HOT SPRINGS ARKANSAS AREA LAKES FISHING REPORTS
From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site
Updated July 27, 2016
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As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake's elevation was 573.33 feet msl (full pool - 578.00 msl).
?(updated 7-27-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort (870-867-2191) said the water temperature is 86-90 degrees, the water level is clear and the lake was at a level of 573.45 feet msl. Black bass are still fair and still being caught with Texas rigged worms, Pop-R's and buzzbaits. Brush piles on main lake and secondary points are producing the best results when fished with Texas rigged plastics. Drop shot finesse worms are working well for "spots." Walleye are still excellent and are being caught trolling shallow running crankbaits and jigging CC spoons. Stripers are fair on live bait. The central and east areas of the lake are the hottest right now. Bream are good. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 12-25 feet deep. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 20-30 feet deep near brush. Catfish are fair. Try live bait or hot dogs in depths of 15-20 feet.
(updated 7-13-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips reported white bass are schooling early in the mornings, and the best baits are Rooster Tails and spoons.
(updated 7-27-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch'em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 59 degrees, but rises to 65 degrees below the bridge. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace as summertime lake levels are in place until late November. Entergy is currently generating at noon each day until 8 pm every day. This schedule can change at any time especially if our area is subject to heavy rainfall. Rainbow trout fishing remains very slow with the majority of fish either caught or migrated away from the dam. This situation occurs every year around this time and fishing will not improve until the stocking program starts again in November. A few diehard anglers continue to target trout and have taken a few fish on live minnows tight-lined over deep water. Nightcrawlers and redworms have also drawn strikes fished in the same manner. While small numbers of trout remain in the area, these fish are finicky and difficult to catch. White bass have finished their spawning run with numbers of bass remaining below the dam to rest and feed. Live minnows, small jigs, and jerkbaits have all taken fish in the last week primarily during times of generation. Current flow triggers a hunt reflex in fish that live below dams and Carpenter Dam is no exception. Feeding times are often short so fishermen need to be alert and watch for breaking fish. Alabama rigs work well when white bass are schooling and give an angler a chance to hook more than one fish at a time. A few hybrid bass have been caught with the white bass schools and actively feed on the same forage. Stripers can appear at any time during the day, but are often early morning feeders and remain hard to find after daylight. Again, Alabama rigs are a key lure to entice strikes as these predator fish are feeding on shad. C-10 Redfins in rainbow trout colors can bring heart-stopping strikes from fish that often weigh well over 20 pounds.
Freshwater drum are still present below the dam and are being caught on nightcrawlers or crawfish combined with a Carolina rig. Strong rods are lines are recommended as these fish are ferocious fighters and capable of snapping rods and dragging fishing equipment to the bottom of the lake. Overall, a summer pattern has set in on Lake Catherine as few species of fish are available to catch below Carpenter Dam. The summer heat keeps many anglers off the lake and forces the area gamefish into short and irregular feeding times. Anyone navigating the tailrace must always wear a life jacket and be aware of the generation schedules.