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Lake Catherine Sponsored by
Date 22-Feb-18
Water Condition
Water Temperature  


Conditions : Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reports that Entergy is only releasing water for a few hours every few days to maintain lake levels. Lake Catherine is now at a 3-foot drawdown until March 1, when refilling of both lakes Hamilton and Catherine will begin. Each lake will be brought back to normal summertime levels by March 15. However, with 5-7 inches of rainfall forecasted for this week, Entergy will be greatly increasing the amount of water generated from Carpenter Dam in an effort to control rising lake levels. Open flood gates are a real possibility with very heavy rainfall predicted for all of this week. Currently, rainbow trout are the main attraction below Carpenter Dam. More fishing has taken place this past week with the frigid temperatures moving on, and anglers have caught quality limits of trout. From the dam to the bridge, rainbows are present and thriving with recent large stockings of trout in the tailrace, and February is the next big month for trout stocking with 12,000 fish scheduled to be released. Periods of no generation are best for bank fishermen as these anglers are recording limits of fish using corn or waxworms with a marshmallow floater. Redworms and nightcrawlers used in the same manner have also produced nice catches. PowerBaits presented just on the bottom or under a bobber are also working well from the bank or boat. Spin fishermen casting small jigs across the current around exposed rock structure have taken the largest trout recently. Jigs imitate the small threadfin shad that are drawn through the turbines during periods of generation. Opportunistic trout feed heavily on these injured baitfish and grow strong from this protein source. Rooster Tails in white or brown are also effective fished in the current or slack water. Super Dupers and Little Cleos are proven artificial lures and should never be forgotten when targeting trout chasing shad. Trolling the main channel with shallow-running crankbaits is effective and far easier this year with only a 3-foot instead of a 5-foot drawdown. Crawfish or minnow imitations that run 3-5 feet deep will draw consistent strikes from rainbows looking to feed on injured shad. Fly-fisherman are able to wade to areas that hold good numbers of fish and are having success casting egg patterns in white or yellow under a strike indicator. Egg imitators are highly effective as all rainbow trout are born egg eaters. This technique will often catch fish when no other pattern will produce. Micro-jigs in white or black have quickly taken numbers of trout in the 12- to 15-inch class. San Juan worms in red or hot pink give fishermen a nice change in approach. Trout Magnets fished 3-7 feet deep have really racked up fish numbers. It seems that all colors are working, with a slight edge in white being noticed. Overall, trout fishing is very good and will become even better into February. While white and hybrid bass have been caught the last several weeks, none have been seen feeding this week. Striper activity is very slow with no reports of fish feeding or being hooked recently. The walleye spawn has begun with fish located from the bridge to the dam. Small males from 1 to 2 pounds entered the tailrace early this year to prepare the beds for the larger females. These fish normal run from 3 to 5 pounds and will be present until late April. Trolling shallow running crankbaits that imitate small shad or crawfish have accounted for the most fish caught in the last week. The main channels hold the biggest numbers of walleye and trolling against the current is key as these fish are bedding close to the banks. Carolina rigs tipped with live minnows are working well in periods of no generation.
Shane adds that crappie will begin migrating into the tailrace in mid-March to spawn and will remain until the first part of May. Rainbow trout are king below Carpenter Dam and anyone wanting to enjoy some very good fishing and better tablefare should try their luck in beautiful Lake Catherine. Anyone navigating the tailrace must always wear a lifejacket and be aware of the generation schedules. Observing all park and boating regulations can ensure a safe and memorable outing.

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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