(updated 2-2-2023) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) had no new reports.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 2-2-2023) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that water temperature below the dam is 45 degrees with slightly stained conditions in the tailrace. Entergy is running water 8 hours every day this week beginning in the early morning hours. Anglers should plan on dealing with a current situation and plan accordingly. The 5-foot drawdown creates a dangerous environment when attempting to navigate the tailrace in current or zero flow. Numerous rocks and shallow sandbars dot the area creating treacherous boating and wading. Extreme caution is advised by everyone using the tailrace, and the public is advised to be aware of the generation schedules posted every Wednesday on the Entergy website.
January marks the first big month of rainbow trout stocking with 9,300 fish scheduled for Lake Catherine. Trout now are widely scattered from the bridge to the dam and being caught in the shoals by fly-fishermen casting micro-jigs in black and white under a strike indicator. Trout key in on the shad kill this time of year as freezing temperatures stun threadfin shad in Lake Hamilton and these baitfish are drawn through the turbines and scattered throughout the tailrace area. Flies that imitate injured shad will draw immediate strikes from hungry rainbows. Spin-fishermen using PowerBaits and lures that represent fleeing crayfish will also catch trout that are searching for prey.
Quality fishing is now happening in the tailrace as conditions have stabilized and the game fish have resumed a more normal bite pattern. The influx of healthy rainbow trout to the lake rejuvenates the tailrace to an earlier scenario of quality fishing.
Mid-February marks the beginning of the walleye run for Lake Catherine. Smaller males migrate first into the tailrace to prepare the spawning beds. Larger females soon follow and all will remain in the area for weeks until the spawn is complete.
Both lakes Hamilton and Catherine were drawn down 5 feet for the winter. Refilling will begin somewhere between March 1-8, with the process completed by March 15. It is important to note that dramatic drops in temperature greatly affect the trout bite in a negative way. It can take days for a regular bite pattern to resume after a big drop in temperature so anglers need to be aware. Entergy will schedule daily generation from Carpenter Dam each week and the public is advised to read the Entergy Hydro website news for updates on lake conditions. Remember to always wear a life jacket when on the water and follow all lake and park regulations when visiting the Carpenter Dam use area.
As of Thursday midday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 12,854 cfs. Elevation was 337.75 feet msl and the tailwater was at 288.15 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.) The stage is at 7.92 feet and falling (flood stage is 32 feet).
As of Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was at 345.50 feet msl (normal pool: 342.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 2-2-2023) Ken Winstead at Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) in Perryville says crappie are biting and typical with this week’s water change because of weather. So move around from shallow to deep water. The bite will be hit and miss, but make sure to have jigs in Monkey Milk, black/chartreuse, Cajun Cricket, Kiwi, Mo-Glo, silver and Blue Ice. Also throw an orange and white Crappie Magnet.
Bream are always available but the bite these days is slow. Use redworms or crickets. Fish with dark colored baits for bass now; the bite is there but slow. For catfish, use liver and dough bait. Catfish are slow for now.
(updated 2-2-2023) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) had no new reports.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 574.16 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 1-26-2023) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said black bass are still good. An Alabama rig or a PB&J jig are working best. Stripers are good. A Bama rig or live bait on main lake points or creek channel mouths on the rivers should be the best spot to find these. Crappie are good on small jigs or minnows. Try brush 20-35 feet deep. No reports on walleye, catfish or bream. The water temperature is ranging 44-50 degrees. Water clarity is clearing. Lake level is 573.84 feet msl. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
(updated 1-19-2023) John at Masterbaiters Bait and Tackle (501-209-6538) on Arkansas Highway 7 outside Hot Springs Village said Lake Ouachita is doing great if you get out on the water. Bass are being caught from 5 feet to 40 feet. A-rigs and crankbaits are working, and we’re also getting them on jig and pig. Also, catching some nice crappie in 40 feet on brush. Minnows and jigs are your best bet. “So get out on the water and don’t forget, please take the kids fishing. They love going, also.”
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 387.45 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).