Great Stripers We Caught Lake Ouachita

Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Site (Fishing)


From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site

Updated October 18, 2017


For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

(updated 10-18-2017) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 66 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy is only generating every few days to maintain lake levels. Lake Catherine is at normal summertime pool with no change in water levels expected until November. A 3-foot drawdown is planned for the lake beginning Nov. 1. Catherine will begin to refill in early March. The rainbow trout season has been over for months with the bite dying out in early July. Trout stocking will begin again in mid-November. White bass migrate in and out of the area chasing shad and can be caught on spinnerbaits in white or yellow. Jerkbaits in a black/silver pattern are another good choice of artificial lure that imitates baitfish. The bite is best during periods of generation, and the late evening periods have been the most productive. Some hybrid action is mixed in with the white bass and these fish are being caught on the same techniques. Striper action is hit and miss with some topwater action observed below the bridge in the early morning around daybreak. Gizzard shad fished under a balloon give anglers the best chance to hook a large striper as these predator fish consistently target large baitfish. Large soft plastics casted weightless into feeding fish will draw vicious strikes. Strong rods and lines are recommended as many of these fish weigh over 20 pounds with some in the 40-pound class. A few walleye have been caught in the early morning on crankbaits trolled against the current. Walleye often remain the tailrace after the spring spawn with small numbers taken year-round. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace should be aware of all boating and park regulations and always wear a life jacket.


(updated 10-18-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said that like in DeGray Lake, the crappie are stacking up on the brush piles fished 8-12 feet deep with jigs and minnows. A few schools of white bass have been spotted breaking but they don't stay up very long. Look for them suspended; cast and count down spoons. An ample number of yellow bass are also on the brush piles. The fishing just keeps getting better, he said.

(updated 10-4-2017) Greeson Marine in Hot Springs, hometown dealer of the Arkansas bred and built, all-weld Xpress fishing boat, reported that black bass and spotted bass have begun their annual shad binge and fishing is fun, fast paced and fishy! Black bass and spotted bass can be found on most secondary points of the main channel in 8-20 feet of water. Bass are feeding heavily on these points for shad. Secondary points can be docks, grass, outcroppings and flats. The best way to locate fish is to reel or “burn” a shad-colored or chrome Rat-L-Trap swimbait as fast as possible in these areas. Do not be surprised by seeing three or more bass chasing or hitting your bait the whole way in. When found it is a good idea to switch to a swim jig or weighted swimbait to entice the bigger fish. Fishing is good but will get even better in the next few weeks. Get out there and have fun.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 568.30 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 10-11-2017) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are still fair and Kentucky bass are good. Try drop-shot finesse worms or live crawfish for a mess of Kentuckies. Walleye are still fair and being caught on spoons or bottom bouncers on main lake humps and points near brush. Stripers are picking up on live bait. The central part of the lake is still the best area for these fish. Bream have slowed but are still being caught in water 20-25 feet deep on crickets and worms. Crappie are picking up and being caught on minnows in 20-30 feet of water near structure. Catfish are fair on live bait, stink bait and hot dogs with trotline or jugs. Try depths of 20-30 feet. Lake conditions this week see t he water clarity clear with a water temperature ranging 78-82 degrees. 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 10-18-2017) Greeson Marine, home of the Arkansas bred-and-built Xpress fishing boat, reports that fishing conditions are still good on our erratic waters this week. Temperatures are still at or around the 80 degree mark and cooking fisherman and shallow water fish. Spotted bass have been found lurking in schools over flats in between main and secondary points along with submerged shoals. Smaller fish in the 1- to 2-pound range are taking small shad over these areas with the adjacent deeper water holding the bigger fish in the 20-feet range. Deep-diving or lipless crankbaits in the shad color range along with drop-shot rigs and “turd” rigs tipped with swimbaits or small Senkos are producing well. In the heat of the day a worm in black or watermelon is a go-to option when the bite slows or stops. Remember to use your electronics and find those balls of bait fish as they are not on every point. Good luck.

Lake Ouachita:

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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