Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s weekly fishing report for June 24, 2020. 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 6-17-2020) Donald Ramirez, owner ofLucky Landing (479-641-7615) on the southeastern end of the lake, said no one is really fishing lately, and he had no fishing reports. The lake clarity is a little murky, while the water level is low.
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 6-24-2020) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Lake Ouachita is comfortably out of flood pool and currently stable. Water temperature is 61 degrees below the dam. Flooding has ruined the rainbow trout season below Carpenter Dam and allowed very little opportunity for anglers to launch a boat with the treacherous flows. That scenario continued for months, but now lake conditions are stabilized with Entergy running water in a fashion that allows boaters and waders to safely access the Lake Catherine tailrace. Individuals are encouraged to access the hydroelectric operations information website to be aware of current flow conditions. Rainbow trout are still present and able to be caught on live bait presentations although the action is painfully slow. Small live minnows tight-lined over deep water will draw strikes from larger rainbows that seek to feed on larger prey. Redworms and nightcrawlers are another proven bait that work in cold or hot weather – present them under a bobber or fished just off the bottom. Waxworms or crickets will also work well used in the same manner. Numbers of trout caught are low, but the size ranges from 13 to 19 inches. All the trout are beautifully colored and super-healthy. Fly-fishermen can safely access areas and can cast to areas that hold trout. San Juan worms in red or hot pink and egg patterns in white or orange are presentations that these anglers should seriously consider when the fish are finicky and spooky. White bass are thriving in good numbers but small fish are the norm from the bridge to the dam. Anglers casting jigs in gray or white around rocks and sandbars have caught decent numbers of bass when the turbines are running. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current has produced nice catches of white bass and the occasional walleye that also target shad. Blue catfish are being caught on cut bait in the deep water close to the dam. These fish spawn in June and migrate into the tailrace. Clear conditions exist in the tailrace from the dam to the bridge and people are encouraged not to throw trash on the ground or water and help keep the park area safe by social distancing and wearing a mask when appropriate.
(updated 6-24-2020) Jason Baumgartner, park aquarist at Lake Dardanelle State Park (479-890-7495), said that since last Tuesday (June 16) they have experienced mostly clear skies with sunshine and humidity. Some showers moved through this past Sunday and Monday. The National Weather Service forecast expects sunshine and below average temperatures until late in the week when a high-pressure ridge builds over the area bringing in moisture and chances for afternoon pop-up showers. With less rains and slower river flow the water has cleared up near the surface and visibility reaches a few feet. Surface temperature is 82 degrees.
As of Tuesday (June 23) the Corps of Engineers last reported river flow at Ozark Lock and Dam had fallen from about 50,000 cfs down to about 35,000 cfs and is now up to near 60,000 cfs. The tailwater is near 340 feet msl. River flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam is reported about 32,000 cfs this morning and has been fluctuating between 20,000 and 40,000 cfs over the past week. Dardanelle tailwater level has moved between 8 and 6 feet. The pool elevation near the State Park remains elevated and has kept between 338 and 339 feet (msl). Powerhouses at both Ozark and Dardanelle have been generating throughout the day.
No fishing tournament were hosted at Lake Dardanelle State Park this past weekend. Lake Dardanelle State Park continues to comply with state and federal guidelines and directives for social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The status of our facilities continues to be evaluated. In accordance with our governor’s directive, tournament officials are required to submit an event plan and permit application to the Arkansas Department of Health before their event. Tournament officials are also required to present their ADH permit and event plan to Lake Dardanelle State Park and agree to our tournament regulations regarding COVID-19. For details or questions contact our visitor center at (479) 967-5516. Be safe while on the river and take advantage of nice weather or time to put a line the water!
(updated 6-24-2020) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress all-aluminum, all-welded fishing boats in Hot Springs, had no reports.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 363.76 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-24-2020) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) says the water clarity is good and clear, while the surface temperature is 86 degrees. Water level is high. Bream reports are good, with fish still being caught around the picnic tables covered by the high water. Use worms, crickets or nightcrawlers. Crappie are good, with anglers having best success fishing in 20 feet of water with the crappie suspended at 12 feet. Minnows and jigs will work. Black bass are good on topwater baits, Chug Bugs and worms. Catfishing is good using floating lines and limblines. Follow Andrews Bait Shop and More on its Facebook page for the latest updates.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 577.33 feet msl (normal pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 6-24-2020) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) reports that black bass are fair. Topwaters, drop-shot finesse rigs and jighead worms are working best right now. Walleye are still good. Spoons and bottom bouncers with small spinners tipped with a crawler are working best. Stripers are still very good. These fish are being caught on live bait on the east part of the lake. Bream are good with crickets or worms in 5-15 feet of water. Crappie remain good. Try a small jig or minnow near brush in 15-25 feet of water. Catfish are still good and being caught with trotline and jugs. Cut bait and live bait are working best. Water temperature continues to warm upward, ranging 78-84 degrees this week. Clarity is stained. Lake level Tuesday was 577.05 feet msl. Call 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 413.27 feet msl (normal pool: 387.00 feet msl).