AGFC Fishing Report

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This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for June 12 2019. If there is a body of water youl would like included in this report, please email jim.harris@agfc.ar.gov with information on possible sources for reports about that lake or river. Reports are updated weekly, although some reports might be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed.

Lake Atkins

(updated 6-12-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said Lake Atkins is cloudy in some areas but overall is pretty clear. The water level is high by about 1-1.5 feet. No surface temperature was reported. No reports on bream and nothing reported on crappie, either. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwater lures. Catfishing is good using worms or chicken livers.

Lake Catherine
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro

(updated 6-12-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) checked with Austin Owens of the Lake Catherine State Park Marina, who reports that clarity is dirty from recent rains, though the water level is normal. Bream are good. They can be caught from the shoreline out to 7-8 feet depth. Worms and crickets are being used. Crappie reports are poor. Black bass are good, with the fish found in 5-10 feet depth. Plastic worms, topwater baits, Brush Hogs and lizards are all working well. Find the bass around the brush. Catfishing is good on worms and blood bait. No report on white bass.

Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)

For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro

(updated 6-12-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita has risen slightly back into flood pool as more rainfall continues to plague our state. Carpenter Dam had been unsafe to navigate for weeks, but Entergy has scheduled time the last week for no generation until noon for the public to fish. This move has made it possible for anglers to safely and effectively target a virtually untouched trout population These fish are presently being caught in good numbers. Boaters can anchor in areas holding good numbers of trout and have success casting Rooster Tails in white or brown around rock structure and sandbars. The months of May and June brings huge numbers of shad toward the dam to spawn. Trout will feed heavily on these baitfish and will strike artificial lures that imitate live minnows. Small jigs in gray or white will also work well in the same areas in slack or current situations. Trolling against the current with shallow-running crankbaits imitating shad or crawfish will attract larger trout that seek bigger prey. Bank fishermen should take advantage of slack water periods by presenting trout with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Waxworms and mealworms used in the same manner will allow anglers to catch limits of rainbows that are actively searching for food. Live bait presentations cannot be overemphasized, because trout become much more wary as their environment warms and the summer heat sets in. June brings white bass by the thousands into the Carpenter Dam tailrace to begin the spawn. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and jig presentations will all draw strikes from these temperate bass from the dam to the bridge as they feed on shad for months. Hybrid bass also run alongside these fish and will feed on the same prey items. Stripers always migrate into the area in the summer months in search of food and cooler temperatures. Balloon rigs with gizzard shad give fishermen a good chance to hook a big striper, but artificial lures such as Super Spooks and Alabama rigs should not be overlooked. Strong rods and lines are recommended for these predator fish that possess great power and are often in the 2 to 40-pound range. Anyone navigating Lake Catherine should always wear a life jacket and be aware of the generation schedules. All park rules and regulations must be followed in the Carpenter Dam tailrace.

Lake Dardanelle

(updated 6-12-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said the area has experienced mostly sunshine and breezy winds the past week.A sunny and dry week is forecasted until the weekend, when more humid air and showers arrive. The lake has no visibility, the water remains muddy. Surface temperature is 79 degrees. Boat ramps inside Lake Dardanelle State Park remain closed until further notice. However, please contact the Visitor Center (479) 967-5516 ext. 2 for updated boat ramp status. According to National Weather Service preliminary values, the river crested at the Ozark Lock & Dam 12 on May 30 at 374.99 feet msl with a flow around 560,000 cfs. As of Tuesday, June 11, the river at Ozark Lock & Dam 12 is forecasted to recede below flood stage (357 feet) Thursday morning. Currently, the tailwater elevation is 359 feet and falling. Release at Ozark L&D 12 has been steadily slowing and is currently 204,000 cfs. There has been no power generation. The islands and bottoms at the Arkansas Highway 109 bridge and near Spadra are beginning to emerge as the water recedes. It is likely that much of the sandbars and points have changed in size or shifted in these areas. Dikes remain underwater. so use caution. Downriver, pool elevation near Lake Dardanelle State Park has returned to normal. NWS preliminary values show the Lake Dardanelle tailwater crested on May 30 at 45.91 feet msl with a flow around 587,000 cfs. If official, this level will have exceeded the record established in 1943. It has since receded below flood stage to 28 feet. Release is currently 194,000 cfs and slowing. There has been no power generation. Anglers: Please use caution when on the water. Tournaments at Lake Dardanelle State Park have been cancelled or rescheduled due to dangerous river conditions. For tournament updates, please contact the Lake Dardanelle State Park Visitor Center at (479) 967-5516 ext. 2.

(updated 6-12-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.

Lake Hamilton

(updated 6-12-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels normalizing and temps in the mid-70s throughout. Bass fishing is really hot right now! The water is just barely off-color, which makes things much easier for anglers to imitate the natural prey of the fish. Bass are good all over right now and not just on Hamilton. Carolina-rigged worms and lizards along with Texas-rigged ribbon-tailed worms in darker colors like black, plum or June-bug are doing well all over. Topwater is doing really well in the mornings and evenings. Whopper Ploppers always work, along with frog and popper styles. Change it up every now and then. Fish have seen the typical presentations on these public lakes, so think outside the box and modify what you have or throw something with rusted-out hooks at the bottom of the box. Catfish are good as usual this time of year. You can find them on drop-offs and creek channel bends everywhere. Crappie are fair in most areas from what we have heard, but no real reports. Good luck! And Go Greeson!

(updated 6-12-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips says that like at DeGray, the story is pretty simple after all the rainfall has moved on – the crappie are still biting and the whites are schooling.

Lake Nimrod

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 371.48 feet msl (normal pool: 345.0 feet msl).

(updated 6-12-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the clarity is “real clear” now and the surface temperature is 83 degrees. Water level is high. But that’s not hurting fishing for their anglers. Crappie are good. The fish are in 5-7 feet depth and are biting black/chartreuse crappie niblets, as well as minnows or jigs. Work the brush piles. Black bass are fair. Use a chatterbait or a War Eagle spinnerbait. Catfish are biting well around the brush piles. They say that anglers tell them they are catching a lot of bream elsewhere, just not at Nimrod. At Nimrod, the bream bite rates fair. Use crickets.

(updated 6-12-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is muddy and at a high level. The area is “super flooded,” they say. Across the board, the results for fishing have been poor. “We’re playing dominoes,” the source joked.

Lake Ouachita

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 579.16 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).

(updated 6-12-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are good. Texas-rigged soft plastics and drop-shot rigs fished over points are working at this time. Walleye are still very good. Small minnow-colored crank baits and night crawlers on drop shot rigs are producing good stringers. Stripers are still good. Most of these fish have moved to the central part of the lake and are being caught on live bait or big hair jigs. Bream are still very good with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 8-15 feet of water near brush. Crappie are fair and being caught with jigs or minnows in 12-20 feet of water near brush. Catfish are excellent and anglers are having luck with rod and reel using live nightcrawlers around brush piles. Surface water temperature is ranging 80-84 degrees. Lake level is 579.40 feet msl as of Tuesday and the clarity is clearing. Contact the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717; Chris Darby, 870-867-7822; and Jerry Bean, 501-282-6104) for more information.

Blue Mountain Lake

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 409.40 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).

(updated 6-12-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin said Blue Mountain Lake is still not producing well for crappie. Bream are on beds and good. No report on catfish. Water should continue to improve in coming weeks.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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