Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for March 6, 2019. If there is a body of water you would like included in this report, please email [email protected] 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 for the lake or stream you plan to fish for current news.
(updated 3-6-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says clarity is clear. The surface water temperature Monday midmorning was 45 degrees and the lake level was about like last week, up 3 feet or so. Crappie are slow but anglers say they are catching a few. They’re getting most of the bites in deep water, using minnows or jigs. Overall, though, the bite is poor. Black bass were good, it appears, but no one suggested any baits. Catfishing is poor. Bream are poor.
(updated 3-6-2019) Steve Donahou atLake Catherine State Park (501-844-4176) said the lake is murky and the water temp is cold. The level is low. There has been a 5-good drawdown of the reservoir during the winter, and annual refilling of the lake began on March 1. It is scheduled to be completed by March 15. Remmel Dam’s minimum flow release is planned to be 400 cfs during March. Visiting with local anglers and with the marina staff at the state park, fishing for bream, crappie, bass, catfish and white bass is poor. Comments such as “the fish are not biting” is common. Increased lake levels and warmer weather should improve the catch.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(updated 3-6-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catcher All Guide Service, reports that Lake Catherine is currently being refilled. After the 5-foot winter drawdown the lake is rising 6 inches per day and will be at normal summertime pool March 10. This process began on March 1 and has kept the lake stained from heavy rains earlier in the month. The Carpenter Dam tailwaters are clearing somewhat, but cloudy water has been the norm for days. Thousands of rainbow trout are present in the tailrace, but are adversely affected by the rising waters. Trout despise muddy conditions and the bite is almost nonexistent while the lake is rising. This is a very important fact to remember this time of year when you are attempting to fish for rainbow trout. Trout behavior will return to normal a few days after the lake has been brought back to normal levels. Meanwhile, the walleye spawn is in full swing with both males and females present on spawning beds. Little fishing has taken place for these fish due to the adverse conditions; however, these fish will bite and are not as affected by rising water as trout are. Trolling small crankbaits against the current that run 4-6 feet deep is an effective method of locating spawning beds and causes walleye to give a reaction bite. Anchoring in areas that hold walleye and casting Carolina rigs tipped with live minnows or nightcrawlers will produce positive results as long as these fish are in the tailrace. Crappie will migrate into the tailrace in the next week to begin the spring spawn. These fish will stay close to the banks during current flow behind rock and sandbars. Live minnows and small jigs are the best bet when targeting crappie that will feed heavily in areas where they make spawning beds. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is urged to be aware of the generation schedules and always follow all park and boating regulations. Wear a life jacket and live to fish another day.
(updated 3-6-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is 47 degrees with some backwater reaching 50 before this cold front. River clarity is still poor. Creeks are clear with some clear backwater. Black bass have been good on Alabama rigs, jerkbaits, and jigs with Bamboozie. Spinnerbaits are beginning to come into play on the warmer days. Soft plastic jerkbaits such as the scam shad are working well on the shallow fish. Stripers are still good with swimbaits, A-rigs, Rat-L-Traps and jerkbaits. Crappie have been good deep on Cajun Crickets and Electric Chicken in chartreuse and chartreuse/black. Catfish have been good on cut bait on the main river in the channel swings. Bream have been fair in the creeks on jigs and crickets.
(updated 3-6-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports Lake Hamilton has begun the filling back to normal pool after the annual 5-foot winter drawdown. Water clarity is 6 inches or less with lots of debris coming down the main channel. No reports on any catches, but please be alert when boating and wear life jackets at all times.
As of Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 347.00 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-6-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the lake is clear and the water level is back into the normal 345-348 feet msl for this time of year. Water is cold. Crappie are reported to be slow, but biting. Largemouth bass are good on crankbaits and jigs. Catfish reports were good with minnows and shad working best. Poor results were noted for bream fishing.
(updated 3-6-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water level is dropping closer to normal. The clarity is cloudy and the surface feels cold. They’ve had no anglers, they say. Reports across the board were poor.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 578.31 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 3-6-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are good. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and crankbaits fished on main and secondary lake points or in creek channels are working at this time. Walleye are making their spawning run. Small lipless crankbaits and hair jigs tipped with a minnow should be best now. Try areas just above and below the first shoal on the rivers and major creeks. Stripers are still fair and picking up. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the western end of the lake are the best for these fish. No reports on bream. Crappie are still slow and being caught with jigs or minnows in 20-30 feet of water near brush. No reports on catfish. Surface water temperature is ranging 48-52 degrees, and the clarity is clearing. Lake level as of Tuesday was 579.21, about a foot and a quarter over normal pool. Contact the Mountain Harbor 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 395.44 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).