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Arkansas Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

DeGray Lake Sponsored by
Date 28-Apr-16
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : DeGray Lake: Local angler George Graves said the best overall bass fishing has been between Caddo Drive and Cox Creek. Small bass fishing is good with larger ones hard to find, and he suggested fishing the spawning coves in 6-10 feet of water. Fish are hitting a Carolina-rigged worm or lizard pulled slowly across secondary points that might cross a bed. Early morning has seen some surface activity at the shoreline; Graves said to try a lipless crankbait or top-water lure such as a Zara Spook. Kentuckies are showing along the bluff banks at points 14 and 15, as well as the west side of Goat Island. Big white crappies should be roaming the open water in search of shad schools between now and most of May. Look for crappie between Point 15 and Point Cedar, with Woodall Cove being one of the better areas. Plan for a slow troll at about 1.5 mph; rig a 2- or 3-inch curly tail grub on a quarter-ounce chartreuse jig head. Along with chartreuse, fish are favoring white and Tennessee shad plastic lures. Fish the deep water, even 40-50 feet deep, and run a line about 100 feet – fish will be suspended at about 10-12 feet. Hybrid fish are surface-feeding nicely, mostly in the morning between sunup and 9. Any small surface plug should work, Graves said; get the lure as close to the break as possible. Catfish are hitting trotlines at night; set the lines in coves in 20-30 feet of water with chicken livers, hot dogs, Catfish Charlie, blood bait or night crawlers as bait. Bigger cats are hitting large minnows and live small bream.

John Duncan with yoyguideservice.com said said surface water temperature is running from 70 degrees at mid-lake to 75 degrees in the Cedar Point area. Bass are in shallow water, bedding. Floating worms and Carolina rigs producing well. The crappie bite has been good in Shouse Ford and Cedar Point. Fishing minnows with cork from 3 to 3½ feet around and in brush is the best bet. If you are a jig fisherman, try the baby bass jigs with a sliding cork fished at the same depth. The best colors are still acid rain, Tennessee shad, lemon meringue and popsicle. The water in these areas is clearing up making it harder to get to the bedding fish without them spotting you. If you are fishing for the bedding crappie you need to be there real early or real late to eliminate the sun issue. Some crappie still being picked up on brush piles in the Shouse Ford and Cedar Point area. The best depths are 12 to 15 feet deep. These crappie are running smaller due to the spawn with bigger females in the spawning stage. Some hybrids and crappie are being picked up trolling crankbaits that run 10 to 12 feet deep. Bream have moved into the shallows to spawn. The best bet is to fish shallow coves with brush in 5 feet of water. Hybrids are now beginning to show up in the mid-lake area. They are not surfacing on shad but are near the surface. Shallow-running crankbaits are the best bet for them. Rapala and Rebels are good bets on them.

Reported by: Arkansas F&G

Hatches: Patterns Lures & Spinners

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About: - The 13,400-acrea DeGray Lake is a prime vacation and weekend getaway in west-central Arkansas. Situated among ridges of the Ouachita Mountains and formed by a dam across the Caddo River, the lake has more than 700 campsites, ranging from full hook-ups to primitive, and some 15 boat-launching ramps on its shores. Anglers enjoy the lake's largemouth bass, hybrid bass and other game fish species. Houseboating, sailing and scuba diving are also popular, as is observing bald eagles that winter on DeGray.
Location: DeGray Lake is located on State Scenic 7 Byway eight miles north of Arkadelphia (Exit 78 off I-30 at Caddo Valley/Arkadelphia) and 29 miles southwest of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
  • Bass
  • Bream
  • Catfish
  • Crappie

Misc Info: - NEW REGULATIONS IN EFFECT BEGINNING JAN. 1, 2015: Largemouth bass must be 13 inches or longer to keep. (This replaces the 13- to 16-inch slot limit previously on the lake.)

Daily limit of black bass (largemouth, spotted bass and smallmouth combined) is 6.

Lake DeGray Elevation

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