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Lake Catherine Sponsored by
Date 08-Feb-24
Water Condition
Water Temperature  


Conditions : Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that fast flows and unfishable conditions have been the norm below Carpenter Dam for the last several weeks due to snow and ice and recent heavy rainfall. The 5-foot drawdown on lakes Catherine and Hamilton will be in place until March 1, and Entergy has scheduled 24/7 generation times to keep the lakes at the winter drawdown levels. No quality fishing has taken place on Lake Catherine for rainbow trout since late January due to these conditions. Hopefully, a more stable weather pattern will settle in this month that will allow for safe boating and wading below Carpenter Dam.
The AGFC is scheduled to release 12,000 rainbow trout in Lake Catherine below the dam this month, which will propel the tailrace into hyper-drive for fish numbers and opportunities to catch fish. Fly-fishermen will be able to wade to areas that hold good numbers of trout and have success casting micro-jigs in white or black under a strike indicator. This presentation perfectly matches the injured shad drawn through the turbines from Lake Hamilton. San Juan Worms offer feeding trout a different look and will often work equally well when fished in the same manner. Trout Magnets should not be overlooked by fly anglers and often make the difference between a successful outing and an unsuccessful one. Bank fishermen using waxworms or mealworms will record limits of rainbows cast with a small bobber or fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Boaters can anchor in and around sandbars and rock structure and catch trout using small inline spinners such as a Rooster Tail or Mepps Spinner in brown or silver colors.
Because of the low water conditions, trolling will have to be confined to areas below the bridge where enough water is present for safe navigation. Rainbow trout fishing will dominate the area for weeks to come as big numbers of fish will congregate in many areas of the tailrace. However, trout will not be the only game fish available to target. The walleye spawn is just now beginning on Lake Catherine as male walleye begin to migrate into the tailrace to prepare the beds for the much larger females. These fish can be caught by trolling shallow-running crankbaits against the current on both sides of the river below the dam. Shad or crayfish imitations work best as both of these are present in large numbers in the lake and offer game fish a solid food source all throughout the year. Trout will be scarce where spawning walleye are established, as rainbow trout are known egg eaters and are attacked by walleye when crossing over into bedding areas. As February rolls on, more and more walleye will be present and can be caught from the bridge to the dam.

Reported by: Arkansas F&G


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About: - Lake Catherine was created in a virtual wilderness between Hot Springs and Malvern. Eleven miles long, the lake covers a mere 1,940 acres, nestled in narrow valleys of the Ouachita Mountains.

Fishing: Anglers come to the lake for its largemouth bass, spotted bass and striped bass, crappie, bream, and catfish and walleye fishing. A rainbow trout fishery, stocked by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, exists in the lake's tailwaters below Remmel Dam.

Lake Catherine State Park offers 17 fully-equipped cabins with kitchens, 70 campsites, a marina selling bait and fuel in summer and renting boats throughout the year, a launch ramp, a swimming area, picnic sites, playgrounds and hiking trails.

  • Striper Bass
  • Walley
  • Catfish
  • Crappie

Misc Info: -




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