Weekly Fishing Report
This is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing report for Feb. 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 2-6-2019) Sharon at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) says clarity is muddy and the lake is returning to a normal level. Surface water temperature on Tuesday was 42 degrees. Anglers tried for crappie but reports were poor. Bass fishing also was poor. Nothing reported on bream, catfish or white bass.
Lake Catherine (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.
(Updated 1-30-2019) Shane Goodner, owner of Catcher All Guide Service, reports that Entergy is currently running a minimum flow pattern below Carpenter Dam. Fast flows and dangerous currents had been the norm for weeks as Lake Ouachita stayed in the flood pool for most of January. Fisherman can now safely access areas that hold good numbers of rainbow trout as the stocking schedule is in full swing. Bank fisherman are recording limits of trout using corn floated just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Waxworms or mealworms are also working well presented in the same manner. Spin fishermen casting Super Dupers in silver or gold colors have perfectly matched the injured threadfin shad that are drawn through the turbines in times of generation. Shad are a main prey for trout and other area gamefish below the dam. Little Cleo’s and small jigs are also very effective in current situations from the bank or boat. Fly-fishermen are taking advantage of the 5-foot drawdown and are wading to areas that hold big schools of fish. Woolly Buggers in black or green and San Juan worms in hot pink cast with a strike indicator have been deadly for those anglers who chose to brave the freezing temperatures of the last several days. Overall, rainbow trout fishing has improved dramatically in the last week as stable conditions have returned to the Carpenter Dam tailrace. Fishing will only become better as the month of February brings another 12,000 rainbow trout into the area. As January comes to an end, the walleye spawn looms on the horizon. Smaller males will begin to show up in early February to prepare the beds for the much larger females. Trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current below the bridge is an excellent way to target these fish that guard their beds aggressively. Carolina rigs tipped with live minnows or night crawlers work better in slack water conditions. The spawn will start below the bridge and bedding fish can be found all the way to the dam by late February. White bass fishing has been very slow with no reported catches. Striper activity has also been slow. These fish are often found together in the tailrace as both species feed on shad schools and injured baitfish. Rainbow trout are king below the dam as huge numbers are stocked this time of year and this influx of trout gives fishermen the chance to catch a beautiful fish and provide their families with a tasty and healthy table fare. Anyone navigating Lake Catherine is urged to be aware of the generation schedules and always use caution and wear a life jacket when on the water.
(updated 1-30-2019) Charles Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-647-9945) said water temperature is 46 degrees. The river is muddy. Creeks are starting to clear. All species have been slow due to the high and dirty water conditions. But as the creeks start to clear there will be opportunity. Jerkbaits, and Alabama rigs will play a role in catching you some largemouth bass. A jig and Bamboozie will also play a role; make sure the jig is small, and shorten up the Bamboozie and dragged it very slow on bottom without picking it up. The bite is really light and you should be ready for it. The striped bass have also been good on jerkbaits and Alabama rigs. The best bite has been early. A single swimbait will work, also. White bass have been with the stripers. Jerkbaits and spoons will catch you some good white bass. Crappie have been hit-and-miss due to the current in the creeks. The clarity is getting good with the current, it’s been just a tad bit swift to keep the jig where the crappie are. Chartreuse, black/chartreuse, Bobby Garland Monkey Milk and Cajun Cricket have been working well if you can keep the jig in front of the fish.
(updated 2-6-2019) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas born-and-bred Xpress all-welded aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs, reports lake levels still down 3-5 feet in all areas of the lake with slightly stained water and clarity 2-4 feet. Lake clarity will change this week with the rains expected. Water temperatures are hovering near the 50-degree mark throughout. The bass bite is sluggish due to water temps and the increased pressure of fisherman practicing for upcoming tournaments. Bass are still, for the most part, deep in the 20-30 foot range, but when the sun comes out expect the fish to move up into depths of 10-15 feet, and feed near the main channel points over rip-rap and rocky areas (rocks hold heat). Go-to baits will be watermelon seed jigs with subtle trailers, suspending and deep-diving-suspending jerkbaits in shad or crawfish colors and, of course, the drop-shot rig with finesse-style Senko worm setups. Crappie are smoking hot right now just over the tops of brush piles near the main channel and feeder creeks. Look for depths of 20-35 feet using your side imaging and downscan. Minnows and tipped jigs are working well fished just above the fish (typically 20 feet). Walleye and hybrids have been mixed in with bass-infested areas and are good attackers of vertical-fished white or chrome spoons. “Wear those life jackets, folks, it may be 70 degrees outside but the water temps are still dangerously cold! Good luck and Go Greeson!”
(updated 1-30-2019) Capt. Darryl Morris at Family Fishing Trips said the pattern has been the same for several weeks here. Vertical-jigging spoons at a range of 35-55 feet depth will produce plenty of catches. Work deeper channels and the deep end of points.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 342.51 feet msl (full pool: 342.00 feet msl).
(updated 2-6-2019) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said the water is cloudy and at a normal level now (342 feet). No temperature was reported. Anglers report catching fish in deep waters. Crappie are fair on minnows and white/chartreuse jigs. Bass reports are fair. Catfishing is fair. Nothing reported on bream.
(updated 2-6-2019) Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the lake is clearing and the water level is normal. Still, they say, not a lot of fishing is going on. Crappie are the best thing going, they say, with good reports. Bass are poor. Catfishing can be good at times. The bream bite is poor. No other details were offered.
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 576.09 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 2-6-2019) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out of state) said black bass are fair. Alabama rigs, jigs or spoons fished on main lake points or in creek channels are working OK at this time. No report on walleye. Stripers are still fair on live bait and Bama rigs. Major creek mouths and main lake points on the western and central parts of the lake are the best for these fish. No report on bream. Crappie are slow and being caught with jigs or minnows in 20-30 feet of water near brush. Catfish produced no reports. Water temperature is ranging 46-50 degrees. The clarity is clear. Lake level is at 576.08 feet msl. 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 384.38 feet msl (full pool: 384.00 feet msl).