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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Weekend fishing report

  • Thinking about a weekend fishing trip? Check out these reports for the hot spots and best practices compiled by the Arkansaas Game and Fish Commission.
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  •  DeGray Lake
    As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 402.70 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).(Updated 12-11-2013) Local angler George Graves said surface water temperature is in the high 40s and the lake is clear up to Point 14, slightly dis-colored up to Point Cedar and has a lot of color farther up. Very little to report this week due to the winter weather. A few anglers found some bass between Shouse Ford and Cox Creek. The fish were still up fairly shallow in 8 to 10 feet of water. Medium-running crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps were the best bets. Now is the time for the deep water pattern at 25 to 40 feet on ledges and the edge of creek channels. Use a Texas-rigged worm or lizard with a pretty heavy weight between 1/4 and 3/8 ounce. Work the worm down the ledge slowly, keeping contact with the bottom.  Most any dark color will work with green pumpkin and red shad a good way to start. Big Hill Creek is an excellent area for this type of fishing because of the sharp creek ledges. Also try the main lake around islands 35 and 36. The big cove at the Lenox Marcus boat ramp is also very good. Remember the best time for Winter bass is during the brightest part of the day in the afternoon. No reports on crappies, but a few can be caught off the deep attractors at 20 to 30 feet in major coves and creeks between Arlie Moore and Point Cedar. Very few are fishing for hybrids, but some nice white bass catches have been reported. Looks like the white bass are making a comeback. The best pattern has been slow trolling the small umbrella rig with 3-inch curly tail grubs. The fish are suspended about 15 feet down in 25 to 40 feet of water. Look for fish between Woodall Cove and the big flat West of Goat Island. Not much doing on hybrids with little schooling activity. No reports on bream or catfish.
    White Oak Lake
    (Updated 11-19-2013) Robert Giles at White Oak Lake State Park said bream are biting well on crickets and red wigglers. Crappie are biting well on minnows and jigs.  No report on bass or catfish at this time.
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    Lake Ouachita
    As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 574.43 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl).(Updated 12-11-2013) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is stained and the surface temperature is 48 to 52 degrees. Largemouth bass are biting well on football jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. No report on walleye. Stripers are biting very well on live bait, hair jigs and Alabama rigs in major creek basins. No report on bream. Crappie are fair on brush in 20 to 25 feet of water on minnows and crappie jigs. No report on catfish.
    Lake Hamilton
    (Updated 11-13-2013) The annual winter drawdown for Lake Hamilton is complete. The lake will be held at 5 feet below summer pool until March 2014.  Trader Bill's Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs had no new report.  For a report on the crappie fishing at Lake Hamilton, visit Family Fishing Trips.
    Lake Catherine
    For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro.(Updated 12-11-2013) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said the ice storm kept all but the hardiest of fishermen home. Despite the conditions, trout were caught below Carpenter Dam by fly fishermen and bank fishermen alike. Fish are scattered from the bridge to the dam, but it's difficult to find a pattern. Water temperature has fallen to 48 degrees with very low water conditions. Bank fishermen have taken rainbows with wax worms, redworms, meal worms and small pieces of nightcrawler fished just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Fly fishermen are wading to areas that hold feeding trout and having success casting egg patterns in white or orange. A strike indicator should be used with these presentations to keep the fly at a consistent depth for the best results. San Juan worms in red or hot pink has accounted for several quality limits of trout this past week in tough conditions. Anglers should target the shoal areas where trout are holding above and below moving water seeking prey and shelter. Trout stocking will continue this month, making the tailrace an excellent area to fish. White and yellow bass are feeding on injured threadfin shad below the dam. Sizes of both fish are on the small side with good numbers of each being caught from boaters able to anchor close to deep water. Live minnows tightlined by the bridge or dam along with small jigs have been the best techniques. Action is best when the turbines are running. Trolling small crankbaits below the bridge in the main channel is an excellent method of locating schools of trout and bass especially this time of year when all species of fish in the area are scattered and tend to move regularly. Bream are schooling and are suspended in water from 10 to 20 feet deep close to the dam. Crickets and redworms fished under a bobber have both taken these fish in limit numbers primarily during slack water periods. Striper and hybrid action has been very slow. Anyone navigating the Carpenter Dam tailrace is cautioned to use extreme care in the low water conditions and always wear a life jacket. 
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