By Jim Harris
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for Sept. 11, 2019. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Contact the reporter listed for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news. Note: msl = mean sea level; cfs = cubic feet per second.
(updated 9-11-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says fishing remains constant with the past couple of weeks. The water is “pretty clear.” Overall the fishing is slow and patience is a must. Mainly, it’s way too hot for great fishing, she says.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 9-11-2019) Steve Donahou at Lake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) said he spoke with State Park Marina Manager Tosha Walker, who says the clarity is clear and the surface temperature is 84.1 degrees. Water level and current are normal. Bream are good. The fish are at a depth of 6-12 feet, and anglers are using worms and crickets. Crappie reports are poor. “There have been very few reports of crappie taken on minnows. They (the crappie) have been slow to bite,” Walker said. Bass are fair on crankbaits and plastic worms. Catfish are good, with stink bait and chicken liver being used. “A lot of catfish have been taken lately on trotlines using shad and cut baits,” said Walker, who also related that she had “not heard of anyone catching white bass lately on the lake.”
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 9-11-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that the water temperature is 65 degrees below the dam with clear conditions in the tailrace. Entergy is currently following a minimum flow pattern each day with Lake Ouachita nearly 8 feet below flood pool. Sadly, only small numbers of rainbow trout are left in the area because of the heavy flooding early in the year. Bank fishermen should take advantage of slack water periods by presenting trout with nightcrawlers and redworms fished just off the bottom with a marshmalow floater. Waxworms and mealworms used in the same manner will allow anglers to catch 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. September still holds numbers of whites, although the size is smaller than in a normal year. 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 anglers 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 20 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 tailrace.
(updated 9-11-2019) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495)had no report.
(updated 9-11-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) had no report.
(updated 9-11-2019) Capt Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said white bass and hybrid bass are schooling.
(updated 9-11-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred all-welded aluminum Xpress fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels normal with some water release on the river section in the afternoons. Water clarity is at most places in the lake near 8 feet of visibility. Lake temps at the surface still hover around the 90-degree mark. Although the days are hot, the bass fishing is still decent in most areas of the lake. Main lake points are holding large numbers of bass –especially spotted Bass in depths of 15-20 feet and usually over brushpiles or chunk rock bottoms. If you can find some current, it is usually very lucrative to fish the downstream side of an obstruction in or near the current. Drop-shot rigs, Ned rigs, spoons and medium- to deep-diving crank baits are the way to target these fish. Shad-like colors, along with watermelon seed and plum colors, seem to do best. Bass are not super aggressive, so just be patient with them and downsize your bait and hooks. With the days getting shorter, bass are starting to bulk up on baitfish, but because of the warm temperatures they are resistant to go into a full-fledged binge. Odds are fall is going to roar in all of a sudden one of these days and when it does … IT’S ON and the reels will be screaming!
Catfish are good as usual on cheese and cut baits in creek channels and off main lake drop-offs near current. Several reports of hybrid schools feeding heavily at times near the Carpenter Dam area. No crappie report this week. Good Luck! And Go Greeson!
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.90 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 9-11-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) reported that the clarity is clear and the water level is about 1 foot high as of Tuesday morning. Customers bought 11,000 crickets over the weekend, indicating that everybody was about that excellent bream bite that’s been going on at Nimrod. Crappie are good. One angler had a stringer of seven that weighed 12.48 pounds. Anglers are mostly using eighth-ounce and 1/16-ounce jigs, but minnows work too. The fish are about 5 feet deep in 7-8 feet of water. Black bass are good. Spinnerbaits are working well. The White War Eagle is a good one; a golden spinner with a white skirt will get their attention. Catfish are good. Chicken liver works, while noodlers are catching them up shallow with shad and chicken liver.
(updated 9-11-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) had no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 569.71 feet msl (normal pool: 578.00 feet msl)
(updated 9-11-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are fair to good. Texas-rigged worms, drop-shot rigs and spoons fished over points are working. The topwater bite is picking up early and late. Walleye are still fair. Three-quarter-ounce CC Spoons jigged vertically and nightcrawlers on drop-shot rigs are producing good stringers. Stripers are still good. They are located in the eastern part of the lake and are being caught on live bait or big hair jigs. Bream are good with reports of fish being caught with grubs and worms in 15-25 feet of water near brush. No reports on crappie. Catfish are good and anglers are having luck with rod-and-reel using live nightcrawlers around brushpiles. Water temperature is ranging 86-90 degrees. Water clarity is clear. Contact the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 385.02 feet msl (normal pool: 384.00 feet msl).
(updated 9-11-2019) Angler Dane Goodwin had no report.