Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

(updated 7-22-2021) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 60 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy has posted a special generation schedule starting Friday, July 23, that extends through Thursday, Aug. 5. Anyone planning on navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is urged to view these flow releases and plan accordingly. This schedule is posted weekly on the Entergy website for public viewing normally on Wednesday evening. Now that Lake Ouachita has been lowered several feet below flood pool, weekly flows from area dams are now at a level where fishing and boating are now safe to continue. Rainbow trout fishing below Carpenter Dam is extremely slow as the season was marred by flooding. The past three years have been adversely affected by high water as trout despise muddy conditions. Summer water temperatures of late June and early July mark the end of the trout season on Lake Catherine until the stocking program begins again in mid-November.

Catfish have been caught below the bridge in the main channel on cut bait and live minnows as these fish have completed the end of their spawning cycle. The majority of fish caught have been in the 4- to 8-pound range. Blue catfish are the dominant species in the tailrace area.

White bass have been observed breaking in the early morning hours chasing threadfin shad. Casting spinnerbaits and jigs in one-eighth-ounce weights has been the best presentation to catch these fish the past several weeks. Hybrid bass school alongside white bass and are being caught on the same techniques.Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current has been productive catching white bass and hybrids, as well as walleye in the 3-pound class. Walleye thrive in the tailrace in the summer months as these fish prefer colder water temperatures than other area game fish. The summer months will be dominated by these fish species with migration in and out of the tailrace a weekly event. Always wear a life jacket when on the water and continue to follow park rules and regulations.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 7-22-2021) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-aluminum, all-welded fishing boats in beautiful Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton’s water levels slightly up due to rains. Water clarity is good but slightly stained with visibility up to 8 feet throughout and surface temps in the high 80s.

Lately it’s really been junk fishing for bass. It seems to get this way around August every year on Hamilton, and once again it has returned. Early mornings and night fishing are by far the most productive for bass of all species. In the early mornings, shallow points that stick out to the main channel will be best to target with topwater presentations like Whopper Ploppers, Spooks and shallow jerkbaits. Many breaking fish are being spotted in these same areas at the same time. At night, these same areas with lit docks can be targeted with the drop-shot rig. A green pumpkin or plum Trick Worm, nose hooked or wacky-rigged around dock pilings, is very productive at night but also during the day in shaded areas.

Bream have been excellent on deep dock pilings and brush. Slip corks set at 15 feet will put quality fish in the bucket. Worms work best and crickets are fair. Catfish are good in all creek channel drop-offs or hard bends in 20 feet. If you can find some sunken boulders, then definitely target those areas. Cheese cubes or cut bait seems to work the best!

“Please use caution on Hamilton. Pleasure boaters are everywhere and its very important to keep your head on a swivel when fishing congested areas. Good luck and Go Greeson!”

Lake Ouachita

As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 574.34 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 7-22-2021) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports black bass are good. Texas-rigged Ole Monster Worm and a drop-shot finesse worm have been working. There have been good reports with jigging a three-quarter-ounce spoon, too. Walleye are still excellent and being caught on spoons and drop-shot nightcrawlers near brush on points. Stripers are good. These fish are being caught on live bait on the eastern half of the lake. Bream are very good and can be caught on worms and crickets. These fish are 15-20 feet deep on brush. Crappie are still fair. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 10-20 feet of water. Catfish are still very good and being caught on rod and reel using nightcrawlers for bait near brush. Water temperature is ranging 84-88 degrees. Clarity is clear. Lake level is 574.46 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 7-15-2021) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips

(501-844-5418) says, “The crappie left me on the brushpiles on other lakes but they are loaded with bream 8-12 feet deep. Most recently, I’ve been hunting striper and walleye on Ouachita. We’re catching striper on live bait and large spoons from 21-52 feet deep near humps, points and islands. We’re catching walleye on nightcrawlers on points and humps right at the 20-foot thermocline. Good luck everyone and stay safe.”

(updated 7-8-2021) John Koestler at Masterbaiters Bait and Tackle (501-209-6538) on Arkansas Highway 7 reports that anglers fishing near Blakely Dam are catch walleye, and big ones, on Rat-L-Traps and jerkbaits.

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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