Great Stripers We Caught Lake Ouachita

Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Site (Fishing)


From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site

Updated January 17, 2018

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

Lake Catherine

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

(update 1-17-2018) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Entergy is only releasing water for a few hours every few days to maintain lake levels. Lake Catherine is now at a 3-foot drawdown until March 1, when refilling of both lakes Hamilton and Catherine will begin. Each lake will be brought back to normal summertime levels by March 15. Currently, rainbow trout are the main attraction below Carpenter Dam. Little fishing has taken place with the frigid temperatures of late, but those brave enough to endure the cold have caught quality limits of trout. From the dam to the bridge, rainbows are present and thriving as January is the first month for large stockings of trout in the tailrace. Periods of no generation are best for bank fishermen as these anglers are recording limits of fish using corn or waxworms with a marshmallow floater. Redworms and nightcrawlers used in the same manner have also produced nice catches. PowerBaits presented just of the bottom or under a bobber are also working well from the bank or boat. Spin fishermen casting small jigs across the current around exposed rock structure have taken the larges trout this past week. Jigs imitate the small threadfin shad that are drawn through the turbines during periods of generation. Opportunistic trout feed heavily on these injured baitfish and grow strong from this protein source. Rooster Tails in white or brown are also effective fished in the current or slack water. Super Dupers and Little Cleos are proven artificial lures and should never be forgotten when targeting trout chasing shad. Trolling the main channel with shallow running crankbaits is effective and far easier this year with only a 3-foot instead of a 5-foot drawdown. Crawfish or minnow imitations that run 3-5 feet deep will draw consistent strikes from rainbows looking to feed on injured shad. Fly-fisherman are able to wade to areas that hold good numbers of fish and are having success casting egg patterns in white or yellow under a strike indicator. Egg imitators are highly effective as all rainbow trout are born egg eaters. This technique will often catch fish when no other pattern will produce. Micro-jigs in white or black have quickly taken numbers of trout in the 12- to 15-inch class. San Juan worms in red or hot pink give fishermen a nice change in approach. Trout Magnets fished 3-7 feet deep have really racked-up fish numbers this week in the blistering cold. It seems that all colors are working with a slight edge in white being noticed. Overall, trout fishing is very good and will become even better as the month progresses into February. While white and hybrid bass have been caught the last several week, none have been seen feeding this week. Striper activity is very slow with no reports of fish feeding or being hooked in the last 10 days. The walleye spawn will begin around the second week of February as the water temperatures climb into the 50-degree range. Crappie will begin migrating into the tailrace in mid-March to spawn and will remain until the first part of May. Rainbow trout are king below Carpenter Dam and anyone wanting to enjoy some very good fishing and better tablefare should try their luck in beautiful Lake Catherine. Anyone navigating the tailrace must always wear a lifejacket and be aware of the generation schedules. Observing all park and boating regulations can insure a safe and memorable outing.


(No Report January 17th 2018)(updated 12-20-2017) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said fish the brush piles close to the main channel.


As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation was 567.87 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(update 1-10-2018) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) says black bass are still fair. Spotted bass have slowed but are still fair on a drop-shot with a finesse worm. No reports on walleye. Stripers are fair to good on Bama rigs. Major creek channels on the central and western part of the lake have been the best for these fish. No reports on bream. Crappie are still fair and being caught on minnows in 20-30 feet of water near structure. No reports on catfish. Surface water temperature is ranging 46-50 degrees. Water clarity is clearing. The lake level was 567.86 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor guides - Mike Wurm (501-622-7717), Chris Darby (870-867-7822) or Jerry Bean (501-282-6104) - for more information.

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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