HOT SPRINGS ARKANSAS AREA LAKES FISHING REPORTS
From The Arkansas Game & Fish Commision Web Site
Updated May 25, 2016
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
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.57 feet msl (full pool – 578 msl).
(updated 5-18-2016) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said lthe lake water was clearing with a surface temperature of 72-76 degrees. The lake level was 577.92 feet msl. Black bass are fair to good and being caught with topwater and creature baits. Main lake and secondary points are producing the best results. Walleye are good and are being caught with shallow running crankbaits, small jerkbaits and CC Spoons. Stripers are still good on top water C-10 redfins. The central area of the lake is the hottest right now. Bream are still excellent. Crickets, maggots and redworms are best fished 8-15 feet deep. Crappie are fair. Try using minnows or crappie jigs at depths around 8-15 feet deep near brush. Catfishing are excellent. Try live bait or cut bait in depths of 15-20 feet.
(updated 5-25-2016) Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said crappie and bass have finished their spawn and starting to stack up on brush piles in 14-18 feet of water fished 6-10 feet deep with jigs or minnows. Bream are spawning and can be caught with crickets shallow or on brush piles at mid-depths.
(updated 5-25-2016) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita is now out of flood pool and Entergy has closed flood gates and reduced flow from all area dams. Water temperature below Carpenter Dam is 58 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Catherine is now at normal summertime pool and will remain at this level until late November. Rainbow trout are present in very good numbers below the dam and thriving in the nutrient-rich water. Trout in the 12-16-inch range are plentiful and roaming the shallow waters searching for prey. Bank fishermen are doing well during slack water periods with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Wax or meal worms are also effective presented in the same manner. Corn closely resembles fish eggs and will draw strikes from hungry rainbows in calm water or current flow. Live minnows floated under a bobber has accounted for the largest trout this week as these fish tend to feed on larger prey items. Fly fishermen can still access areas that hold schools of trout, but must use extreme caution when the turbines are running. Micro-jigs in white or black casted with a strike indicator is a consistent technique because the tailrace holds thousands of shad that rainbow trout feed on daily. San Juan worms in red or hot pink give an angler a nice change of pace when the bite is slow. Egg patterns in yellow or white are always the bait of choice when conditions are tough and the fish are finicky. Boaters trolling shallow running crankbaits against the current are recording limits of quality catches with most of the action best below the bridge. Anchoring behind rocks and fishing the current breaks with small jigs and jerkbaits have caught trout in the 18-inch class by experienced guides. Overall, trout fishing is excellent and will remain good until the middle of June.White bass are making a strong spawning run toward the dam from the main body of the lake. Little fishing pressure due to high water has allowed these fish to gather in big numbers on both sides of the tailrace. Current flow drives white bass to feed heavier than slack water and trolling crankbaits and casting Alabama rigs over sandbars and rock structure will produce good catches. Jerkbaits in bright yellow have been the ticket in the stained waters of last week, but a silver-and-black pattern has proved to be more effective of late. Live minnows tightlined over deep water around the dam has targeted bass that moved up earlier in the flood. A few hybrid bass have been caught on the same lures with better numbers migrating in the area in June. Some striper activity has been observed this week but no big fish hooked or caught. Freshwater drum continue to spawn the tailrace with fish over 20 pounds caught and larger fish lost. Nightcrawlers and live shad are the best baits to use to entice these fish, which give fishermen a hard fight and test tackle to the limit. Carolina rigs tipped with either bait can draw vicious strikes, so rods should never be set aside in a boat or the bank and left unattended. Never navigate the waters below Carpenter Dam without wearing a life jacket and a good knowledge of the bottom structure below the dam.