Red Xcalibur xr75 Rattle Bait fished at the openings of main lake coves. The bite was tough early in the day, but improved once the sun warmed things up Saturday.
(Updated 2-11-2015) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is clear and the surface temperature is 50 to 53 degrees. Bass are biting jigs and Rat-L-Traps fished around structure in 20 to 30 feet of water. Stripers are biting well on swimbaits, Alabama rigs and live shad in main river channels and creek basins. Crappie are biting well near brush with minnows and crappie jigs around 20 to 30 feet deep.
(Updated 2-11-2015) Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs said weekend’s windy weather made fishing in the lake a little difficult, but the bass fishing has been fair on Rat-L-Traps, jerkbaits and jigs. You can catch a five-fish tournament limit, but it takes most of the day. A few fish are being caught on Alabama rigs as well. The crappie bite was good last weekend in the clearest water you can find.
Entergy reports that Blakely Mountain Dam is releasing about 750 cfs from the flood tunnel. Lake Hamilton will return to normal pool level beginning March 3. The lake should be at summertime levels by March 8.
(Updated 2-18-2015) Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs said crappie should be schooled up out in some main channel brushpiles, but most boat ramps are still iced over, making getting on the water difficult unless you have a boat slip.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro. Lake Hamilton will return to normal pool level beginning March 3. The lake should be at summertime levels by March 8.
(Updated 2-18-2015) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 42 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Heavy sleet on Sunday night has kept many fishermen from fishing below the dam, but warmer temperatures have cleared much of the ice, making it possible to safely launch a boat and fish effectively from the bank. Rainbow trout fishing is excellent at present with big numbers of trout caught by area guides and regular fishermen as well. Live bait presentations have been very effective from the bank in times of slack water. Wax worms, meal worms, redworms and nightcrawlers fished under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater have accounted for numerous limits of trout. Small minnows used in the same manner have taken larger rainbows that are keying in on injured threadfin shad. Fly fishermen casting San Juan worms in hot pink or red under a strike indicator have been successful in periods of generation over sand bars and shoal areas. Micro jigs in white or gray are also working well as shad imitations are the ticket for success by anglers who insist on using artificial lures. Spin fishermen casting Rooster Tails in brown or white across current that covers rock structure are catching rainbows in the 14-inch class. Little Cleos and Super Dupers in silver or white perfectly imitate dying shad and are highly effective in times of generation. Late afternoon has been the best time to catch trout below the dam as temperatures warm and flows are slow from the dam. February marks the beginning of the walleye spawn. Small male walleye are present in the tailrace. Trolling small shallow-running crankbaits have taken some small walleye. Carolina rigs tipped with nightcrawlers or live minnows is also working well out of anchored boats at the head of the channel. Crappie will begin their spawn in mid-March and will be joined by white bass in early April. Rainbow trout fishing is king below Carpenter Dam and offers fishermen some wonderful angling opportunities.