Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam) For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

(updated 1-14-2021) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that open floodgates and heavy generation continue on Lake Catherine in an effort to stabilize area lake levels. Lake Ouachita remains almost 2 feet into flood pool, but is falling by the hour. This scenario will continue on Lake Catherine until Ouachita is lowered below flood level. This process could last another two weeks. Meanwhile, no one should attempt to navigate the Carpenter Dam tailwaters until these treacherous conditions subside. The good news is that the trout stocking program continues with 9,300 rainbows scheduled to be put in the lake this month. The November and December stockings were a success with 4,295 fish delivered safely. Trout can contend with very fast water much better than most species of game fish and will thrive in the cold waters below area dams. Thousands of threadfin shad, injured from the frigid temperatures, are drawn through Carpenter Dam during the heavy flows. Trout are feeding on these baitfish daily and will easily adapt to the dangerous conditions. As soon as the lake stabilizes, good fishing will return to the area with the original 5-foot drawdown in place through March 1. Remember to social distance and always wear a mask when coming into contact with others. Always follow all park regulations as local law enforcement patrols and strictly enforces the rules.

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit

Lake Hamilton

(updated 1-14-2021) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels on the rise (at least 2 feet over the last week) and water temps in the mid-40s. The weather and especially the air temps and rainfall have really been all over the place this winter and it has the fish doing things a bit differently this year. Bass have been doing very well in ditches and in between lake points at 25-30 feet in depth by vertical-dropping a Damiki rig, Ned rig or drop-shot with a tiny craw on it. Slowly dragging an olive and blue ½-ounce football or finesse jig like the Slycked Back Hammer Slammer is getting bites in brush and timber in the shallower depths of 15-20 feet. “What’s really standing out this year that is unusual is the drop-shot presentation. Dragging a blue Zoom Meathead Worm (wacky rigged) in green pumpkin (clear water) or sapphire blue (dirty water). Dragging this presentation in gravel flats of 20-30 feet of water is incredibly effective! Spotted bass especially can’t stay away from it.”
Crappie are suspended over or right next to standing timber and brush in the 25-45 feet range and can be caught early in the morning on jigs and minnows but really turn off when the sun comes up. No catfish report but look for them in depths of 25-30 feet right in the trough of ditches. “Get in an Xpress boat from Greeson’s and get out there!” (updated 1-14-2021) The Dirty Worm (501-317-5046) on Highway 5 at Crows Station in Saline County reports that crappie fishing is good on live bait and small plastics in deeper water surrounding brush and cover. Bobby Garland Baby Shad in electric chicken, ghastly minnow and bleeding shad have been working well. The Dirty Worm opened late in 2020 near the intersection of Arkansas highways 5 and 9; the store’s address is 17572 Arkansas Highway 5, Lonsdale, AR 72087.

Lake Ouachita As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 580.44 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 579.45 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl). (updated 1-14-2021) The Dirty Worm (501-317-5046) on Highway 5 at Crows Station in Saline County reports that fishing is decent. Spotted bass are biting well on small spinners and live bait in 30-40ft of water off of points. Crappie fishing is good with #6 Crappie minnows and small jigs in 25-35 ft deep water around cover. The Dirty Worm opened late in 2020; the store’s address is 17572 Arkansas Highway 5, Lonsdale, AR 72087.

(updated 1-14-2021) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports black bass are still fair to good. Try a small ⅜-ounce spoon in submerged schools 40-50 feet deep off main lake points. ’Bama rigs and Pig-n-Jigs will work for large mouths around brush 25-40 feet deep No reports on walleye. Stripers are fair. These fish are being caught on live bait and ’Bama rigs. No report on bream. Crappie are fair. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 25-40 feet of water. No reports on catfish. Water temperature is ranging 48-52 degrees. Water clarity is clearing. The level is high at 579.57 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.

(updated 1-14-2021) John Koestler at Masterbaiters Bait and Tackle (501-209-6538) on Arkansas Highway 7 had no report.

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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